photographed some of Su's work before, she recommended me as the
photographer for the book-cover project for Disney Hyperion Publishers
in New York. Disney required an image for the cover of their forthcoming
book 'Alistair Grim's Odditorium' by Gregory Funaro.
requirement was for an image that matched as closely as possible to
Vivienne To's illustration from the book (bottom left). Once Su had created the paper
model, I collected it from her and brought it back to my studio. The
original brief included smoke coming from the chimneys, snow on the
ground and a swirling blizzard.
snow on the ground was easy, given the scale of the model, cooking salt
worked perfectly, giving just the right amount of glisten. The smoke
was more diffiuclt as it was requested after the model had been made,
without hollow chimneys. As you can see from the photograph of the
studio set-up (below), carefully positioned out of sight behind the Odditorium,
was a copper pipe, which in turn was connected via a hose to a bee
puffer containing oak chips smouldering over charcoal. Gentle pressure
on the bee puffer bellows sent little puffs of smoke up the hose and
pipe to emerge looking as though it was coming out of the chimneys. The
lighting of the model itself was a combination of overhead flash
lighting and blue and white L.E.D.S, which Su had fitted into the model. The L.E.D.s
were mostly out of camera view apart from one which was concealed inside
the Odditorium itself to give a blue glow.
street lights and the falling snow were added in post production. In
the end, it was decided that the smoke and the snow proved too much of a
distraction behind the text so a simpler version, with stars added in
the night sky is what finally made it into print (bottom right).