March 13, 2012

Admiral Fallow, the making of Tree Man

Last month I was contacted by fabulous director Greg Davenport of Epoch Films, London to help him find a solution to his urban 'Tree Man' character idea for a music promo for Glaswegian band Admiral Fallow. He quickly shot over some pointers to be included in the design and I sketched out some rough visualizations for the costume...

NB - The actor donning the tree suit was eventually confirmed as Jeremy Hill, who played Hagrid's body in the Harry Potter films, not Tom as I originally drew in the designs! Either way, both actors are exceptionally tall. 

In the original design I had intended for the skin on top of the framework to be mostly made out of lightweight and organic materials like real bark and branches/twigs/etc which I knew I could fairly easily acquire around Bristol, and would also make the costume fabrication achievable within the 1 week timeframe and low budget restrains. But after the logistical decision was made for me to work as part of a team in London instead, this part of the design was difficult to implement. Fortunately, the discovery of a dead tree in Sammm's back garden the day before the costume was due to travel to Glasgow meant that parts of the costume could still be fashioned re. the original design (ie. head/shoulders/collar - the parts to be mostly seen in close-ups), with extra bark and tinted tissue paper/latex laid over to blend the other parts that had already been made. Sammm Agnew MUA is the other half of team Tree Man and my fellow collaborator on the project.

It's nice to have soft, warm friends to cuddle up to after an exhausting night tree surgeoning...

After a 9 hour road trip with the film crew up to Glasgow (kudos to our lovely driver Leandro who kept stoked on caffeine and never once tired!) and a much deserved rest, we headed out early the next morning to begin shooting. Our wonderful actor Jez is an absolute trooper and wore the costume from morning to sundown, being bundled into the back of a transit to travel from location to location - now that's dedication! He looked treemendous on film too hahaha sorry there really has been no end to the tree jokes.... Special Branch anybody?.....ahhhaa cough cough.

Sammm and I with Jez inside our tree man creation

A great big thank you to all the film crew, my fellow tree maker Sammm Agnew MUA, our amazing tree man Jeremy Hill, the band and producer/director Licia Conn/Greg Davenport at Epoch Films for a fantastical Scottish adventure.
Expect the music video for Admiral Fallow 'The Paper Trench' to come out later this month!