Friday, September 25, 2009

Tulgey Wood - Sound Stage Shoot

Tulgey Wood is a Full Sail student short film loosely built around the Lewis Carol poem "Jabberwocky".
And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the Tulgey Wood,
And burbled as it came!
The film follows a young girl named Jose who discovers her parents are about to get divorced. Unable to face this harsh truth the girl runs from her home and wanders into the woods where she is transformed into a girl that looks just like Alice in Wonderland. She finds a small red camping tent and wanders in. The interior is much bigger than expected with paper lanterns, mounds of pillows and candles everywhere. Inside is a fortune teller who looks into a crystal ball summoning insights into the challenges that Jose faces. "Thus my child, it does not do to dwell on that which we have lost. For certainly, we are given more than we could ever hope to loose."
Leander Suleiman the actress who played the fortune teller, was the one who suggested I come to the sound stage and do this sketch. When I arrived people were rushing around taking measurements and checking for lighting levels. One fellow took his time lighting all the candles and a fire extinguisher was on hand at all times. Between shots several set pieces had to be moved and twice candles were knocked over causing a flurry of activity as they tried to pick up the candle before any pillows or fabrics caught fire. A long track was set up in front of the set allowing the camera to follow the actresses movements with the candles looming large in the foreground.
Leander is a frequent guest artist at a Full Sail class that helps teach students how to direct actors. She read the part of the fortune teller and then auditions were held. The director couldn't find anyone else that was right for the role so he tracked her down. She had just finished playing a gypsy (Madame Zeroni) in the stage production of "Holes". So jumping into the role was easy. Leander loves both theater and film but the stage is where her heart truly sings.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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