Thursday, December 26, 2013

Into the Woods Witch quick change

So one of the parts of Into the Woods that is commonly the most challenging to approach it the Witch's transformation at the end of Act I. It was honestly one of the main reasons that I wanted to do the show, because I knew it would be a challenge and I love a good challenge.

So as a part of the design for the Witch Act I costume was a latex half mask that covered the upper half of her face. This allowed for her jaw to be completely free for speaking and singing. 

I did not want to purchase a pre-made mask that might not fit my actresses face correctly. So I did a life cast and built the mask myself. Unfortunately I was not thinking about pictures during this whole process, or else I would have documented the process. Anyhow, here are a few pictures of the witch with the mask.

The Witch's costume itself consisted of a green under dress that had lots of bustling, distressing and general texture added. And the corset/over-skirt piece she wore was a remake of my entwife costume.

In this publicity shot below you can see the line where the mask stops and her face is. This was our first time applying it and with no blending makeup and incorrect lighting. I also connected the wig and mask with several layers of latex to make into one unite for easy removal.

So right before the Transformation scene was to occur we changed her out of the complex dress/corset multi-layer costume into a new dress/cloak that I had made. This was made from the same material as the first costume, bustled, distressed and everything and made to look very similar. Only it was completely closed with magnets up the front and was rather formless especially at the bust and waist.

During the Transformation scene after she had drunk the potion, she climbed up to the top of the set. While the Baker's father was dying and creating a diversion, she fell to a heap and removed her gloves, and wig/mask in one movement. To assist with the change I would army crawl underneath the set and somehow sit/squat over the back floor lights (which thankfully the light designer had shut off for this part.) in a tiny space where I could reach up my hand in the one foot gap between the back wall and the set. This allowed the witch to throw the wig and gloves down so they were not left on the set. I would then grab a corner of the dress that she was wearing. As she stood up and turned around I would pull the entire costume off of her and it would disappear beneath the set. This leaving the now transformed witch in the costume that we had layered underneath.

The witch literally seconds after standing up.

I got one of the crew to video it for me. It was on a cellphone, so it is not the best recording, but it give an idea of what happened. Some night it was better than others, it was all about timing. But overall, I felt if turned out really well.

Post Transformation Witch


Jen Bauer-Conley said...

How did you attach the mask to her face in a way that allowed for quick removal during the transformation?

Laura said...

We used liquid latex as the adhesive to apply it directly to her face. So when we pulled it off the latex remained on the mask and left no residue on her face. And then we were able to peel off the latex from the mask later.

Julia Estep said...

I'm doing this make up for my high school play and I was wondering, did you already do her eye makeup under the mask?

Jen Bauer-Conley said...

We did, and then in the scene change after the reveal, we did a quick touch up. During the intermission, we did a full touch-up to get rid of any remaining latex, etc...

Maddison Rickard said...

What did you make the mask out of?