I was contacted again by Pinewood late 2019, to partake in three more days of Victorian/Edwardian hair styling, and this time there was someone taking “progress” photos from start to finish, that looked pretty cool, and I was allowed copies of. What I found almost as amusing as I found awkward, was the fact I had to go to lunch with huge hair rollers and foil in my hair! I kept worrying they were going to fall out and spoil the style, but all was ok. I really like the canteens at Pinewood, as they serve good quality vegan food, and whichever department I am working for at the studio, always cover the costs of my lunch!
The next time I was invited to the studios, was for what sounded to be the most bizarre modelling job I had been booked for (and anyone familiar with my career history will know I have been asked to partake in various forms of pretty weird shit over the years). The role was “Life Cast” modelling for a film & tv SFX course, where artists make a mold of someone’s face by putting plaster, silicone and other materials on them, and then from this, paint and sculpt an original cast with the person’s unique features, which I have been told is a very good thing for an actor to have, in case a cast needs to be made of them for a project, as they will already have one. I was excited to have this opportunity, as they hand picked models/actors for this project (I am assuming those with “unique” looking faces/features!) and I had never been part of anything like this before.
I was asked to be the demo model again on my first day, and I could not believe it when I found out the teacher for the course was the artist who did all the SFX makeup/design for the Mad Max films, and the Resident Evil games! I was really in awe of this, although I didn’t enjoy having the plaster and clay etc applied to my face, as it felt quite claustrophobic, and I was worried about the materials going up my nose, and also my eyelashes/eyebrows being pulled out, but they had all concerns covered, and every aspect of my face remained firmly in tact throughout the process. I read that sometimes during the process, the subjects sit with straws up their nostrils to prevent any materials going up. I am glad I did not have to do this, although it would have made for a funny photo! I have since been told by the team who are working on my cast, that they are designing it in the style of a “James Bond business girl”, and that I will be able to collect it from them in around a month, which I am looking forward to!
I also learnt that photography of the grounds at Pinewood is not allowed, which is a shame as the scenery is beautiful. Of course I understand though, as they have some very famous sets and stages on their land. I have heard some people who work or visit there have been lucky enough to see inside some of the famous sets, like the James Bond 007 stage, and the Stanley Kubrick building, but I have not had the opportunity to see inside any of these…. yet! Ever since I first made my dAyBoO at Pinewood, it somehow became tradition to bring with me, greetings cards that say “Hippy Bathday” on the cover, next to a drawing of hippy sat in a bathtub, holding a rubber duck. Don’t judge, don’t question, just accept. Every time I had been to the studios, I’d taken photos of the chortling chappie on and around various stylish props- He’s been photographed on a director’s chair, next to a waterfall, under a model of some bloke’s head, and next to a concrete statue of a smiling Spinx, to name but a few! On my life casting day, I brought the crangly card with me, along with an emotional support smol knitted Porg, and a multicolured elephant named Snuffles, that my friend’s seven year old daughter bought for me. Again, don’t question, jUsT aCcEpT pLz. I intended to give all three a full on photoshoot around the grounds, but sadly, it was cut short. Below is the word for word conversation I had with a caretaker when he saw me taking photos of the Porg and Hippy posing AROUND (not on) various structures:
Cleaner: I don’t know what you’re doing, but can you not take photos of it?
Me: But this is the future of this decade’s modern art. This is the flonky fun time splodging hippy crangly splat Porg photoshoot!
Cleaner: That’s fine but there are lots of people around.
Me: I’ve always enjoyed a bit of voyeurism.
The guy at this point just laughed and told me photography is barred, then left me alone as I think our conversation had exceeded his “weird” quota for the day. I resorted to photographing the Porg and Snuffles on the neutral, photo acceptable sofa in the reception area of my work space instead. I enjoyed how everyone else in the room just continued with their lives as the flonky photo shoot was taking place. There were at least 22 eyes in that room, none of which, ever making contact with mine.
I was booked in for several more days modelling hair and SFX at Pinewood in March and April, but unfortunately, due to the current pandemic, all have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, but I am hopeful that I will get the opportunity to splodge in Slough at least once more this year!