This blog, I am taking a break from talking about "the seven Basic Plots" , and thought I'd just talk about the production design for my recently completed short Ouroboros. Its a difficult task to give a low budget film a "certain look" an I marvel at films like this work The 3rd Letter for achieving that. The production designer works closely with the art department to select, costumes, props and even the makeup, to implement the scenic elements to make up the film.
The production design for Ouroboros, was quite challenging to say the least. The quarry locations were selected for their stark appearances and the decision was made to shoot at night to create an eerie mood and disguise any Australian looking flora. Smoke was used to enhance the eerie mood. The “Far away” location was chosen due to its European trees and running creek.
The convertible American car Emilio drove reflected the amount of Frank’s money that he spent, so an effort was made in finding the best vehicle which had large silver wheels with wide tyres and looked a real gangster’s car. Emilio’s makeup consisted of tattoos sprayed on with airbrush with stencils over his bald head, neck, arms and chest and included the Ouroboros symbol, Mexican mafia insignia, Terra Firma logo and a message written with old English style font on his neck, “One Chance”. He wore a white singlet, so to enhance the blood effects on his torso, and it was be fitting of such a hardened Latino criminal, with dark canvas jeans and sneakers. His gun was a Brazilian revolver with streamlined silver appearance.
Frank Shaunnessy wore black leather jacket, gloves, a white shirt to add contrast, black slacks, a heavy Gold chain necklace and Italian black shoes. His hair was slicked back to create the appearance of an old style mafia like figure even though he spoke with a Scottish accent. His favourite modus operandi in murdering was using his large dagger which he always keeps well-guarded inside his jacket but when he wields it looks silver, sharp and brutal. There were 2 knives, one with and another without the blade.
Bonnie Adams wears a hot pink dress, one gold bracelet on her left wrist and make up that brought out her facial contours giving her a more stylized appearance.
Props included the money bag which was selected as it had a white title reading “sport” on the front of the bag. The money contained in the bag was mock US$100 notes. The Ouroboros ring was a size 13 stainless steel Replica bought from overseas, and was added and turned gold in post-production. It was re-sized to size 9 by a jeweller and then worn by the lead actress in stage 3 of the production.