Tag Archives: Roisin Martindale

Special effects in Theatre – design solutions for #LetTheRightOneIn @bovts

26 Feb
Let The Right One In_Mark Dawson Photography_DSC_7608Anna-Kate Golding as Eli – photo by Mark Dawson

One of the greatest discoveries during my last directing project was working out how we could solve some of the key effects required in the production of Let The Right One In.

Spoiler alert – these included hanging a character by his feet: a sulphuric acid facial burn, a character bleeding from every part of her body, a swimming pool murder scene, in which three characters are brutally killed.

All of which needed to take place in between scenes of relative ‘normality’ took place. So this meant we couldn’t have the stage swimming in blood one minute, water the next, and then cut back to the interior of a house with the characters back to a state of un bloodied costume and hair.

So working with set designer Alana Ashley and Costume designer Roisin Martindale we set out to solve these last October and November – before we went into rehearsal in January this year.

We were going to be performing the piece at Circomedia – which meant that our first challenge was solved. They had flying gear and rigging equipment in the grid that would allow us to winch the character of ‘Torkel’ played by Will Fletcher into the air and be able to lower him down again safely and securely.

Let The Right One In_Mark Dawson Photography_DSC_6624Will Fletcher as Torkel photo by Mark Dawson

We decided to explore the use of AV projection, and the lighting designer Joe Stathers hired a laser projector (It was 10,000 lumens Panasonic PT-RZ970 with a 0.9-1.3 lens)

In the rear of the image you can see on the ice and snow mound a great splatter of blood from the laser projector with precision mapping on the mound. ( Thanks to Daniel Harvey for his mapping and AV skills) So with this we knew we could place sharp and precise blood spots and movie files on any location on the set. This delivered not only great effects but also enabled us to solve the blood ‘management’ issue for certain scenes.

Let The Right One In_Mark Dawson Photography_DSC_7816Freddy Sawyer, Beshlie Thorpe, Emer Heatley, Lawrence Haynes, Tom Briggs, Will Fletcher and Oscar Porter – photo by Mark Dawson

Here the blood splatters on the set and on the bodies was clearly visible from the laser projector. In another shot you can see the aftermath discovery with Eli and Oskar at the side of the pool.

Let The Right One In_Mark Dawson Photography_DSC_7785Tom Briggs, Will Fletcher Oscar Porter Shane David Jospeh and Anna-Kate Golding – photo by Mark Dawson

The pool was another design solution that we came up with. The mound opened for the scene to reveal the blue and green light recessed pool area that Oskar (Shane David Joseph) had to get into.

Let The Right One In_Mark Dawson Photography_DSC_7725Will Fletcher, Shane David Joseph, Tom Briggs and Oscar Porter – photo by Mark Dawson

All of the design and structural elements were built and finished by the BOVTS set and construction and scenic art teams who did a brilliant job. The same was true for the costume elements – and below you can see the dress designed by Roisin Martindale and made by Jemima Homer that solved our special effects challenge. In this sequence it  was required that Eli (Anna-Kate Golding) should be covered in blood as her blood vessels under her skin explode and shower blood across her body.

Let The Right One In_Mark Dawson Photography_DSC_7469Shane David Joseph and Anna-Kate Golding as Oskar and Eli – photo by Mark Dawson

This was achieved with the clever use of silk, crocheted wool and material packed under a separate duplicate dress. In combination with movement and lighting we were able to produce this as part of the action in that particular scene.

IMG_4940photo by Marcus Romer

The resulting projection after the scene of the blood dress enable us to leave the ‘marks’ on the set.

The Acid burn face was achieved by building a silicon mask onto a cast of ‘Hakan’ (Freddy Sawyer’s face) and painting it. This was blended with make up and fitted during each show at the interval by the make up team.

Let The Right One In_Mark Dawson Photography__DSC3093Anna-Kate Golding and Freddy Sawyer – photo by Mark Dawson

So a brief overview of some of the techniques we deployed for the show. You can read the 5 star reviews here and here

The show was a real joy to direct and the cast and production team worked incredibly hard to deliver this in the timescale.

IMG_5009 Here we all are after the final performance