Archive for September, 2009

Making LADY BATHORY

September 3, 2009

Hey kiddies! This is my new photograph, called LADY BATHORY.

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Lady Elizabeth Bathory was a Hungarian countess in the 16th century, and one of the most prolific serial killers in history. She bathed in the blood of virgins to retain her youth and beauty.

The story of Lady Bathory serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of vanity.

I wanted to create a contemporary version of the Lady Bathory legend. In my photograph, the bloodletting is depicted as a kind of spa treatment, with Lady Bathory wearing a green mud mask and cucumbers on her eyes.

My beautiful wife Jen played the part of Lady Bathory. She was also an active member of my production crew, and led the enormous task of painting and scraping the dried blood grout lines on 2,420 pieces of white tile.

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Matt Tady and Demian Vela helped erect the walls of my set.

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Here you can see Jen relaxing in the bathtub as I position the overhead light.

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The more difficult role of Lady Bathory’s virginal victim was played by Andee Hindery. She is an aerial fabric acrobat, and the only friend I had that could physically handle being hogtied and suspended from the ceiling. Andee’s roommate Rachel, also an acrobat (and a dominatrix), came in to teach us the complicated knots necessary to suspend Andee.

Here you can see Matt and Demian trying to figure out how to hoist Andee into position.

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Once Andee was in position, we quickly brought in Jen and began shooting.

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Because Andee could not hold this position for very long, I decided to shoot the blood separately.

Jen made 5 gallons of fake blood. We got the recipe from a special feature on the movie Slither: dark Karo syrup, Hershey’s chocolate, and red food coloring.

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I marked the tile wall where Andee’s neck had been, and then had Demian and Matt pour blood in countless different ways, trying to get the perfect blood pour.

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Because the blood was photographed on my actual set, the lighting and the focus were a perfect match, so it was possible to combine the frames with the original image in Photoshop.

See you next time!

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