Saturday, March 5, 2011

Voodoo Doll props

My first film project at San Francisco State University was in my intro to Cinema class. Every film student must take this class before they move onto the advanced film classes. Our final project in that class was to make what they referred to as an animatic less than 3 minutes long. It would be a short film told in pictures. It could not be filmed, but we could use as many still images as we wanted. The only movement would be the changes in the pictures and moving the pictures around on the screen to give the illusion of movement. My animatic was about Marie Laveau, the famed Voodoo practitioner of New Orleans.

You can learn more about Marie Laveau HERE.

I needed a few Voodoo dolls as props, so I went online to purchase a few. I was not impressed by what I found. Many of them were cheaply made with sloppy painting and they did not fit the mood of my project. I decided to make my own. After a little more research and a quick trip to a few craft stores, I was ready to start. Here for your viewing pleasure are those dolls.

Both of these dolls were made the same way. Two pieces of bamboo were crossed and tied together. Spanish moss was wrapped around the "t" shape the bamboo made, and it was all covered with canvas. The canvas edges were hand sewn tight so the spanish moss could not escape.

This doll was painted using acrylic paint, and although it may be hard to see in the picture, I stained the unpainted canvas with a mixture of tea and coffee. Scrap fabric and leather were used to tie beads along the body of the doll.

I spent much more time on this doll than on the first. After creating the basic body shape (bamboo, spanish moss, canvas), black fabric was tied around the mid section and painted white. I sculpted and painted a mask which was tied onto the head of the doll. Using old beads and shells collected on the beach, small necklaces were made and wrapped around the body. Small coins were tied to the body, as well as buttons, a half burnt candle, and many pieces of twine. More detail was put into this doll as it would be seen close up in the animatic.

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