For the Futuristic world I focused very much so on the film ‘The Fifth Element’ (1997). The film is a science fiction action film directed and co-written by Luc Besson. Set in the 23rd century, the film’s central plot involves the survival of planet Earth, which becomes the responsibility of a taxicab driver and former special forces major, after a young woman falls into his cab. The New York cabbie joins forces with her to recover four mystical stones essential for the defence of Earth against an impending attack from great evil destroying humanity.
Jean Paul Gaultier designed all the costumes for ‘The Fifth Element’ which can be described as hyper ostentatious garments. When speaking about the outfits he created Gaultier said – “I spoke with Luc about what is futuristic, and we decided that there could be elements of today. You could even imagine that there will be only retro clothes in the future. Everything’s possible”. I found this very inspiring for creating and styling my own futuristic costumes as I worried about using matalics and bright colours, in case it looked too 80’s. However, I felt like even Gaultier was inspired by the 80’s due to the presence of leopard print, jazzy shirts and bright colour outfits.
At the trash-filed airport the colour comes from the airline staff costumes – after all, they facilitate travel to this ‘new’ world. These tempting, blonde-bobbed females wear outfits inspired by traditional air hostesses uniforms, given a Gaultier twist with cutouts and short hemlines. Keeping with the futuristic theme, the outfits are rendered in neoprene. The women who work at the McDonald’s drive through are similarly clad, with waitress hat emblazoned with a yellow logo and bustier tops. By emphasizing their sexuality and deliberately framing fragments of their body, Besson reinforces these characters’ status as passive objects. Their presence is simply to serve the male gaze.
I was inspired by Miles Aldridge’s photography and the make up used in his work, focused very much on bold lip colours and eyeshadows. I sent the following images below to my make up artist Emma Wenzel who is studying ‘Make-up, for Media and Performance’ at the Arts University. This was to help her get a feel for what look I was going for to create the Futuristic look.
Emma made her own illustrations prior to the shoot in order to show how she would be able to create a similar look to the idea I was going for. This was very helpful as it meant I had free range to request my favourite look.
Below are were my favourite make up looks I asked Emma to create, the first one for Nancy (the blonde model).
The second look for Emerald (the brown hair model).
Futuristic Studio Shoot.
Technical Issues: I really struggled with deleting the green screen around my models hair as in my previous utopian shoot, I had styled my models hair up in a ponytail, which made selecting the green around her hair was easy as there were no loose strands. As I wanted my models hair down for this futuristic shoot – I had not considered about how difficult it is to use quick selection, the eraser tool and the magnetic magic wand on photoshop – all 3 tools are terrible at keeping in small strands of hair. This created a very harsh and bulky hairstyle – especially at the ends. However, I found the more images I edited, the better I got at cropping the hair. I just took my time and zoomed in to 100% on photoshop when using the erase tool.
Green Screen Location.
This first green screen edit is my favourite out of the four collages.
The bright, vivid and saturated colours almost remind me of Martin Parr’s ‘Self Portraits’ series, where he travelled to destinations all around the world and posed in heavily photoshopped images you pay for as a touristy momentum.
This image below is not as strong, I think this is because it is too close/zoomed in – making the blunt cutting around my models body more visible, meaning it is clear I pasted the model onto the background. If I was to do this again I would have blurred around my models body to make the background and model blend in better.
For the image below, I tried using a shopping mall for the background image as I imagine a futuristic world to be focused on materialistic ownership of the latest high end fashion and technical gadgets you can buy.
For my location images I wanted side by side to by studio images I went to the new Bournemouth Odeon complex which opened this year (2017). The artitecture of the building is very metallic with shiny, reflective lifts and escalators and glass windows, which I thought would look perfect next to my studio model images (as I styled my model in a metallic silver skirt).
Out of all the location shoots I took when I went out on location, I thought the blue escalators in the building were very striking.
Location and Studio.
I had previously asked my make up artist Emma to use blue eyeshadow for my models because I was thinking about taking my images in the Bournemouth Odeon, using the blue escalators. I am very pleased with how the colour of the location and the make up bounce off each other so well.
Evaluation and Reflection.
The ‘Futuristic World’ was a big task, I really struggled with what costumes would look futuristic in the begging. However, I think making links from the portraits to the landscape images it made a nice connection to technology, as well as the dead pan looks and robotic poses.
If I was to re-shoot the ‘Futuristic World’ I would go in a completely different direction and do something more focused on plastic surgery and the concept behind perfect beauty, in an era of vanity and ‘selfies’ with the presence of social media: Facebook and Instagram. This would be inspired by the work of Phillip Toledano and his project called ‘A New Type of Beauty’.
Another approach I could have taken for the ‘Futuristic World’ would have been to talk about the art movement Vorticism. I believe setting up my own futuristic setting inspired by Vorticism would have been a really strong connection to the future due to the jaggid and angular shapes from this type of style. I thought about this arts movement because it came out of Russia when everyone was communists, meaning everyone was the same (everyone had the same wage). This connects to the work of Philip Toledano of everyone looking the same (manipulated).
It is important to mention other potential ideas I had as it shows how many other ideas and approaches I could have taken with this project (if I had more time).