Jump to content


Photo

Bald skin caps and related questions


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 Dan Salzmann

Dan Salzmann
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1143 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Paris, France

Posted 14 June 2007 - 03:24 PM

I am prepping a very upcoming project where 7 short haired women that do not want to shave their heads are going to be wearing these latex prosthetic skull caps that make them look bald.
These things are pre-warmed with hair driers and then placed on the heads.
Then they are trimmed to fit the individual and make-up is applied to match their skin tone.
There is no money for retouching in post.
The mood is very film noir (pools of hard light) in old industrial cellars with no windows.
I am thinking of shooting super8 Vision 500T because the grain would fit the mood and serve to "smooth over" the join between the latex and the skin.
Of course it is of prime importance to get the make-up right and there are 5 M.U artists on the show but I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions about ways to help make this look as good as possible (ie, see the prosthetic as little as possible).
Mild promist or other on-camera filter (I really hesitate on this because of the small format)
Thanks.
  • 0

#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 14 June 2007 - 05:53 PM

Shooting Super8, it just might be grainy enough to get away with it, without using any filtration.

Other than that, use the noir shadows you'll be creating and hide any revealing seams or strange wrinkles/bulges that might appear in the caps.

I'd test some techniques in video first to make sure it works. Try different lighting setups and see what works best. You may want to try something like lighting their faces clearly while leaving the back of their heads dark (maybe adding some backlight) with a lighter background to silhouette the shape of their heads.
  • 0

#3 Richard Andrewski

Richard Andrewski
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 134 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Shenzhen, China

Posted 16 June 2007 - 07:42 AM

I've been involved with this kind of thing before. The latex caps aren't used so much anymore, but when they did, the edges were very thin and they blended the edges with a "stipple" of latex that covered the edge of the cap and partially onto the skin, then makeup was applied. The best caps used today though are made from plasticized PVC, are very thin and you can blend the edges so easily by just using a brush with some isopropyl alcohol on it. The blending is what is important to not see the edges and of course the makeup cover is really important too. Soft light may help also in not seeing so many of the imperfections.
  • 0

#4 Dan Salzmann

Dan Salzmann
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1143 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Paris, France

Posted 17 June 2007 - 12:14 PM

I've been involved with this kind of thing before. The latex caps aren't used so much anymore, but when they did, the edges were very thin and they blended the edges with a "stipple" of latex that covered the edge of the cap and partially onto the skin, then makeup was applied. The best caps used today though are made from plasticized PVC, are very thin and you can blend the edges so easily by just using a brush with some isopropyl alcohol on it. The blending is what is important to not see the edges and of course the makeup cover is really important too. Soft light may help also in not seeing so many of the imperfections.


What exactly do you mean by plasticized PVC? Isn't PVC plastic?
  • 0

#5 Richard Andrewski

Richard Andrewski
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 134 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Shenzhen, China

Posted 23 June 2007 - 01:00 AM

What exactly do you mean by plasticized PVC? Isn't PVC plastic?


Plasticizer is a term for a chemical agent that can be added to plastic to make it's shore value less hard and more pliable/flexible. PVC is plastic of course but it is not flexible at all, nor can you stretch it like rubber. Adding a plasticizer agent to a batch of PVC just mixed up will yield a product that is strong but stretchy. the more plasticizer you add, the more rubbery it becomes.

This mix is applied in layers (either with a spray gun rig or a brush) to a bald head plaster or hard rubber form until you have the thickness you want (leaving the edges very thin though), then the cap is powdered with talc powder to keep it from sticking to itself and then pealed off the form and used. The raw, liquid material is never used on the skin, only on the cap form. The finished cap is non-toxic and the edges are easily blended into the skin with regular rubbing alcohol.

I have the formula for this stuff somewhere but can't find it right now. You can buy the cap material as well as finished caps from places like paramount theatrical supplies:

http://www.alconeco....acter/bald_caps
  • 0

#6 janusz sikora

janusz sikora
  • Sustaining Members
  • 82 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 27 June 2007 - 09:56 AM

I am prepping a very upcoming project where 7 short haired women that do not want to shave their heads are going to be wearing these latex prosthetic skull caps that make them look bald.
These things are pre-warmed with hair driers and then placed on the heads.
Then they are trimmed to fit the individual and make-up is applied to match their skin tone.
There is no money for retouching in post.
The mood is very film noir (pools of hard light) in old industrial cellars with no windows.
I am thinking of shooting super8 Vision 500T because the grain would fit the mood and serve to "smooth over" the join between the latex and the skin.
Of course it is of prime importance to get the make-up right and there are 5 M.U artists on the show but I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions about ways to help make this look as good as possible (ie, see the prosthetic as little as possible).
Mild promist or other on-camera filter (I really hesitate on this because of the small format)
Thanks.

I would consider working my Noir with soft light (ouch!). Challenging but worthwhile because effect is beautifull. You could use Planes of soft light rather than hard overheads. Control it with Floppies
  • 0


Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera

CineLab

CineTape

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

Opal

rebotnix Technologies

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

Broadcast Solutions Inc

FJS International, LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Abel Cine

Technodolly

The Slider

Glidecam

Visual Products

Tai Audio

Rig Wheels Passport

CineLab

Paralinx LLC

Opal

The Slider

Wooden Camera

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post

Visual Products

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Glidecam

FJS International, LLC

Tai Audio

Abel Cine

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

Technodolly

rebotnix Technologies