So, yesterday. One of my author buddies, Suneé le Roux, posted the book trailer for her upcoming novel, Myth Hunter, on Facebook. Seeing the video reminded me that I started working on a book trailer for A Trial of Sparks & Kindling aaaaaages ago, and promptly forgot about it.
Here’s a disclaimer for you. This post contains graphic images of paint and foodstuff made to look like blood. It’s not blood, but it’s red. Also, some medical-looking stuff.
Okay. Back in the day, I downloaded a bunch of stock videos from Pixabay and Pexels, but I wanted to also include some video footage of my own. This is a book about physicians, right? So I need some surgery-related footage. But not the sleek, modern kind you find readily online. I needed it to look more rustic, and… Well, I can’t say more without spoiling stuff.
Now, back in my special effects makeup days, I learned how to make a pretty realistic-looking fake blood. Problem is, I didn’t need the actual blood to look realistic this time. I needed realistic-looking stains.
I started by mixing acrylic paints, but the result was never what I wanted it to be. My acrylic supply is fairly limited these days. Then, I went the edible fake blood route, and used a bunch of things from the kitchen. The result looked uber realistic, but the stains were too yellow (tomato paste will do that).
Finally, I realised I was being an idiot. What is completely water-soluble, comes in a great variety of colours (and I have an abundance of in my house) and is supposed to bleed. Ha, a pun! Watercolours, of course.
So, I mixed up alizarin crimson, burnt umber, vermillion, and yellow ochre. Et voila! The perfect stain. I painted it onto a slightly damp washcloth, then dried it with the hairdryer once I was happy so the stain wouldn’t spread more.
Next, I googled old-timey medical equipment. It’s a lockdown, and I don’t exactly have surgical equipment lying around the house, but I do have this stainless steel nail kit. 🙂 It’s not totally right, but heck, it’s the aesthetic that counts.
Finally, I needed medicines. I bought a set of glass bottles with cork stoppers from the Dollar store forever ago, and have used them as props for my Instagram many times. They were perfect for this shoot. Then, I found some old organic travel sickness pills for kids (they’ve expired and don’t work anyway) and added them to one of the bottles. To the other two, I added powdered sugar and water with food colouring. The water doesn’t have the same viscosity as oil-based medicine, but I didn’t have a clear oil available for this.
I’m pretty happy with how the video turned out, too (all of this for like 3 seconds of footage!!) but you’ll have to wait and see.
Medical people, please don’t judge my nail equipment. 😛
I have a book to write.