Pennywise project – Behind the scenes

22. November 2017

As a big fan of horror stories I could not miss a new adaptation of Stephen King’s It. I loved Tim Curry’s version and I was pretty curious how remake will end. Luckily it was better than expected. So I decided to do my own version of Pennywise – dancing clown. I also recently recieved request from deviantart group CRPhotography to share a bit of background behind it.


Finding the model/location/mua/etc.

Pennywise was selfportrait since the very begining. I could hardly test model’s mimics without seeing them live or on camera. I knew my eyebrows were perfect for this purpose. I also liked the idea of transforming myself into such slimy creature. At one side Pennywise is hypnotizing and on other side horrifying creation. It was amazingly played in both movies. I still think that Tim Curry was a better Pennywise than Bill Skarsgård. But whole movie production was so amazing in new It movie. We can probably agree on fact, that new version is a bit sexier for cosplay than the old one. As a Stephen King’s fan I can hardly say scenario sucks, I loved the book, loved old It adaptation and loved the new one as well.

I did all makeup myself. One evening I decided to try a hairstyle for this shot and ended up with great result so I decided to do a photoshoot right away in my home studio. I am very glad noone rang on my doorbell because imagine me saying hello to someone with this styling, ha! I took the movie as a reference and adjusted it a bit.

I also used only the cheap props, I ordered black ballons and nail tips from ebay, bought some rhinestones in 0,99 cent shop, I used childern’s pom pom’s for collar. Headpiece was cheap stuff from China as well. I did not have the need to use the most expensive tools. Sometimes cheap shit works good too. Now I am ordering tons of stuff from ebay for my another project. Unicorn calendar for 2019. Back then I did a Zodiac calendar with my good friend/hair dresser Michaela Valentova which was super popular. I wanted to do something together again. Against all bad stuff that happened in past few months I wanted to start something ultra colorful and fun. Plus I know how she loves everything sparkly, shiny, glossy and unicorn like. We will use the cheap props only in this project. Similar as we did in Zodiac calendar. I think there were props in 200$ value only. She dyed her hair like 10 times different color in that budget. It should be proof that production is not automatically expensive if you have a good idea and creative mind.


Coming up with the idea

Right away I saw there is this new movie coming up I knew I have to do this. It was immediate association to the movie poster. I had no doubt it’s perfect cosplay for me. I also think of starting another ‘cosplay’ project of doing heroes and villains. We are in a phase of preparations but can’t wait to become another evil character. Or the good one. But someone said, evil is more sexy than good guys, do you agree?


What equipment was used during the shoot

I used the most simple setup ever, there was no need of using multiple strobes because I wanted plain close up cut. So here is my setup

Light – my 1000W Priolite strobe + beauty dish
Camera – Canon 5D Mark III + 24-70/f 2.8 lens, Vanguard tripod with 3D head

As you see, nothing dramatic, very easy, photoshoot itself took like 10-15 mins to get the right image. But hair took like 3 hours and makeup aproximately hour and half.

The post-processing details (software, what was done, etc.)

An image speaks for thousand words they say, so I recorded whole postproces and shrinked it into few minutes. You can also download the PSD file to sneak into my layers and OCD mind

I used LR for proofing and photoshop for whole postproduction process. I work on my Wacom tablet – Cintiq 27 QHD Touch and love it to death :)

Download PSD zip file here

Any challenges/difficulties that came up

It was fun to do the makeup, I found some tutorials on masking out eyebrows with non toxic glue stick. Well, it did not went as nice as in tutorials. My original eyebrow wasn’t hidden as well as I wanted it to so I had way more work with retouching it. It was pain to cover it the way I could say I don’t mind how it looks like. I have the new experience with removing glue out of my face. Do not wipe it over your eye :-D. I felt so stupid but I was so tired after all.

Here you can see my hair and makeup before the photoshoot. Took me 4 days to wash and brush the hair to normal state. I have a curly hair like this but I hate wearing it since it’s impossible to brush it when you use a hair spray. That’s a pure suffering :)

I would like to encourage anyone to play with ideas, there are many possibilities in every single thing. Perhaps you will find out your best prop ever is fork, pencil, napkin, whatever. It’s you who sees the potential in every object. Remember being a child? How even pillows and bed sheet could turn into bunker? That’s same :)

Question gist provided by lovely Nina aka Mrs-Durden, thank you!

Lucie Kout

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