Last night I watched the remainder of the special edition of Underworld with the commentary. The special edition adds a few scenes that really don't make the movie any better, but the commentary is... amusing in spots. For instance, Kate Beckinsale wore a PVC catsuit which doesn't really work well with any kind of undergarments. Or body hair. Apparently one of the jobs on the set was cameltoe watch, which required constant supervision of the groinal area of Ms. Beckinsale, and if a shot had too prominent... well, the watcher would yell out "C-T". Apparently it was quite a popular job.
There were also apprently some difficulties with the costumes and the large amounts of water. You see, PVC doesn't breathe, it traps any water that gets in (or sweat) and holds it tight to your body. And they were shooting in eastern europe during a part of the year that was a little cold. At one point, the crew had to bury hot water bottles in the sand to keep the actors warm enough that they would stop shivering.
It's not a good movie. It is style over substance (did I mention Kate Beckinsale?), but it is really pretty in a one-note kind of way. And it has some teriffic learning experiences. For instance, if one of your lead actors is supposed to be a master swordsman, it makes a lot of sense to actually give him some training in stage combat with a sword rather than find out he's never done stage combat on the day that you're shooting it.
Speaking of swords, I did the first cast of a sword handle last night. Not a rousing success; I tried using silicone caulk mixed with concrete pigment and acrylic paint. I made a huge mess. The handle is acually formed properly, but it has a texture reminiscent of cheese curds squished together, the blade is off-center, and it smells awful. It also didn't stick to the aluminum so the handle slides off. And it's really rubbery.
The silicone caulk actually cures with moisture, and the concrete pigment is water-based. Unfortunately, they just did not mix well at all. I might try it again with just the acrylic paint, or I might try a siliconized acrylic. Barring any success with that, I may just have to resort to remolding the handle with silicone and casting it with urethane.
I have to get more silicone anyway. Tony added a new scene (which replaced my opening, which means I don't get to do my happy stunt work) that involves a rather elaborate knife being thrown and embedded in somebody's chest. Since we don't want to throw the actual knife and we don't really want to actually embed a knife in somebody's chest, prop knives are called for.
We start shooting in less than two weeks. Tony & Kristi are out of town. I'm supposed to be figuring out how to make large tent poles for a set piece (picture logs, not sticks), but I don't know how big they need to be yet (hey Tony-- you may have to live with what you get babe).
Whoo, it's gonna be tight.