Red Riding Hood/ Hellbeast Horror Photoshoot

A day in the life of a project maker is not always artistically glamorous. Sometimes it’s literally digging through your car to see what you can pull together because someone backed out while you were driving to set. Sometimes the pizza you got for the group slips in the car and you’re eating cheese off of the top of the cardboard box. That’s art. That was this day. Going backwards in order of operations, I did these two shoots on the same day because snow was coming in a non-GoT way (or very? I don’t know it well) so I wanted to get two done in a dope location- an abandoned farm near Downriver. An abandoned farm?? I should have done more here. But honestly, the shoots didn’t feature the barn’s creep factor as much as I wanted. Because I am a creep.

Red was a story I wanted to tell. I wanted to create a grimmer than Grimm style shoot with her where she’s eating the wolves instead of being eaten by them. No woodsman. She’s her own hero that sparks her darker side. She’s a gruesome little girl just trying to make her way in this world like the rest of us.

I had higher hopes for this shoot. My model BEGGED me to be a part of it and I was a total pushover for like, the first time in my professional life, which I regret. Lovely girl, good actress, but took this far too much like a top model contestant kicked off in the first few weeks. Sorry, girlfriend, the truth comes out. However, I would not want to redo this shoot as something bigger or different. I liked the horror idea of it all but it’d take some doing to get back into that story.

The next one I did was an actual Grimm story called Girl Without Hands and the abridged story goes as this: a strange man comes up to a farmer or miller or whichever version you prefer, and offers him a bunch of money for the mystery grab bag of what’s behind the farm shed. Thinking the man must mean the apple tree and some bullshit, he agrees. Jokes on him, though, as his daughter was back there and was just sold to the devil. But the girl was without sin so the devil could not get her across his Hell barrier. So he threatened her father to chop off her hands and he did it, but she who kept her hands clean kept weeping on her stubs which purified them so the devil still could not take her down. to Hell. What a loser.

Jeremy was an amazingly good sport. Keep in mind this is February in Michigan and he was in shorts and nothing else. I coated him in read and black, gave him claws and horns, added some blood and mystique and then he tried to steal a bitch. He was growling and screaming and really getting into it. The axe is just something that our videographer, Jon, had at his home.

The female lead, however, canceled DAY OF, as in via text message as Jeremy and I were meeting up at school to hit the road for the workload ahead that was this day. And it wasn’t even a good excuse or an honest one. SO I had to step in and did not love it because her look was what I was going for with light hair and a costume sized to fit her, not myself, so I rolled with it as best as I could. Fuck it, just do it live, right? If theatre and Improv have taught me anything it’s how to just keep going with the flow.

All in all I had a lot of fun this day, and There used to be a blooper reel at Jon;s that had shots of all of us hosing Jeremy off in the literal 26* later afternoon February sun. Polar plunged the devil.

We did enjoy ourselves because ultimately, we were building something fun together with the goal of freaking people out in mind. Honestly, if you don’t aim make someone feel something with your art, what’s the point?

Detroiter, playwright, hopeful nerd. Aoibhneastravels.com