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Sucker Punch Behind The Scenes

Journal Entry: Sat Jul 7, 2012, 1:12 PM



Although I would love it if you watched the video, it shows no where near as much work as was put into this shoot. Some of this is embarrassing but I love reading about people's mistakes and how they overcame them. So here are mine.

I bought the costume last November, thinking I would be able to shoot the next week, edit easy peasy and be done in a month. Right.

I booked the first model several times over the course of 3 months but she flaked every time. I'm actually quite happy, as Laura turned out to be PERFECT, easy going, and an overall better model. Laura was kind enough to shoot with me twice, as I was hesitant about the poses I picked out. We kept some, threw out others and added new ones for the second time around.

For the WWI shot, I first tried to make the Notre Dame ruins by hand or find realistic models used for game tables. Turns out no one buys them anymore and thus I had no luck finding one. I attempted to make it out of sticks and foam… The results should make you happy that I am a photographer and not an engineer.



The best day of shooting was probably going to the Aviation museum to photograph WWI planes for stock. I'd never seen such old planes and I even got to sit in a 747!

Onto the train shot. Oh lawd.
This picture took SO much more work than it looks. Originally, I thought I would be able to finish this in a week. Turns out it took three weeks, plus tears and a loss of 6 pounds due to stress. Everything in this picture was hand made. No stock images were used.

The structure of the train was built by my boyfriend. I made a first version of it but it looked so bad I asked him if he could do it (thank god he's an engineer). I can't build anything without it looking floppy, bent, or like it's going to collapse any second (usually does). I couldn't even give his justice with my fail painting skills.




The robots were just wooden anatomy dolls painted silver and manipulated a little in photoshop to make them look more "roboty".

The flying bits of metal were made out of egg shell painted with silver. I first tried it with broken mirror bits, but the pieces were too flat and ended up looking like glass. I like the results of the egg shell as they are curved similar to a robot's head, arm, etc.



I edited the train image 18 times over the course of 50 hours until I was happy with the results.



Thank you all for being so patient. I would never be able to endure an 8 month ordeal without all of your support. Even more importantly, thank you to my family and friends who continue to help me regardless of how stressed or neurotic I become. I love you all.

Sucker Punch: Babydoll by michellemonique We all have Angels by michellemonique Sucker Punch: Babydoll by michellemonique Sucker Punch: Babydoll by michellemonique

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:iconshortforanyone:
shortforanyone Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
It's incredible to know how much of your work is done by hand, with your real sweat and tears involved. I'm even more impressed now that I've read this. Bravo!

Suckerpunch is one of my all-time favorite movies and to see how hard you've worked to bring some of the visuals to life here makes me so happy. You are extremely talented and I hope you are rewarded by the fruits of your labor!
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2015  Professional Photographer
Thank you! I'm glad you like it :hug:
Reply
:iconchie-sieka:
chie-sieka Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2015  Professional Interface Designer
so amazing *_*
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:iconstyuvee:
styuvee Featured By Owner Edited Nov 21, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
which lens did you use to click the model for the train pic?
crazy stuff btw :)
Reply
:iconphoto-by-l:
Photo-By-L Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012
WOW, Amazing :D
I want to do it like you, but I can't =w="
It's look too difficult for me - -*
Reply
:icond415izmyne:
d415izmyne Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2012
Not only are you beautiful but your extremely talented. I love your work. It really shows in your work how much you love what you do. You TRUELY are u great artist and an inspiration.
Reply
:iconfractalista:
fractalista Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
fantastic, love watching you work - you really know how bring the fantasy foward. And last but not least - you sure do work hard - very talented lady!
fractalista
Reply
:iconkesham87:
KeshaM87 Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012
Is it ok to use the name of the movie Sucker Punch and their character in your design. Is that copyright infringement, do we need permission to do this? Your work is Amazing!
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012  Professional Photographer
No. If that were true, cosplay would be illegal.
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:iconkesham87:
KeshaM87 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
o. ok, thanks. i was just curious, iwas not being funny, ijust like your work. ok. bye =)
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:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Professional Photographer
I know, thanks :) I was having a bad day sorry ;p
Reply
:iconkevin-welch:
Kevin-Welch Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2012
These are always so good to watch. Thanks.
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:iconsalient-photography:
Salient-Photography Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
That's a lot of effort into a series of photos but the end results are SOOOOOO worth it. You are way too talented to only be 20. I wish I hadn't waited so long in my life to figure out what I love to do. Then again, when I started out we hadn't even heard of a gigabyte. :) Also, I love that you started as not wanting to take mirror pics. That cracks me up. My nieces do that all the time and are always bored. Well, I guess you're a great example of what someone can do with that desire to not be bored or the same. :)
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Professional Photographer
Thanks! A lot of people are surprised at my age... but considering how many hours I've put into practicing the last 5 years it would add up the amount of time some people spend by the time they're 40, lol. and yes, I was mostly inspired by boredom :)

Well you know what they say... better late than never! A least you found something that really makes you happy!
Reply
:icondark-energon:
Dark-Energon Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Wow, just wow. The work and amount of time you put into these photo shoots is incredible and really reflects in your photos.

Believe it or not, you are a huge inspiration for me and I know I speak for all us aspiring photographers when I say we look up to you, admire your skill, and kind of use you as a role-model of what we all hope to achieve and become eventually.

Do you have any advice, tips or anything to tell us aspiring photographers? :meow:
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Professional Photographer
Thank you :hug: It almost feels surreal when people say they're inspired by me x.x I remember not too long ago when I was obsessing over other people's work and trying to become like them.

Hmm tips... honestly I think if you really want to improve you have to dedicate your life to your craft. Basically since I started, I practice and try to learn something new everyday. I always research photoshop or photography tips and make sure I master it until I move on to learning something else.
Reply
:iconbuggy09:
Buggy09 Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Love your work = ) What camera do you use btw?
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012  Professional Photographer
canon eos 40D
Reply
:iconlady-lolita:
Lady-Lolita Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012
amazing..... Just amazing
Reply
:iconangelus-v1:
angelus-v1 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Always like watching your behind the scenes stuff. They make the final product look even better.
Reply
:iconkiuslady:
KiusLady Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for sharing the ups and downs of this shoot!
I too enjoying reading/hearing/seeing (whatever) the obstacles an artist encounters while creating a piece and how it's overcome.
Keep up the great work!! :)
Reply
:icontiffanyd02:
tiffanyd02 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow, another incredible insight into another amazing project, you really had an incredible team there (Your model looks astonishingly like Babydoll (Emily Browning) and just brought the photos to life).

I can't wait to see what else you have cooked up :)
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Professional Photographer
thank you! everyone involved was great :D
Reply
:iconblackrabbitartisan:
BlackRabbitArtisan Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012
Great video and I think your photos are amazing! Your hard work paid off and your model is just gorgeous. Hooray!
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Professional Photographer
thanks!
Reply
:iconshanegallagher:
ShaneGallagher Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
An incredible effort....fantastic work. You trully are inspiring, even to someone of my age!
Reply
:iconclassicgamer76:
classicgamer76 Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012
The "Making Of" is great! It's always very interesting to see how you manage to give us such AMAZING shots!
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Professional Photographer
thanks! glad you like :)
Reply
:iconrcooper102:
rcooper102 Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012
As usual, michelle, your work is breathtaking. I think iv said it before but I would love to see more details on how you do your compositing, it is some of the best I have ever seen. If you were to write an ebook or create a series of video tutorials I think I speak for many when I say we would eagerly pay for it.
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Professional Photographer
I might someday.. I'd rather wait until I can make a really nice series and have a large enough following of people who want to buy it. Glad your interested though :)
Reply
:iconrcooper102:
rcooper102 Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012
Fair enough. :) Your ability to all the pieces and make them into a finished piece always boggles my mind. :)
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:iconbgzstudios:
bgzstudios Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Professional Photographer
Michelle - I really wish I could figure out how you do this.. Your skills are astounding.. I am a location Cosplay photographer and normally have to endure the absolute pain of trying to get locations/permits and permissions from cities and owners - which in short is just $$$$. I am seriously pulling my hair out the past month trying to figure out manipulations - it is something I am dieing to learn. The stuff I do know is all behind camera and that is usually when I end it - I know some ~intermediate~ photoshop. but that is where my skills stop.
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Professional Photographer
thank you :hug: I've never had to go through on location pains but I can only imagine how difficult it is...
PSDtuts.com used to have great tutorials that helped me (don't know about now) looks like everything is for "premium" users. There is also Advanced Photoshop magazine and random youtube tutorials.

I'll just give you a few tips if you don't know them already... To remove backgrounds, use the pen tool and refine your selection with "refine edge". Probably the most important aspect of blending is global lighting. You may have to dodge/burn a little on your model to make the lighting the same as the background. Also, use curves, color balance, selective color for global coloring.
Reply
:iconolearysfunphotos:
olearysfunphotos Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
The end product is totally Awesome! Way more work then I would know how to accomplish.
Reply
:iconmaki-chama:
maki-chama Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
you are truly amazing. very well done. looking forward to more of your works :)
Reply
:icongemgem2492:
gemgem2492 Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Student Artist
uwaaah...good job!!!! (^___^)d
Reply
:iconmrfahrenhe1t:
MrFahrenhe1t Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
A much better photographer, our world would look....interesting if we had architects like you
Eam
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Professional Photographer
hahaha
Reply
:iconspahli:
Spahli Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Your Video cannot be watched in germany :(
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Professional Photographer
I know :( it can't be viewed on mobile devices either. Something about copyrighted music? ugh I hate youtube sometimes.
Reply
:iconmaskade:
masKade Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is why you're one of my favourite artists. You are incredibly creative, inventive, skilled, patient, just brilliant! I'm so impressed by the amount of energy and effort you put into each of your projects and I love watching your behind-the-scenes videos and reading about what went on during the making-of because it gives me a glimpse inside your imagination. It's very inspiring :D
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Professional Photographer
Thank you so much :hug:
Reply
:iconmr-krebs:
mr-krebs Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2012  Professional General Artist
very cool
Reply
:iconsgtsareth:
SgtSareth Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2012
You make me wish I could be your apprentice. I'd love to be able to do work even half as good as yours.
Reply
:iconguitarluv:
GuitarLuv Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2012  Student General Artist
you have some really cool graphic skills for taking on all of that over that course of time. and the photos are simply awesome!
from one artist to another i definetly appreciate seeing the process and the outcome of this :)
Reply
:iconli-flower:
Li-flower Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2012
Thanks for sharing. I love seeing ordinary things become part of something extraordinary (would've never guessed the metal bits were egg shells). Keep up the good work.
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Professional Photographer
thanks :)
Reply
:iconangelkawaii:
AngelKawaii Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2012
this set came out amazing! I always get super excited when I see an update from you. :)
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Professional Photographer
thanks :D
Reply
:iconangelkawaii:
AngelKawaii Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012
you welcome. :)
Reply
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