Behind the Scenes – Making Ivy’s Spear!

Making the book trailer was definitely a highlight for me, and I had as much fun building the props as I did imagining them into the story. There is something so fantastic about seeing bits of your imagination brought to life as physical objects. As a writer, you spend vast amounts of time in your own head, slowly putting ideas onto paper, that you have to learn to maintain your own momentum without much in the way of physical feedback or reward. It can be a tough gig.

I found that in filming the book trailer, I got to get my hands dirty a lot more, re-creating objects and scenes that more immediately show what had been swirling around in my brain for so long. Film is such an incredibly immersive and inclusive way of telling a story. You finally get that amazing “Look! Here’s that thing I’ve been telling you about!” moment that you don’t often get as a writer.

Some of the props – getting ready to film… Ivy’s spear, wall posters for her lab, Orrin’s name plate, Ivy’s amulet and the Homo floresiensis skull.
An obsidian spear point, about to be hafted onto the bamboo shaft and bound with wet leather strips.
The shaft handle, bound in leather and decorated with feathers.

Making Ivy’s spear and hide skirt were challenging, but oh so fun for me. I got to play cave-woman for a few days (and ouch, hand punching/ sewing through six layers of leather was hard on the fingers!). But, like any creative process, the end result was definitely worth it. These props lend an authenticity to Ivy’s story, that no store-bought costume could.
I filmed bits of the following clip quite while ago (back in December 2014!), in preparation for the shoot. It has taken me far too long to stitch it together (no pun intended) but, hoorah! I finally got organised and made it happen.

In this video, I used a knapped obsidian spear point with a hafted bamboo shaft to make Ivy’s spear. Strips of leather, feathers, paint and ash complete it. Overall, it took a day to get the spear right, with touch-ups afterwards, once the leather had dried enough to maintain tension at the hold point. This quick video shows my process.

I’ll write another post soon with some details on how I created Ivy’s hide skirt, so keep an eye out for that.

In the meantime, check out my blog for more info on HUMAN, the book trailer and behind-the-scenes updates!

Watch the finished book trailer for HUMAN below!