Creating the book trailer for HUMAN, was an incredible project to be involved with.
The trailer was shot on two separate locations over two days, first at the University of Melbourne, in the Physics Department and gardens, and then also in the stunning Sherbrooke Forest National Park in Dandenong, Melbourne. Both days were long and inspiring as the creative and technical team pulled together some unforgettable moments to bring the HUMAN story to life. Under the direction of independent film-maker Clayton Smith, the essentials of the story were shaped into a cinematic trailer that shows what a rich and powerful journey Ivy Carter takes in HUMAN.
For more on this amazing experience, read my full blog post here: THE MAKING OF THE HUMAN BOOK TRAILER
This took me a few days and wore my fingers down - giving me a great appreciation for the efforts of prehistoric leather-workers. I cheated and used a metal hammer and upholstery needles to sew the overlapping layers of leather together with thin strips of leather. I wanted the finished skirt to look as authentic as possible and tried to keep my sewing skills rustic - no problem there. The overall finish was a multilayered hide skirt that wraps around the waist a couple of times before threading through the front layer to tie at the back.
Ivy's hide skirt, ready to run through the forest in...
This photo was taken at the end of day two shooting in the rainforest. Jasmine, our actress playing Ivy Carter, was phenomenal and put up with the cold Melbourne weather, mosquitoes and hazards in the forest as she ran and threw spears through the forest.
Clayton directing Jasmine on the cello, as cinematographer Fil gets ready to film and Rachel stands by for hair and makeup adjustments. Filmed in a gorgeous staff theatre at The University of Melbourne.
The beautiful University of Melbourne where day one of the trailer was filmed. We filmed in the gardens and main court, as well in various offices and a laboratory in the physics department, with permission and kind help from the administration and physics staff.
If you get a chance to walk around the University of Melbourne do take it. The old sandstone buildings are stunning and atmospheric, this beautiful clock tower captured me. The gardens are lovely and the whole feel of the institution is enlightening.
This newspaper clipping was made as a prop for the trailer, you'll notice it on Orrin's computer screen as a scrolling web page, as well as a printed sheet. Violent Riots feature in the novel HUMAN as a result of one species of human being kept as subordinated to another. A civil right war begins and our character Orrin is left to unravel where everything went wrong in humanity's history..
On Ivy's laboratory wall in the archaeology department, you'll find the hominid evolutionary tree reconstructed in images. Do you see yourself in the list?
When Ivy Carter is adopted into the Homo floresiensis tribe, she is eventually invited to leave her handprint on their wall of ancestors. This later becomes an important clue for Orrin to unravel as he searches for her through prehistory.
Clayton, Filip and Sonja scoping out camera angles before the cave shoot (it's cold!)
The cloistered sandstone walkways of the The University of Melbourne feature heavily in Ivy's university life in the novels..
Ivy's hide skirt, laid out and ready to hand stitch with leather and an awl.
The finished handle of Ivy's spear. Leatherbound and perfectly balanced. I used a thin bamboo stalk for the spear itself and various widths of leather strip for the handle and bindings, shrunk to tighten for a strong grip. Feathers to decorate and a knapped obsidian arrow-head. It was actually quite sharp, strong and great fun to throw!
The hafted obsidian point of Ivy's spear. Ready to strike.
Lost in a prehistoric cave in the jungle of Flores. Last seen 50,000 years ago. Have you seen Ivy's amulet?
Ivy's messy desk in the Archaeology Department of The University of Melbourne. Note some of her treasures that feature in the novel and book trailer: Skulls of both Homo sapiens and Homo floresiensis (in wooden box - you'll see Ivy studying this in the trailer), a few magnificent trilobite and ammonite fossils and geological samples, there are artifacts, research papers and a photo of Liang Bua cave, Ivy's palm oil rally leaflets and her beloved journal as well as many other little Easter Eggs. The picture frame on Ivy's desk is empty, as the image of Ivy and Kyah was created and added in during post-production.
Filming Ivy at her microscope. Clayton directing (at back), cinematographer Filip with the camera and Alex recording sound with the microphone.
Some of the props, ready for filming the HUMAN cinematic book trailer
This incredible creation is the work of Odd Studios. Odd Studio is an Oscar, Bafta and multi award winning company at the forefront of prosthetic make up, creature effects, animatronic characters, special effects, props and models.
They created a model of a Homo floresiensis woman based on the skull found in Liang Bua cave. The skull was affectionately called Flo.
In our story, Floni, is a woman of the Homo floresiensis tribe that befriends Ivy and plays a part in her story and the fate of her tribe.
The excavation pits in Liang Bua Cave from Ivy's research notes...
A rally is brewing at the university against Palm Oil Deforestation - and the keynote speaker is...
Snippets of Ivy's life in prehistoric Flores...
Jasmine looking fierce in the forest, ready to fight back as our heroine, Ivy Carter.
The book trailer was filmed in the beautiful Sherbrooke Forest - Dandenong Ranges.
Rob and Jasmine chatting between takes at the University of Melbourne.
A picture from Ivy's archaeology lab <3
Filming at hand print rock.
Jasmine looking fierce.