"The Thirteenth Tale"

These are artist approved production stills supplied by Heyday Films, with kind permission for this portfolio use. Process and reference photos by Christine Allsopp.  The photo of Michael Jibson is reproduced with his kind permission.

Producers: David Heyman and Norma Heyman

"I have nothing but wonderful things to say about you so please feel free to have anyone contact me or Rosie in support.  Nobody has been in touch to date, but I am happy to speak to anyone who does."  All the best, David

Executive Producer: Rosie Alison

Director: James Kent

Cast: Vanessa Redgrave, Olivia Colman, Sophie Turner, Antonia Clarke, Madeleine Power, Emily Beecham, Stephen Macintosh, Tom Goodman Hill, Janet Amsden, Alexandra Roach, Robert Pugh and Lizzie Hopley.

Credit: Hair and Make-up Designer

This production was another visual feast to create.  The main challenge was to achieve a family of redheads from a cast with very different colours of hair.  It required I fly to New York to take Vanessa's head shape for a wig to be made.  I also spent a day at Daniel Galvin with Head Colourist,  Liz Edmonds (see photo's below).  She coloured Sophie's and Antonia's hair, 2 real hair, 2 lace fronted doubles wigs and yards of wefts I'd assembled so that we could get a good through line for the hair colour which was so essential to this piece.  It was a memorable and most enjoyable day.    

Vanessa Redgrave 

Vanessa's role as the writer required a wig.  I was sent to New York to take her shape and show her ideas James, Norma, Rosie and I had discussed.  The script stated her hair "was dyed a startling copper hue unknown in nature".  Although this suggests the hair could have been a much odder colour, I was concerned that if I went too bonkers with the colour the wig might not be approved - and as we only had one shot at it, I erred on the side of caution.  

Olivia Coleman

Olivia's role as the writer invited to meet Vida (Vanessa Redgrave) required a very simple, natural look.  Olivia's own hair was perfect as it was, but the curly 'fringe' is very lively so managing it for continuity was a detail that had to be managed.   

Madeleine Power

Madeleine and her twin were created by a wigged double and the usual vfx.  The wig was a real hair wig hired from Campbell Young which he kindly allowed us to dye (see below).  

Sophie Turner and Antonia Clarke

Sophie and Antonia played half-sisters.  Both required colour work, Sophie's remaining the same as her role for "Game of Thrones" and Antonia, normally a brunette, was coloured by Liz Edmonds at Daniel Galvin. Her natural colour was re-instated after we completed filming.

Janet Amsden

Janet's role required a subtle character arch of mental decline which was mostly suggested by her hair becoming more awry and a little distressing with make-up.  Compare the picture above and below.

Robert Pugh

Robert didn't require much, a little stubble to rough him up a bit - but interestingly - when his character was killed I offered to make a 'pool of blood' that wouldn't damage the limestone steps on the location - so that James Kent, the director could have his pool of blood seeping from Robert's head.  More detail below.

Tom Goodman Hill

Tom is naturally a red head and wouldn't you believe it, for the narrative, his natural hair colour hinted at a connection to the family which was not wanted - so we had to lose the redness.  Instead of dying it darker, it was sprayed blonder to tone down the red, which suited Tom better. 

Emily Beecham

Emily's role as the mother of the twins placed her in the 1940's.  As a free spirt her hair was of the period but let to be awry and soft as she was vulnerable.  Her make-up was subtly period, she was not a character who would wear much and old, healed 'self-harming' scars were required, which she allowed her brother to inflict upon her.

Janet Amsden with her hair awry when she's not so compos mentis.

Alexandra Roach played Hester Barrow. the new governess/teacher who becomes involved with Tom Goodman Hill the Doctor.  Her look was pretty straight forward, a bendy set to give some authentic period style and not too much polish.

Madeleine Power's ferrel child character required her hair to be treated to texturising and product and occasionally a wash of dirt and grime and grubby nails.

Madeleine Power with 'Twin'

This was an interesting blood effect that shows how the make-up department can help the location department when filming in heritage sites or locations with very strict rules about the use of blood. 

In the production meeting locations informed the director that he could not have blood on the step when this character falls.  James Kent really really wanted blood on the step. After a bit of a stony silence I offered up the suggestion that I make a 'pool of blood' out of gelatine and blood mixed and backed by cling film so that the blood colouring would never actually touch the limestone of the step.  Sadly it's not very visible, but it gave James the director what he wanted and honored the details of the contract with the location.

Michael Jibson seen here had shot himself a couple of days before and was found in the woods by his half sister played by Sophie Turner. Decomp had set in, a few critters had had a bite or two and I dampened the hair down help sell the whole look.  Old blood and brain matter was liberally distributed on the tree trunk behind but as it had gone dark it was just a suggestion that helped make the effect look like it belonged in the environment.  Michael was thrilled with the look which took about an hour and a half to complete.

Emily Beecham being led away to hospital.  The hair was down, but from a period hairstyle, so I did the hairstyle and then let it down, rather than just letting it be her own hair 'down' which would have looked contemporary.

This is the key which burns Vida's hand in the fire.  I took a mould of the prop key and from that made a mould to make repeats of silicone scars to put on Young Vida and Vanessa's hand.

This is a screen grab of the burn caused by picking up the hot key as it happened on the young Vida.

The late Liz Edmonds, Head Colourist at Daniel Galvin who dyed artists hair, wigs and wefts for me.  We had a lovely day working together. It took a full on whole day to see three artists, dye yards of weft and a couple of wigs.

Wigs and wefts all in a row as we worked the colour.

This is the selection of hair from which the hair for wefts etc was chosen.

It's funny how one draws in and sees what one needs when in a process.  While turning my car around to go into the office during prep I saw two girls in my village with exactly the hair I wanted to reference for the Twins and Young Vida's hair for picture. 

It's just great when you are reminded that synchronicity is alive and well in life.    

Reviews for "The Thirteenth Tale"

"The stand out Christmas drama of 2013"

The Independent

"The biggest treat of the Christmas season"

The Times

"Amazing... Extraordinary and terrifying"

The Guardian

"James Kent's direction is spine chillingly atmospheric...superb"

The Telegraph

"The Thirteenth Tale comes with an impeccable pedigree and an impressively creepy atmosphere....Redgrave extracts every last drop of drama"
The Sunday Times

“James Kent is a director experienced in delivering suspense (with‘Inside Men’ and ‘Marchlands’) and tight character drama (‘Margaret’, ‘The White Queen’). And sure enough, this formidable team delivers a melancholy but compelling tale of identity, loss and loneliness" Time Out

"A tour de force"

The Radio Times

"Christopher Hampton's masterful adaptation is at once spellbinding,

intelligent and artfully chilly. Two award-winning performances."

The Observer

"A magnificent and hypnotic Gothic drama"

The Mirror

"Two perfectly pitched performances...Thank you to everyone involved for a smashing late Christmas present. It unleashed great tidings
of comfort-watching and spooky joy".
The Guardian

“A haunting ghost story of suspense and secrets”

The Express

"Tis the season of quality drama and this holds the standard"The Mail on Sunday

“Christopher Hampton’s dialogue zinged...the whole thing was satisfyingly bizarre.”
The Daily Mail

“A house full of secrets, rumours of ghosts, insanity, murder and, most potent of all, creepy kids — Christopher Hampton’s adaptation of Diane Setterfield’s Gothic novel The Thirteenth Tale from 2006 recycled many of the dusty old tropes of 19th-century literature and 20th-centuryhorror films but did so with elegance, intelligence and a certain clammy originality.”

The Times

“Compelling lead performances by Olivia Colman and Vanessa Redgrave.”
Daily Mail Weekend

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