For a Master Class in Kinbaku
Filming "Wives of the Skies"
One of the types of collaboration I find most interesting is when film and Kinbaku are combined. Recently, writer/director Honey Lauren approached my friend and deshi Yzen about the possibility of our doing Kinbaku for her comedy short film project “Wives of the Skies.”
Yzen and Master "K" prep Maddison Bullock for a shot at the same time she gets made-up.
The session was held on a weekend afternoon at my dojo where Honey explained her ideas and Yzen and I explained some possibilities and explored safety and comfort issues with two of her stars, the lovely and talented Rachel Alig and Maddison Bullock, who was also a co-producer.
We determined to try to do Kinbaku ties that were a little “over the top” in order to enhance the humor of the script and to try to do only those that might actually have been around in the mid 60’s in Japanese magazines like Kitan Club. These included a classic ushirode (hands in front) shibari and a kikkou over hishi body harness. There was even a hopping-in-rope rehearsal!
Inspecting the ushirode tie from every angle. (Rachel Alig & Honey Lauren)
Maddison Bullock prepares to hop into the scene.
A touching conclusion. (Drew Brandon Jones & Rachel Alig)
Thanks to the talent of the director, the marvelous actors and the wonderful crew, the shoot was a delight to be a part of for Yzen and myself and, based upon what I saw in person and on the various set monitors during the filming, my impression is that “Wives of the Skies” will be a very entertaining and even moving short film “dramedy” whenever it sees the light of day.
Thanks to the cooperation of everyone, we approached the first day of filming with a certain amount of confidence but shoot days are always tough and chaotic and such was the case with “Wives of the Skies.” Tremendous pressure is put on the director and the crew to get the material they need.
I was very intrigued and even more excited when I read the excellent and tasteful script Honey wrote which tells the story of a pair of free-thinking 1960's stewardesses and their romantic complications. Complications that include a healthy dose of rope in their relationship, much to the consternation of a visiting bachelor dinner guest.
Rope rehearsal at the dojo. Left to right: S.M Scappa (producer), Master "K", Honey Lauren (writer/director).
The first step was scheduling a rehearsal session so that we could better understand Honey's requirements and the needs of her script.
This was especially tricky in this case because the production had elected to shoot in a vintage mid-century apartment which gave the scenes shot there a wonderful period feel but limited the working space. This meant that only a very small and dedicated crew would do much of the filming.
It's a crowded set. Cast members Drew Brandon Jones, Maddison Bullock & Rachel Alig.
Tying the knot! Don't all comedies end in a wedding?
(Rachel Alig & Drew Brandon Jones)
Fortunately, this core group of actors and technicians were immensely skillful and a great number of intricate scenes were completed over several busy days as the following on-set candid photographs amply demonstrate.