Well, usually we do good guys, but every once in a while you have to let the bad guys out to play (for artistic purposes of course!). With Halloween coming up, we decided to let our creative juices flow to the spooky side!
The most iconic bad guys in film and literary history always have a distinct look. From Darth Vader to Voldemort, dark, brooding and mysterious is a must!
Well, for our villains this month, we decided we would tackle the Nazgûl, the Ringwraiths, the dead-yet-undead kings bound, by their lust for power, to the Dark Lord Sauron from from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.
As bad guys go, they hit all the wickets. They are undeniably evil, make creepy noises, move mysteriously in the shadows, have cool weapons and mounts, and, most importantly, are garbed in all black.
Now, we have dabbled with Nazgûl before. In fact, when we did our outfit from Chambers’ The King In Yellow, we drew heavily from the Nazgûl look for our design. Just substituting yellow for black, of course. But the same flowing, hooded robes, wicked sword and kingly mystery were all present.
We used the heavy weight for the robes and the light weight for the masks/face coverings. The light weight was especially important for the faces, as it allowed the people wearing the robes to see and breathe! Unlike the real Nazgûl, they are still alive and don’t have a super sense of smell or a strange bond that allows them to walk in the wraith world!
The heavyweight black gave the nice sense of heavy grounding to the robes, and allowed them to have those deep folds. To help achieve the tattered effect, we recycled both the light and heavy scraps by sewing them onto the robes. We also added weathering highlights on certain areas of the robes to help increase that sense of depth!
Of course, these bad guys are not the type you want to run into in the woods – so hiding is always a good plan!
We found that we had to make a special “hat” for the Nazgûl to keep their hoods from falling in their eyes. But there is nothing coat hanger wire and duct tape can’t fix!
Apparently, we made the Nazgûl look so spooky that this Rohirrim scout felt like he had to ride for is life!
Actually what happened was Lucas, who is our animal trainer and mounted Nazgûl said, “Hey Zan! Why don’t you gallop across this field and I’ll chase you and do a running sword fight?” I mean, how could I turn that offer down?
Thankfully, our photographer Nick is both brave and spry to avoid the charge of two mounted warriors, neither of whom were looking where they were going!
Unfortunately, he ultimately was caught and had his kingdom taken buy the evil wraiths. But you can’t win them all!
Naturally, we could not resist snapping a bit of a silly shot as we were riding back from shoot location. Apparently Middle-Earth has much better roads than we expected!
Many thanks to Lucas Huff for providing the horses and riding all day with fabric over his eyes! Kudos as always to Nicolas Bruno for the amazing pictures and to Fabrics-Store for the superb black linen!