Fitting the Steam Engine

There was a measure of pride that Professor Hammond couldn't describe. Here he was, with Lady Susan Higgins at his side, overseeing the restoration of the steam engine. Much work still needed to be done, even as the flash powder went off. The ribbon cutting was perfunctory - more about keeping up appearances than documenting history. Relocating to this facility meant a costly delay, though not as costly as being stopped entirely. Hammond believed that, although not the best of possible locations, the new facilities had certain other advantages that made up for the inconvenience of moving 5 years of research and and equipment. "Surely," he thought, "upon my success I shall receive a knighthood."

Director's Notes

"All right, Mr. DeMille, We're Ready for Our Close-Up."

This shot was the 'face that launched a thousand ships,' so to speak. We envisioned using this dilapidated steam compressor as a major piece for the story. We thought of having our main characters standing proudly in front of it and having an array of other supporting characters behind, working on the beast. We'd envisioned this as a publicity shot or a postcard, illustrating the beauty and power of what steampunk is while simultaneously setting up our story.

~ Scott


In this image, we wanted to use the ambient light and the strobes to help blend the cast into the environmental HDR shots. The primary ambient light source was a row of windows behind the characters, which acted as reasonable hair and edge lighting. A beauty dish provided the main light for Thadd and Shawn. Two reflective umbrellas helped to amplify the edge lighting effect of the widows. The umbrellas were positioned at 45 degree angles left and right of the camera, and slightly behind the models. Shawn and Thadd were shot together and then stepped out of the frame. The lighting for the remainder of the cast was extremely simple: A single reflective umbrella from the right, pointed down at a 45 degree angle. Each cast member was shot separately, so we moved the umbrella around to light each one for each shot.

~ Richard