And so I spent the last Saturday of 2012 celebrating my love for Shakugan no Shana with help from a bunch of wonderful people. It was such a long and tiring shoot and we did so much amazingly fun stuffs it almost feels surreal
I shot my long awaited costume of Shana in the final season. It is a white gown with red and silverish lapel design around the chest area. Relatively simple it seems, but as usual, was not. I'll do a separate post about the costume if you guy are interested. Comment and let me know!
To be honest, I've never been a fan of Gown cosplays but Shana had so much character and action in it, I couldn't stop myself from liking it. Of course, being a Shana fan girl didn't helped either xD.
If you have been following TCC's Facebook page, you would have seen me drafting the gown 6 months ago. And the socks were bought 1 year ago in Taiwan xD I also made 2 version of the same gown. One full gown and one torn version. Mega thanks to Reiko for helping me to rip the edge of my skirt on the shoot itself xD *kisshu reiko*
Awesome crew of the day xD!
The day started around 3+ where we all met up, self introduced, ate a little and cabbed down to the location. Then with the help of Reiko and Sara, I changed into my first costume; the white gown in its complete state.
Our reference storyboard of the day.
After a walk up the longgggg flight of stairs , we rested a while and then started the shots of Shana in black hair. The pensive shots of her waiting and praying for something to happen to give her a chance to escape.
We also tried to simulate the scene where Seireiden was under attack and the rinne maids were leading Shana away to hide. Because we wanted some movements in the hair and gown , I tried my best to incorporate more movements into the running. But running with that pair of shoes was hard, it kept slipping T. T
Pardon my face but this was the only good shot out of our 50 over shots >.<
And then we did the scene with Shana on the ground. Where the castle was attacked and came down on them.
Overdid the DI on this ...
Mega thanks to my assistants of the day, Reiko and Sara for being so helpful and enthusiastic. Any cosplayers who have done shoots before would know how lovely it is to be pampered by helpers who are as awesome as them! It was great to have someone of the same gender help spray insect repellent on me, pull up my gown, flip my hair and dress xD
BTS photo taken by Reiko. Poor Brian had to get on his knees to get the take haha. Then again, I also had half my face on the floor for this xD
More BTS photo taken by Sara, who also couldn’t resist adding some captions LOL. Yes, the entire crew now calls me a ‘tyrant’ because I have too much inputs and requests =X
Then I changed my wig and we did the action shots! Yes! It's finally the burning hair blazing eyed hunter Shana!!
For the most part of the shoot in the day, we were doing these. So full of nonsense xD
Higher res here
This was the scene we were sort of referencing to, Season 3 episode 8. Shana finally freed from her bondage and determined to stop Yuji! It was such a simple yet kakoii moment that i couldn't resist cheering!
Especially after watching Shana go through the agony of getting kidnapped and losing her overwhelming power. It must have been so humbling to suddenly have your powers taken away and find yourself at the mercy of those you use to hunt.
50 over takes and only one shot made it X__X. We initially tried to do a static pose and have Sara and Reiko throw parts of my wig and skirt for me but the results didn’t turn out as we hoped. So we went back to the good old method of getting the cosplayer to twirl herself.
Then came the more exciting part of the shoot, working with fire. Truth be told, even though I am a huge Shana fan girl, shooting with real fire has never been on my list. But Brian proposed that idea and got pyro enthusiasts like Nutcase23 and Shane on board so I thought I'd just go with the flow. Fire sounds cool ( and scary) anyway!
We started with something simple first, Shana with her flaming sword. The initial agreement with Brian was that the boys would hold the sword and then we would try to photoshop me into the picture.
But I still ended up holding the fire sword that day LOL. The katana is a normal wooden prop loaded with flammable fluid.
Please be advised that this activity is DANGEROUS and please do not attempt to replicate it without safety precautions or experienced personnel around. We actually filmed some BTS videos of the flame shots and I'm dying to share it with you guys. But after some internal discussion with the crew, it is decided that for safety reasons, the videos will not be uploaded. Sorry >_<!
Anyway back to the shot.
So yes I was the one who held on to the flaming katana and it is hot. Not as hot as I thought it would be but fire being an uncontrollable element was still capable of turning its’ back on you when the wind changes direction. So for the first take , my hand had a brush with the flame when it was drawn back by the wind towards the hilt. Thank goodness orange flames are harmless if it's only a quick contact.
And as if working with real flames was not difficult enough, we also had to mix in movements of the hair and costume. Since every loading of the fire only last for a short while , it was an 'action' filled 10 seconds for everyone.
I would get into my position while Nutcase loads up the katana and then flame it up. As soon as the flame was up Brian would press his shutter non stop to capture every possible moment. Reiko who was in charge of throwing my wig and garbs would keep throwing them and Shane who was in charge of making the flames look "dynamic" would be fanning non- stop with all his might. As soon as the katana was loaded up, everyone was just so busy it was actually a very funny scene to behold xD
Then we did a couple more crazy flame shots. Each pushing the safety margin more than the previous oTL. Again I reinstate that fire is DANGEROUS, please do not attempt this without any safety precaution.
The flame wings were done with a real fire torch using the light painting technique. Again, can't show you guys the BTS Video. But to give you an idea of how it's done , I drew a comic.
Yes, within the 10 seconds (20 actually because each wing took 10secs) it looks like Brian’s just randomly waving the torch in mid air and nothing’s happening. Here is Brian the photographer's explanation on Facebook.
In season 3, Shana’s powers levelled up and she was able to manipulate her flames in various forms. This is Brian’s interpretation of that particular scene. The flames in this picture are mostly real but have been enhanced. The eye in the sky was done by compositing images from this shoot.
And the last flame photo of the day was me on the ground, surrounded by fire. Yes, I haven’t shown my mom any of the pictures least she ban me from cosplay xD This scene is a re-creating of the other one on top but with flames xD.
As I briefly mentioned above, In this particular arc Shana was kidnapped and had her powers taken away. She had no choice but to bide her time until she could have a chance at escaping. When the big chance finally came, she was injured by the fallen blocks and couldn’t move. This scene was all about Shana’s exasperation with the situation and her desperation to do something, anything!
Even though it was just a short scene but I felt her emotions so strongly! Yes, not everyone gets kidnapped by their lover and have their powers taken away. But how many times in life have we felt like we’re being caught in a situation we hate and no matter how hard we fight against it, we lose. And when you finally get the chance to do something to change the situation, that one chance you have been waiting for so long… you can’t move.
The scene we were trying to recreate.
Yes, that particular scene was a bitttt crazy but rest assure, we had all the safety precautions taken. As you can see from the comic above, I was half surrounded by the fire made by Nutcase while Shane was furiously fanning it on my left.
Even though it was a relatively dangerous scene to shoot I was thrilled to have the chance to be, just a teeny weeny bit closer to whatever Shana was in. Okay, granted she wasn’t really that close to the flames but it was fun to go beyond mere posing and edge towards ‘acting’. Am I making sense?
Hopefully I can share more photos from the shoot with you guys soon, in the mean time, leave me a comment and tell me what you think ^_^