Sister To A Star is a thriller set in the glamorous world of Hollywood movie-making. It takes us behind the cameras – to places where normally only stars and the film crew get to go. We get to see the secret world of the film studio, diving into A-lister dressing rooms, Hair & Make Up, Costume and fabulous film sets. And we meet a whole film crew of characters: there’s the ostentatious film director, animal trainers, harried assistants, prop designers, clapper loaders and camera operators. Best of all though, we get an insight into all the tricks of movie-making. Here are some of my favourites:
1. Inedible food
Never eat left over film set food because it’s probably made of something disgusting. Think that’s vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce? Nope, it’s most likely cream-coloured balls of resin covered in gravy.
2. Faked sound effects
The sound effects in action movies are rarely made by recording the action. Foley artists work with all sorts of odd objects to create the sounds they need. Need the sound of bats flying? Try opening and closing an umbrella. How about the sound of a punch? Try cracking a whip. And for the sound of breaking bones? Try cracking lightly frozen stalks of gem lettuce.
3. Using twin actors
Young children are often played by twins in movies. This is because strict film rules mean a single child can only be on set for limited hours a day. So twins means twice the number of shooting hours. No wonder the director in Sister To A Star is so over-the-moon to discover his new child star, Tallulah, has a twin sister, Evie.
4. Fake flying
Ever wondered how actors fly through the air in superhero movies? They use what’s known as a tuning fork rig – two prongs attached to the performers body. They are operated by crew in green suits who are erased later in post-production. They were used to great effect in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.
5. Driving without driving
How do actors manage to focus on their lines in the middle of a car chase scene? It’s all with the help of a biscuit rig. This is a vehicle you can put other vehicles on. Simply add a stunt driver to the biscuit rig to actually drive whilst the actor merrily wobbles the fake vehicles’ steering wheel and looks heroic.
Sister To A Star by Eloise Smith is available at Amazon, Waterstones, WH Smith and The Book Depository. Happy reading! Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour for more Sister To A Star content (information can be found on the tour banner below).