Friday, August 31, 2007

Patching 101

Since the only people who are going to be wearing The Patch are female, anybody reading this should not be in possession of a penis. You know, like on their... um... person. All men stop reading now.

Yeah. Right. Like that’s gonna happen.

Okay. You can keep reading. But we are all going to pretend you are not here. And if you get confused because you don't understand female anatomy, too bad.

Let’s start out with some of the basic things you’ll need to know about the patch...

Grooming:

Ever stuck a bandaid on your arm, then when you go to remove it...Yeee-owww??!! It’s stuck to the hair! Now you have to decide - remove it slowly - and hopefully minimize the pain, or rip it off fast and get it over with? This is not a decision you are going to want to make with your private parts. Trust me, I know this....

So you have to get rid of the hair. How you decide to do that is up to you. Shaving is great, but such a sensitive area may be prone to razor burn for some. Sicking an adhesive bandage on an area that is already irritated can be mighty uncomfortable! Personally, I prefer to wax - most salons now offer bikini waxing services, so it’s easy enough to find a place to have it done. What I like about waxing is that I can do it a few days (or even a week or two) before shooting and then not have to think about it again - skin stays smooth for about a month. Waxing isn’t perfect... yeah, it can smart - (ironically, almost exactly duplicating the unpleasant experience of the bandaid on the arm incident) it’s pricey (approximately $50) and it’s freaking embarrassing the first couple of times you do it.

There are a number of “styling” options to consider, as well, regardless of your method of hair removal. I’m going to give you the specifics on the two most common, the “Playboy” and “Brazilian”

  • PLAYBOY: Your panty line sides waxed into a "V" or straight line. Labia is waxed. "In the butt" waxed.
  • BRAZILIAN: The full removal of all bikini hair. "In the butt" waxed also. Sometimes a “landing strip” or “thumbprint” is left in front.

I generally go for the Playboy because it has a very natural, though well groomed look. (And I personally think the landing strip can make the hips looks wider than they actually are) For purposes of filming, I will often keep a bit more hair in the front than I do for...... um...... personal use. I’ve found that it helps hide the existence of the patch a bit more.

This is the brand and size that I’ve used most recently. I’ve found that the tapered ends make for a better fit, and the flexible fabric allows for a bit more mobility.


Placement:

The Patch, when placed properly, should not be seen. But where is that exactly? Everybody is different, so you’re gonna have to figure that out for yourself. Stand naked with you legs together and look in a mirror. That’s exactly how you should look with the patch on! Look down and identify the apex, place the patch just behind that. (It goes on lengthwise, not sideways) Practice (if you get the chance) before filming. Because trust me, on the day, you’re going to be nervous. And it’s not something that comes naturally. Sticking a bandaid on your genitals is not natural. But you are going to feel a whole lot better on the day if you’ve practiced at home a couple of times!

ON THE DAY

The Sticky Factor:

We’ve all learned this lesson before... Remember getting that nasty paper cut on your finger, smearing it liberally with antibacterial ointment and then unsuccessfully trying to stick a bandaid on it? Adhesive bandages stick best when applied to a “clean, dry, surface” so keep the lotion away from the kitty!

Prepping:

BTW-Since you’ll probably be doing all of this in a bathroom, might as well go for a precautionary pee before beginning the application. You’re also going to have to repeat this process every time you’re 10-100. Sigh...

Baby Wipes are plentiful on set (Make-up should have them and Wardrobe should as well) and are just about the most convenient way to freshen up on set. Clean the area well with a baby wipe and then, just to be sure, do it again. The baby wipes are very moist, so dry off with a paper towel when you’re ready to apply the patch.



Patching:

Hopefully, you’ve already figured out your personal placement of the patch, because you practiced at home. If not, well... you’re going to have to figure it out now, aren’t you? Re-read the above regarding placement.

I usually do this standing and then going into a deep plié in second position. Your basic sumo wrestler pose, if you prefer.
  1. Identify starting point for bandage.
  2. Peel off the paper covering the sticky part of the first half of the bandage.
  3. Press the sticky part of the bandage to the starting point... but just enough to let it hang there.
  4. Optional- (but I really recommend doing this!) pull the outer labial lips around the more sensitive parts and kind of.... tuck everything in... Does that make sense? That way the really sensitive portions of your anatomy are in the part of the bandage with no sticky stuff on it, and the portions with the sticky stuff on it are less sensitive.
  5. Smooth the bandage toward the back as you sink into a deep plié or squat.
  6. Remove the second half of the paper covering and continue smoothing the bandage toward the back and outward.
  7. Stand back up, and use you hands to keep pressing out any gaps in the bandage. You might also try to sort of mold it into a pleasant, Barbie doll, anatomical incorrectness.
The reason I do a deep squat or plié as I apply the bandage is so that I get full range of motion when I’m moving in the scene. But I was a ballet dancer for years and God knows I have a tendency to fling my legs about, so most girls aren’t going to care about range of motion as much as I do.

The Patch is not a chastity belt. If is was, your mother would have been slapping them on you before your first high school dance. The only thing the patch prevents is the camera from seeing your private parts, so you can concentrate on what’s important - your acting.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Patch


Oh sure. Everyone has heard of "The Patch" but nobody really knows what it is. Or how it's used. Or....why.

Today, I am going to give you the basics on The Patch.

There are lots of different reasons (some valid, some silly) for the patch, but it really comes down to this: The main purpose of the patch is to reassure your actors AND your crew that you are not making porn.

The patch basically makes a Barbie Doll out of your actress. As in rendering her anatomically incorrect, if you know what I mean.

There are a few different methods of patching:

  • If your film is only going to show topless nudity, the simplest way to patch is a flesh colored thong or g-string panty. This clearly covers up the entire genital area, allowing your actress full range of motion while giving the illusion of full nudity. Uhhhh....kinda. The straps or strings on the side will show. If you aren't planning on shooting below the waist, it's not a problem. Nude or flesh tone thongs are easy to find and come in a wide variety of shades to match most any skintone.
  • Another option, is to modify a thong/g-string by cutting off the sides and using toupee tape to adhere the fabric to the skin. Once again, this allows your actress to move freely, knowing that her pubic hair and genitals are completely covered, yet when viewed from the side, she appears fully nude.
  • The most difficult way to patch is for full frontal nudity. The goal is to have your actress appear nude from the side, back and front. This means that the patch can really only cover the genitals. While this may seem ideal from a filmmakers perspective, it can be a bit tricky for your actress and your wardrobe department!

I have two words for you: Adhesive Bandage (Yeah, I could have used that one well known brand, but they aren't giving me any money.)

Look for an Extra Large bandage - at least 2 inches by 4 inches. Also, look for an "island" design (sticky on all four edges, not just two). There are many different ones out there, fabric, plastic, latex (some people are allergic to latex), tan, clear, beige it really doesn't make a whole lot of difference for the most part. Waterproof seems to be a popular choice (though they still come unstuck at the merest drop of perspiration) The important thing isn't what it looks like, hopefully it won't be noticed at all.

Now, your basic 2" x 4" bandage is not going to completely cover your actresses genitals. But hopefully, it will allow her to be freer and more expressive while acting nude, because she knows you won't be showing those parts of her on film.

Coming Attractions:
  • Step by step instructions on how to properly apply The Patch (Hey-just print them up and hand 'em to your actress. How easy is that?!)
  • Patch etiquette.
  • Scheduling.
video

The Body Check



The Body Check

* The Body Check

* I hate, hate, hate the body check. But it is, I'm afraid, necessary. Too many actors (male and female) will SAY they have no problem with nudity but then balk on the day. Just as they will tell you they are experienced tennis players when they've really only had two lessons back in high school. They are so hungry for a job, they will say anything to get it. Chances are, if an actor is willing to strip down in a room full of people for an audition, they're cool with it. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to stand naked in front of 5 strangers? To stand there naked and be judged? Could you do it?

* Don't do the body check on the first round of auditions. Get yourself a good selection of actors for the second read, and then do the body check. NOTIFY your auditioning actors that there will be a body check - hopefully, they will be smart enough to wear things that come off quickly and don't leave unattractive markings on the body. Don't put the body check on tape.Turn the camera OFF. I know you want to have it on tape to review later. As an actor, I do not want my naked body just standing there in bad flourescent lighting to end up YouTube somehow. Would you?? Trust me when I say that putting your actors at ease right from the beginning will make life easier for everyone. It's probably worth asking them if they are comfortable with nudity while the camera is running though. Also, it's a really good idea to have both sexes represented there in the room. Once again, makes the actors feel safe and respected and encourages them to trust you. And I sure hope you know better than to ask anyone under the age of 18 to strip down - check ID first if you aren't sure.

* The purpose of the body check is not to find the most perfect body in the world and cast your actors based on that. Unless you are doing a classic T & A Bikini type movie, perfection isn't required. You're just making sure they will do what they say they will do, and avoiding any unpleasant surprises later - like massive tattoos (if they aren't appropriate for the character and will require makeup) or tan lines, or whatever.

* The Modified Body Check

* It's not always necessary to see your actors fully nude. If you really only plan on shooting them from the waist up, stripping down to underwear is fine. If you are making a movie with a strong T & A factor and hot bods are the priority, having them strip down to a bikini or bra and panties on the first audition is reasonable, I believe. Once again, let the actors or their agents know what will be required of them. Scheduling note: remember that allowing time while they take their clothes off and put them back on will eat up a huge amount of your day. Time is money, baby...




Please check out my website www.uniquemonique.com There's no nudity currently, but I'm working on it.