Hugh had this to say about his latest shoot for Pennzoil Motor Oil.
Engine Wrestling: “One of the largest sets I’ve ever had created, this ‘sumo wrestling arena’ took up most of the studio we were working in. The paint had to be the exact yellow hue of the Pennzoil logo, and we used a lot of it! Two days of prep work went into the building and painting the set, with a solid day rigging the raised wrestling ring to support and balance the 8 cylinder truck engine. We found out the hard way that all construction sand comes wet, and there was no easy way to dry it in the time allotted. We tried industrial heaters and blowers, with poor results. Kitty litter was the solution and there was more of it than the paint!”
Dying Engine: “This was shot in three parts, and composited in post-production.
Part 1: El Mirage dry lake bed in California was photographed on 8×10 film and formed the desert setting which we matched lighting, lens length, and camera height for the other elements shot in the studio.
Part 2: The engine was rigged to stand alone without visible supports, and special effects smoke was pumped through the exhaust pipe during exposure.
Part 3: The African vulture was MASSIVE and we had his session around his natural eating schedule, and the wrangler used a taxidermy rabbit to coax his preying stance. Shot on 4×5 using Fuji RDP film. The images were later scanned, composited together, and colourized to match the Pennzoil yellow.”