I am making base boards / floor molding this afternoon. Specifically rubber institutional ones. Well, miniature ones, anyway.
But I am questioning the amount of tone and effort on this detail when I risk it not even making it in the shot and if it does not being lit enough to matter.
But this detail along with the recessed windows and multicolored stone (were they stone?) floors are the elements of my memory that speak institution.
While the floors are inspired from an older school where took art classes on a Saturday as a child, the mounding is reminiscent of my days volunteering at a hospital as a teen – I think. This memory surfaced when I realized electrical tape had the perfect texture for such a thing.
This particular photo I have in mind is based on a documentary photo I’ve researched. But it could be the desire to show the light on these floor boards that changes the entire shot.
We tend to make these inane choices sometimes. In university I based an entire short film on one shot. Back then we were all trying to fake that elusive dolly shot that made our films gave that high end slickness. I had found a way to attach a tripod to a rolling light stand and on one of the smooth floors of the film building it looked pretty good.
Only to discover that this one coveted shot did not work with the rest of them. Creative people come up against this a lot – we get particularly attached to an idea, a method, a well written line, an edited sequence, it doesn’t matter what. What matters is the attachment and then the realization – if we are lucky to to see the reality of it – for the need to sacrifice our love for the greater good.
We call this “killing our babies”.
The floor boards may or may not make it in. We’ll see.
The wood prototype was on the right track but the toe part of it stuck out to much and while I liked the way to slopes getting the bottom flush with the floor was going to be problem. What I didn’t try but thought about was using some air dry clay to help round out the gaps.
I opted not to try it because I knew it would be difficult getting the consistency I was looking for. And time. It’s easy to get lost in this stuff. I try to always keep the bigger picture in mind. Will it help sell the shot?
I decided on using thin Bristol board and building up the toe by cutting out thin strips and gluing them on. This caused a little bit of curling in the paper but I used tape to hold it down when I applied the electrical tape and then cut the ends.
I wanted the tape to “slope” between the two levels so I was conscious of working carefully to get this consistent. My earlier prototypes demonstrated it was tricky.
I’m pretty happy with how they’ve turned out so far. The toe not as I have actually seen it, but essence of the texture was what I was looking for.
Now to see how they photograph. But before that I have the windows to assemble and the floor still to do.