Black Swamp Village – making of the video

The Speakeasies Swing Band from Greece just came out with a fabulous new music. Not only is there lindy hop, but there are zombies! Take a look!

Oh yeah, and Kevin and I are in it as well. 😀

I wasn’t really sure what filming a music video would be like, which meant I was able to walk in with no expectations of “normal”. I think I romanticized what the process was going to be like – and perhaps like most things, the end product is fabulous – but the creating process is time and energy intensive. Regardless of the time commitment, I had a blast. Here are some picture Kevin and I took during the three day we spent on the Speakeasies “Black Swamp” music video.

The Back Story


Kevin and I were supposed to leave Rome at 9am which meant we caught our shuttle around 6:30am. We arrive exhausted to the airport, only to find out our flight had been rescheduled for 9PM. Fucking excellent. The only thing we could think to do was head to the Hilton down the street and see how much money it was going to cost us to nap. Much to our good fortune, I am apparently a Gold Member of the Hilton Honors which allowed us to stay on the executive floor, have free internet for one computer, and access to food in the lounge. So not all bad. We nap most of the day, check out at 6pm, fly to Greece, and arrive at Alex’s house around 2am (instead of 2pm). Luckily (insert sarcasm here), we’ll get to sleep for 4 hours before the video shoot. Yeah! Long of the short of it is: we are exhausted.


It’s still dark out when we leave the house around 6am to drive up into the woods. Even though we are fully clothed, we are still cold. Luckily we’re excited to see what the set is going to look like and that makes everything better. Within moments of our arrival, I have a plastic bag placed around my neck and my makeup is being done by a professional. As the sun rises, my inner zombie awakens (see photos). Kevin snaps pictures of the morning sun warming the sky aaaaaand Scary Jo.

Kevin is first up to film. He wanders around at various tempos, takes a knee by the grave, and does more walking. When I’m ready, I sit on a rock in a cape-thing and hold out my hand. You can see in one of the pictures there are lots of people sitting around me making sure my hand “emotes properly” and to check my hair and makeup. 🙂 Finally, we film the ending where I pull back my hood to reveal Scary Jo!

That’s a wrap (at least for Kevin and me)! It’s about 10:30am and we’re done for the day. Alex takes us to eat crepes and we talk about what direction we’d like to go with the dancing and the who/what/where of choreography.


Kevin and I head to the Lindy Hop Greece dance studio to put together choreography for the slow section. After about two hours, we have something we’re happy with. We then move to the group choreography section for the zombies. We thought it would be fun to do a Michael Jackson tribute and to keep it swingin’, so we threw something together, showed it to Alex and Christina, and they liked it! In total, I think we spent about 3.5 hours on choreo.

After rehearsal, I needed to go shopping and find something to wear for the fast section. I didn’t really have anything I thought would read well on video, so I headed to Zara to try my luck. I found a white polkadot shirt with a peter pan collar and a black skirt with a nice amount of flair 😀 Perfect.

Before I went to bed that night, I put my hair in pin curls in hopes that my hair would have some much needed body to it (see photo).


Filming Day! We arrive at Block 33 around 10am and immediately start on hair and makeup. Even though the place was cold, I was charmed by the exposed brick, abandoned-factory sort of look. Kevin helped with set up as a transformed from “blah” to “yeah” (see pictures) and then we were first up to film. While all the dancers and crew looked on, we did 7 takes on the slow. We never hit it perfectly in any one of the takes, but we were close. Then we filmed closeups of our faces as we walked away from each other. At this point, we were hoping that all of the Zombie Dancers were going to be in full makeup, but mostly people had watched Kevin and me slow dance. Hahah…..that’s amusing to me.

As more zombies are created, I help run through group choreography  with the “humans.” People continued rotating in and out until most knew how to “dance-support” Kevin and me during the flash back sequence. I change and redo my hair, and then did what I could to keep warm. At this point, it’s probably close to 2pm.

One of the fun/difficult things about shooting was the fog machine. Sometimes there was too much and sometimes the fog would dissipate too quickly. Regardless, it was awesome to work with and I think I’d love to have one for the house :p Something else that was difficult was keeping warm and keeping the energy up. The entire experience was exciting, but filming days are long days. What also elongated the day was that Kevin and I don’t speak Greek, so almost everything needed to be translated. We finally wrap up around 10pm that evening.

Coolest part: We talked to the director and crew and explained to them the importance of syncing the dancing to the music and they were totally receptive to it! Now, you might say “Well, yes, of course. Why wouldn’t you do that?” but if you look at other videos with dancing in them, you can find examples where the dancing is in rhythm, but not on beat. Seriously, it happens. So, that being said, it was freaking fantastic that we were able to tell the crew what takes we liked best, had opportunities to look at our lines and make some adjustments, and that they were receptive to our feedback. Woohoo!!

All in all, it was a fabulous experience and I would love to do another one. The days are long, and I can only imagine what it must have been like for the band and crew who had considerably more work than I did. So to all the members of the Speakeasies Swing Band, the crew, and especially to Lindy Hop Greece, thank you from the bottom of our heart for having us.

Hair Tutorial – Day 10 – Hair and Makeup

This girl is cute-as-a-button! I presume the voice on the video is hers, but for me, it doesn’t connect to her face. I like that this video has a makeup tutorial attached to it, the hair portion uses a bandanna, and the whole thing is relatively quick.

Did you see when her boyfriend came in to give her a kiss? How cute!!!

I think this is a keeper for me. How about you? Easy enough?

Vintage Makeup Tutorial

I thought this was very charming. Enjoy!

1940’s Makeup Film – Face contouring / Lipstick and Hairlines
Archive Tutorial Film presented by Miss Ratherly Stern.
The ideal facial contour is supposed to be the oval.
But some of us have round faces,square faces or long faces.
What can we do to make our faces appear more oval ?

1.Round Faces:
Don’t wear too high a neck line. It shortens the neck and increases the effect of roundness!
Hair well off the forehead and flat against the temple !
Thin lipsticks, correctly applied to follow the natural mouthline !
A V neck completes the picture and gives the impression of a little more neck length
to give the impression of an oval face!

2.Square Faces:
Keep away from haircuts that hang in vertical lines near the side of the face and jawline in.This over emphasizes the squareness of the jaw.Avoid straight horizontal lines near the face – like thin lips / round or high horizontal necks.
Fill out the lower lip with your lipstick.
Hair should fall in curves around the jawline.
Wear a V neck line to pull the attention down from jaw.
Pure logic when you think about it.

3.The Long / Narrow Face.
Don’t wear V necks – This adds to the impression of length.
Avoid Piled up high hair on top of head as this also adds to the length of the face.
Hair should be off the top if the head and fluffed out at the sides to give the thin face added width.Finally a high neck line or choke distracts from the long neck ! Voila !
copyright-April2010 Glamourdaze

A wonderful vintage makeup tutorial from the 1940’s.
Enjoy !
Courtesy of the Prelinger Archive!

Alice in Wonderland Links

I had no idea that Alice in Wonderland was going to be such a phenomenon. Over the last week, I’ve seen so many AiW inspired articles, photo shoots, jewelry lines, merchandise and blog posts. Here are some of my favorites:


Hot Topic

Sue Wong for Walt Disney Signature will feature pieces influenced by key story characters and locations, including Alice, the Red Queen, the White Queen, the White Rabbit and the talking flower garden. The Alice In Wonderland-inspired collection will showcase unique details inspired by the film, such as Victorian antique lace and vibrant details, while offering Sue Wong’s signature style: romance, femininity and exquisite hand-craftsmanship. Ranging from $329 to $609, the Sue Wong for Walt Disney Signature collection will be available in fine department stores such as Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom’s, Lord and Taylor and Macy’s, as well as on View Collection Here.


Tom Binns for Disney
Tom Binns – statement pieces

Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney Alice in Wonderland bracelet and necklace jewelry

Swarovski is launching an all new collection of jewelry pieces that will take consumers inside the world of “Underland” to commune with the unexpectedly mad and caring characters. Capturing the spirit of each character in the film, the line features a host of vintage and gothic details inspired by the outlandish personalities found down the rabbit hole, and demonstrates the attention to detail in products that are the result of the long collaboration between Disney and Swarovski. The line features 17 pieces including pendants, necklaces, rings and earrings inspired by the Red Queen, the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit as well as by the film’s beautiful settings including the talking flower garden and by other Alice icons such as teapots, cupcakes and keys.  Ranging from $80 – $350, the line will be available at select department stores, at Swarovski retail stores and online at, with select pieces at


Urban Decay
Alice in Wonderland Book Of Shadows

Paul & Joe


opi alice in wonderland collection 264x300 OPI Alice In Wonderland Collection Swatches & Review

Urban Decay has designed a limited-edition Alice In Wonderland-inspired Book of Shadows. The book of 16 gorgeous eye shadow shades was inspired by Alice’s whimsical and colorful adventure – a “curiouser and curiouser” hike through twisted vines and skyscraping toadstools. The palette opens to a playful pop-up scene of Alice and her journey through the mushroom forest. The Alice Book of Shadows offers 16 best-selling eye shadows, as well as two travel sizes of 24/7 Eye Pencils and one Eyeshadow Primer Potion. DCP and Urban Decay worked together to develop names for the eye shadows reflective of the many topsy-turvy people and things in Underland: Underland, Alice, Oraculum, Queen, Chessur, White Rabbit, Wonderland, Curiouser, Muchness, Mushroom, Midnight Tea Party, Vorpal, Absolem, Drink Me, Eat Me, Mad Hatter, Jabberwocky. It’s available for $52 at Sephora, ULTA and Macy’s or online at,,, and

OPI will debut four limited-edition Nail Lacquer shades inspired by Alice in Wonderland. The fantastical shades include: “Absolutely Alice” – an absolutely amazing blue glitter; “Thanks So Muchness!” – a “much-have” red shimmer; “Off with Her Red!” – a glowering, empowering hot red; and “Mad as a Hatter” – a madly marvelous black-multi glitter. The spectacular colors are featured in a beautiful movie-themed display.  The Alice in Wonderland-inspired Nail Lacquers by OPI are available at professional salons, including Beauty Brands, Beauty First, Chatters, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Pure Beauty, Regis, Trade Secret, and Ulta for $8.50 suggested retail per Nail Lacquer.

Fashion Spread

Style Amor

Annie Lebowitz for Vogue December 2003alice in wonderland by annie leibovitz 1 Alice In Wonderland by Annie Leibovitz

Fan Sites

Alice 2010 Blog

Fashion of the 1920’s

1920’s makeup was known for a simple approach and high drama result. Lines were solid and the makeup was meant to look anything but natural. The natural look had been so important during the Victorian and Edwardian ages that, by the 1920’s, women wanted something different.

It’s important to remember that the 1920’s had a different kind of makeup than what we use now. Beauty inventions, such as mascara in a tube with a brush, had not been created yet. So try to substitute the best you can with what you can get.

Women went with a pale face in the 1920’s, often using a white or cream base. The base could be a cream or a powder, depending on the exact woman. They created a plain, light palette to apply further makeup on.

1920’s makeup for the eyes was dark and smoky. Women often wore charcoal or grey eye shadow, and only wore the shadow on the lower lid. A thin line of black eyeliner was traced around the eyes, then often smudged at the ends. Mascara, not yet available in its easy present form, existed as a wax that you applied with a stick. So lashes were dark, but not heavily made up.

Eyebrows in the 1920’s were worn high, thin and sloping. They didn’t arch, but looked more like a half circle. Eyebrows were worn long, often ending at the edge of the eye. The brow was colored dark with a pencil or wax to really stand out.

Women preferred a rosy blush for their cheeks in the 1920’s. Rose, dusty rose, raspberry and even orange were common blush hues. The blush was applied lightly to the apple of the cheeks and then blended in. Women in the 1920’s did not tend to wear blush outside the apple of the cheek.

Women’s lips in the 1920’s were made up to represent a Cupid’s bow. Lip liner was used to create a bow shaped top lip and a full, but short lower lip. It was really all about the lips when in came to 1920’s makeup—the darker the color the better. Women wore a lot of red, burgundy and other bold lip colors.

Article from the Life123. For more information, check out my post on