Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Another Little Piece

Another Little Piece, originally uploaded by margotwood.

This fauxto is not for the faint of heart.

This shot was 95% inspired by the young adult novel Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn and 5% inspired by the new TV show Hannibal.

What is there to say about the book this shot was inspired from? A few adjectives come to mind: gruesome, disgusting, beautiful, haunting, fucked-up, bizarre, gorgeous. It would be hard for me to tell you what this book is about without giving anything away, but let's just say that this is easily the most unusual story I've read in a long, long time.

Here is the quote from the book that inspired this shot:

"Her mouth was opening wide to take a bite, and an instant before her teeth sank in, a drop of juice fell from the apple. Not the juice of overripe fruit, but blood. Blood, still warm from the heart it had been pumping through."

The second I read that line I knew exactly the kind of shot I wanted to do. I wanted to portray that moment just before biting into a human heart.

No, I did not kill a human for the sake of my art. Instead, I hit up my local butcher and ordered a fresh, raw pig's heart. (After consulting with my doctor father, he confirmed that a pig's heart was a good substitute in size and shape for a human heart.)

I picked up my heart from the butcher, who tossed me the vacuumed sealed organ across the shop then yelled, "Stay weird!"

The thing about this photo is that I needed it to be dark, yet beautiful. That's where the show Hannibal comes in. If you've never seen this new show, I recommend at least looking at some screenshots online because it's the most beautifully shot show on TV right now. Simply gorgeous, but horrific. . . much like Another Little Piece. The show is about Hannibal Lecter - you know, the cannibal from Thomas Harris' novels. So drawing inspiration from the show felt like I was still being true to the cannibalistic scenes in Another Little Piece.

I studied the show, taking note of how they lit everything. From that, I was able to come up with a plan as to how to get my shot done. I used no artificial light for this - just filtered light from my apartment window.

I must take a moment to thank my brave friend, Christina, for agreeing to stand in my hot apartment holding a raw pig's heart while dripping with my fake blood concoction.

Originally, my idea for the angle of the shot was top down, looking at the heart from above. When I finished editing my photo (just minor vignetting and highlighting here and there), I was pleased with the result but not thrilled. Then, I got the idea to flip the photo vertically to see what would happen and BOOM - I was in love.

Now, the viewer is no longer a casual observer but the main character. Now YOU are the cannibal, staring down at the feast before you.

Would you like another little piece of my heart?


  1. Bahahaha, love the Hannibal connection. That's fantastic! And creepy. *hides*

  2. You are amazing. And that is oh so creepy.

  3. First year med students get to play, much like this, with a heart, learning anatomy. It always starts initially scary, then fun, then scientific, then test result, then old memories.

  4. WOW. This is incredible....and terrifying. I don't know what else to say, other than I cannot wait until I have time to read this book! And perhaps I should check out Hannibal too...

  5. So, I flipped my laptop upside down so that I could see the picture the other way too. It's sort of amazing the way the perspective changes by just turning it upside down. One way she's seem to be handing someone else the heart, the other way it's from her perspective. Totally brilliant!

    Also, I should have the actress from my trailer exchange notes with your model and see if it's more uncomfortable to be covered in fake blood when freezing cold or sticky hot.

    And finally, thank you so much for using ALP as inspiration for this beautiful phote and always "Stay Weird!" :D

  6. This is an amazing picture! Isn't it awesome that just flipping something can change the way you look at it?! I have to admit that I haven't watched the show or read the book, but they are both high up on my list! This picture just ups them even more! Thanks for taking the time to be so creative, if not a little bit weird as well!

  7. That's a great pic ! And you're right about the art direction on "Hannibal"; it's fantastic.

  8. This may be the creepiest thing I've seen all week - but that WORKS. It's a really good picture, and it serves as a photo that inspires my curiosity in the book. (I also really want to check out Hannibal now, even though I'm such a big scaredy cat!)

  9. I haven't read Another Little Piece yet but I'm super intrigued now. I love your picture and loved the lighting in it. It provides just the right atmosphere! :)

  10. This captures Another Little Piece so well! I actually watched a little bit of Hannibal once and it was haunting and intriguing at the same time - much like ALP. I also never truly understood what light could do to a picture, so you definitely widened my perspective on it!

  11. Holy wow this is (as you put it) "fucked-up, bizarre, gorgeous." One of my faves from your series! Nicely done, Margot. :)

    1. I wholeheartidly agree with that statement!

  12. scared by the first image...

  13. I definitely plan on reading this now! DANG

  14. But I love the creativity of images for creation.

  15. So, that is really good to have your blog and books that you tell us about. The first picture is shoking for me. Take a look term paper writing service thanks.