Melkor to Morgoth

Marielle

Well-Known Member
Obviously, as Corey stated in the last session, there needs to be some dramatic costuming/makeup changes for Melkor as he becomes Morgoth. It's earlier been discussed having him become paler and paler as the series goes on, but there's more than that!

Starting with the burning of his hand by the Silmarils... I vote they leave him with burn scar contractures all over his hand, and even going up past his wrist. This way, we can have him wearing gloves or short gauntlets, but we can still see the edges of the red, angry scar tissue if we do a close up.

Note: if one is squeamish, do NOT Google "burn scar contractures". It's not pretty.
 

MithLuin

Well-Known Member
*immediately googles 'burn scar contractures'*

I have a small burn scar on my wrist (from a superficial second degree burn), and I never thought about the implications of a much larger area being badly scarred for Morgoth. I agree that maiming him rather than just showing him in pain is great. Fingolfin is going to give him a permanent limp...it would be nice to see the Silmarils give him a permanent 'clawed' hand shape. (I don't think there's any need to go so far as having any of his fingers autoamputate themselves, which obviously you didn't suggest.)

A flexion contracture in the hand seems to be one of the most common burn contractures, so there should be plenty of examples available (unfortunately) to use as a reference for Morgoth's burnt hand. Thanks for bringing this up!

http://www.global-help.org/publications/books/help_burncontractures.pdf
(The same warning given above applies to this link - graphic indications of why it's a terrible idea to leave toddlers unsupervised around open fires.)


I think we will begin changing his appearance from the end of episode 11, so it can be a gradual transformation until he is 'locked' into his tyrant of Angband form. We will have to consider what facial prosthetics we're interested in using to achieve the right look.
 
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Marielle

Well-Known Member
*immediately googles 'burn scar contractures'*

I have a small burn scar on my wrist (from a superficial second degree burn), and I never thought about the implications of a much larger area being badly scarred for Morgoth. I agree that maiming him rather than just showing him in pain is great. Fingolfin is going to give him a permanent limp...it would be nice to see the Silmarils give him a permanent 'clawed' hand shape.

A flexion contracture in the hand seems to be one of the most common burn contractures, so there should be plenty of examples available (unfortunately) to use as a reference for Morgoth's burnt hand. Thanks for bringing this up!

http://www.global-help.org/publications/books/help_burncontractures.pdf
(The same warning given above applies to this link - graphic indications of why it's a terrible idea to leave toddlers unsupervised around open fires.)


I think we will begin changing his appearance from the end of episode 11, so it can be a gradual transformation until he is 'locked' into his tyrant of Angband form. We will have to consider what facial prosthetics we're interested in using to achieve the right look.
The 'clawed' hand contortion is part of what I was thinking, but even moreso the raised, red scarring, that often takes the appearance almost of thick, bulging veins was the first thing I thought of when I asked myself "what should his burn scars look like?"

For prosthetics... the only thing that jumps immediately to mind is that I want his forehead to become larger, to overset/overshadow his eyes. That seems to help make anyone look sterner, and I want his eyes to be in shadow a lot as Tyrant.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
I'm reluctant to using prostethics... I realise it's perhaps inevitable, but I'd like to keep it to a minimum.
I can identify some stages of change...

1. At the gates of Formenos. Melkor gets pale. I think the change here should be really subtle. Just making his skin pale. No red eyes, please. (If anything, black ones). His clothes could become black, maybe.
2. Contacting Ungoliant. I think Melkor might prepare his meeting with Ungoliant by putting on some armor. Maybe this is when he starts to wear all black plate, with or without some kind of helmet. Perhaps not something that covers his whole body, since he gets burned and we'd like to see his face etc. In any case, he should have armor when they attack the Trees.
3. The burning of his hand. I agree with what you have been writing so far. Also, I'd like to add that he might become even paler after this. He is close to getting killed, this is a really terrible moment for him. Perhaps something also happens to his hair. Maybe it turns white or partially falls off or something. And then there's the constant pain from the burning, he's going to develop a nasty sneer. I don't think we need to use prostethics to make his face change. I think his fall will carry more tragedy if we see him as the same person as he was from the beginning.
4. Fighting Fingolfin. Well he limps after this.

Then there's the visual effect that comes from having three (pale) Silmarils in his crown. In the end, he's going to look pretty menacing.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Are you saying here that doing the correct amount of prosthetics for it to look good is better than doing too much?
haha! no...

i liked vigo because he somehow looked disturbing.you get the feeling that something is wrong there but you can't exactly say what. a negative example of this would be pjs mouth of sauron..
 

Marielle

Well-Known Member
a. bit prothetics may be iften more effective than too much... do you remember vigo the carpathian?
... I had to look up who this was. In my defense, the movie came out a year before I was born. What sort of prosthetics is he wearing?
 

Marielle

Well-Known Member
3. The burning of his hand. I agree with what you have been writing so far. Also, I'd like to add that he might become even paler after this. He is close to getting killed, this is a really terrible moment for him. Perhaps something also happens to his hair. Maybe it turns white or partially falls off or something. And then there's the constant pain from the burning, he's going to develop a nasty sneer. I don't think we need to use prostethics to make his face change. I think his fall will carry more tragedy if we see him as the same person as he was from the beginning.
I agree that, no matter what, the actor should still be recognizable through to the end. I do think prosthetics are inevitable; I really doubt that pale makeup and costuming will really be enough, in the end, to show his corruption. This guy is becoming the literal Satan figure of his word, not just a big bad like Thantos or Darkseid.
That being said, prosthetics should be on the "PJ's Kili" side of things, rather than "PJ's Bombur". Or, even worse, "PJ's deformed orcs"*.

*worse for this: some of them worked quite well in the films, for that particular role.
 

MithLuin

Well-Known Member
During Saturday's script discussion for the Formenos episode, we discussed the beginning of Melkor's transformation after Fëanor shuts the gate on him. Our consensus was that just telling the actor to 'look angry' wouldn't be sufficient for the change we were trying to show. We want to see a 'crack' in his fair semblance, so perhaps an actual fault line splitting across part of his face.

Now, that can be makeup, not necessarily prosthetics, but the question of subtlety means we don't want it to be anything as stark as this:

 

Marielle

Well-Known Member
That's well done, but I agree. Too much for our Morgoth.

But using makeup to make his cheekbones more pronounced/his face more gaunt after this point makes sense.

Side question: are we agreed that this is Morgoth's "point of no return", as it were? That is, he doesn't have any further to fall, he's hit the bottom & has become irredeemable? In other words, is the makeup/prosthetics we're discussing here the first step down a path of increasing unsettle-ness/ugliness, or should this be the moment with the dramatic shift, after which the only change is Fingolfin's maiming his foot?
 

MithLuin

Well-Known Member
I think this is a point of no return, but not the end of the journey. From the end of episode 11, when he stands outside Formenos and drops his 'mask' enough to show his unbridled hatred, to the point where the silmarils burn his hands as he is attacked by Ungoliant, he's on a steady downward slide that leads to him being locked into that form for all eternity. But the changes could still be 'little by little' over the last three episodes in this season. I think that, by the time he attacks the Trees, his face is set.

Searching 'cracked face' images will show makeup, prosthetics, and photoshop manips to achieve some very unsettling results. I certainly don't want anything over his entire face, but liked the idea of a dark crack appearing in a pale face for a very striking and disturbing visual. Later, we will be permanently scarring his face when Thorondor attacks him after the death of Fingolfin (so, season 4).
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
During Saturday's script discussion for the Formenos episode, we discussed the beginning of Melkor's transformation after Fëanor shuts the gate on him. Our consensus was that just telling the actor to 'look angry' wouldn't be sufficient for the change we were trying to show. We want to see a 'crack' in his fair semblance, so perhaps an actual fault line splitting across part of his face.

Now, that can be makeup, not necessarily prosthetics, but the question of subtlety means we don't want it to be anything as stark as this:

I like the idea of showing cracks in his face, and that effect has actually crossed my mind before, but again, and as you're saying, they must be subtly made. I like the distinction you make between makeup and prosthetics, although I wonder still if we're on the same page. I think the phrase
just telling the actor to 'look angry' wouldn't be sufficient
really indicates that there's a lack of faith in what a director and an actor can achieve which to me as an actor feels a bit tiresome. (Oh well...I realise that you probably didn't mean exactly that and were just making a point and that I'm being too sensitive.) Anyway: The fact that someone has a still face after being rejected the way Melkor has just been and keeps his face completely still for a time that is longer than one would expect is uncanny in itself. As a parallel, lack of reaction is profoundly upsetting to small children and causes serious distress. And even though we can handle it as we've grown up, we don't like it at all. It's weird to not react. And this was what I suggested during the last session.
Not this:
upload_2016-12-21_15-46-21.jpeg
Not this:
upload_2016-12-21_15-48-2.jpeg

(But the cracks or veins at the back of Voldemort's skull look pretty good)

We know that Melkor is bad. We know he is powerful. We understand that he doesn't appreciate being dismissed by one of the Children. This means that as viewers we have fantasies about what's going on inside Melkor's head, and as long as he doesn't react, these fantasies will be turned loose, and they will be worse than any visual effect, or reflect a very powerful emotion, which will grow in anticipation of what's to come. As soon as he makes a face or sneers of whatever, we will be disappointed by the fact that the picture doesn't match our fantasies or doesn't reflect the strong emotion we feel.
That's why I suggest that he keeps a hard, almost blank face. We could subtly make him go pale. After some seconds, we could add the cracks on the edges of his face. Then we make a sudden cut and end the episode.
 

MithLuin

Well-Known Member
Ah, I see I gave insult where none was intended.

I meant that we want to see a change in form for Melkor in that scene, not just a change in attitude. I agree that a blank affect can be very disturbing, and that is what we should show in the moment when Fëanor shuts the door. Just a very still, very intense look. But when we return to Melkor, we should see him contemplating razing Formenos to the ground and destroying everyone in it...but ultimately turning away and saving his revenge for a later day. And somewhere in that, we see he is giving way, and the 'fair form' he wears is just a mask/costume put over his 'true' self.

Perhaps just making him paler, emphasizing his cheek bones' gauntness will be enough. Maybe we just want some makeup to complement the 'stillness' we want to achieve there.

As someone who has rather pale skin, I know what it looks like to be able to see all the veins when skin goes cold. Not just in my wrist, but the entire length of my forearm, spiderwebbed across my shoulder and chest, etc. ....it's fascinating/creepy, but certainly not 'pretty'. If we're having Melkor go all pale and washed out, his veins could be emphasized in heavy/dark colors. This would be more subtle than a 'crack' across his face, and would look more organic.

Alternately, we could show him going 'hot' underneath his cold exterior, so the arteries pulsing visibly while the rest of him is still....
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Well I definitely can see it going both ways since he's the Vala of extreme heat and cold. Perhaps we could reflect both of these aspects in some kind of instability? (As long as we don't do red eyes)
And I agree with you on showing veins.

(Oh and I wasn't exactly insulted, as I hope you understand. We're good in my book anyway)
 
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