Friday, December 19, 2008

The Scarecrow Nose

DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW, which is finally coming out [officially] on DVD, has always been a favorite of mine. A tragic story, great performances, and some very creepy directing garnered it a cult following. The traditional design for the scarecrow featured in the film had a simplistic brilliance to it. Was in a bookstore a few weeks ago pouring over the horror mags and I stumbled across an article in HorrorHound discussing the story of how the made-for-television classic came about. It featured a great interview with the movie's writer and creator J.D. Feigelson. I was shocked to see his original design for the scarecrow. A chilling feature had been removed for the final screen-seen strawman - a wooden nose. I was probably way too excited by this. I felt like I stumbled upon a great secret (and in a way I had - these were exclusive photos that hadn't been released before). I have to admit that I absolutely loved the original design, and wished it had been used for the final prop. Sprigs of straw accented the top of the scarecrow's head, and his silent-screaming mouth was more pronounced and angry. It was a great lesson in prop design and it showed how something as innocent as a wooden nose on a scarecrow can make such a huge impact on the emotions of a prop. No doubt about it - I'll be making a replica of this stunning man at some point in my life. Probably sooner rather than later.


Renman said...

Rot, Dark Night of the Scarecrow is my all-time favorite Halloween movie! It was interesting to read about the nose on him--I had no idea. I made a Dark Night of the Scarecrow prop for my yard this year (nickname Bubba) whose body looked pretty close to the movie prop but getting the head to match proved to be a bit tougher than I expected. I'm sure if I had your abilities, it would be easy.