The Transformation of Jack the Ripper Inside Look – Part 3Monday, October 29, 2012
Very early on I had a vision for the story I wanted to tell about Jack the Ripper as a painting. In it, he would be standing before a dress shop window on a street in Victorian London, and reflected in the glass would be a horrific image of him, transformed into this grotesque abomination. On closer inspection, the viewer would also see that people were passing by on the street, but that curiously, the monster was not eliciting any reactions from them. The conclusion is that while Jack the Ripper is seeing this transformation, it’s all in his head. The painting reveals an eerie introspection, where Madness of Undeath is visible only to him and to us.
For the realization of this piece I teamed up with fine art painter, Ryan Wurmser. Ryan is the son of the belated Sideshow sculptor Terry Wurmser, most known for his work with us on the very popular Jaws Maquette from several years ago. Terry’s father, Frank, had done blueprints during his time engineering the shark for the actual film. Funny, how things in life connect!
Ryan has a keen eye for mood and lighting, so leveraging off of that we set out to stage a setting whereby the contrast provided by fog and gaslight illumination would both showcase and obscure our interpretation of The Ripper. Ryan focused his efforts on allowing the monstrous elements of The Ripper to ‘reach’ almost literally into the light, while his human elements settle into the anonymous darkness.
One key element we wanted to include from the historical accounts of Jack the Ripper were his infamous series of letters. Ryan’s painting was taken into a digital additive stage where we wanted to include text from our fictional ‘final’ letter. This, and final aesthetic touches on the border, were accomplished by our graphic designer, Andrew McBride.
The final result was a very satisfactory illustration of both the horror and the eternal anonymity of Jack the Ripper. The painting will be showcased as evidence from our curator on The Dead subsite. However we were not finished yet in our story-telling, as there was one last trick up our sleeve!
- Tom Gilliland
Continue to [Part 4]
Keep checking back during Spooktacular for the final installment of this four part Inside Look!