Nick Koudis avatar.jpg

Shoot or get off the 'pod

• hit and run by an ambulance


This is number four in my Ironic Death Series - Hit and Run by an Ambulance. I hope that's self-explanatory. Sometimes, I like to draw the viewer into an image and make ‘em work to find the joke, or the story. This one, hopefully is a quick read. (that’s read read) Here's the finished image:

special thanks to Brittany Furlan, our victim of irony.


It started its life as a sketch. Working from sketches has its advantages, of course, but be careful to not let it prevent you from seeing other solutions to the problem. For example, as I was shooting and assembling the elements, I noticed that the white line intersecting the victim's neck added a macabre element. So I left her there on the side of the road.


This concept reminded  me of a classic go-to inspiration for many artists, Andrew Wyeth's 1948 painting, Christina's World. So I thought I add it for another bit o' funny.


Downtown LA has a desolate industrial district that would be great to shoot in, if there weren't so many damn location vehicles in the way. Desolate, my ass. Seriously - everybody shoots there. Everybody. It’s like the Costco of locations. Anyway, it’s got nice light. 

This is a final plate for the image. Notice that the background is in soft focus. I focused on the foreground which will be her location in the shot. And of course, the Dutch angle helps sell the anxiety of the scene.

We’ll create the ambulance in Modo. And shoot the unfortunate girl in the studio. 

And now comes some serious progress. After four solid days of modo-ing an ambulance, I’ve got this render to show for it. This is a gorgeous render straight out of modo. I’ve attached the background image to the render camera, then resized the render to be pixel for pixel to the background image. The ambulance model is sitting on a “shadow catcher” groundplane. (Sounds like something you buy in a New Mexico gift shop, doesn't it?) It’s an almost perfect scenario, but in the end, I’m going to have to render the Ambulance separately, so I can blur it to match the background in P-shop. I’ve got some minor tweaks on the model to do before I’m totally done. That means ANOTHER four days of work. 

Nick Koudis