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Sunday, September 23, 2012

This Year's Big Project (You Can Help!)

I'm in the process of preparing for a really big thesis film, for which I am designing both the sets and creature effects.  It's called The End of Forever, and it's shaping up to be really cool.  Read on to see how you can help out.

The film (which is directed by a good friend of mine) shoots in the middle of October, so it's full speed ahead (and then some!) now.

I spent this weekend building the creepy wishing well.  I supplemented this picture with the sketch of how it will be when completed with a metal arch and thorny briars growing up it.  I also threw in a little man so you could see the scale-- it's big!
In the evenings, I've been sculpting the makeup appliances for one scene in which a character's skin peels off her face.  Concept art and sculpts-in-progress below.

I'm also making a full creature suit for the monster at the bottom of the wishing well.  Here's a bit of concept art for that. He's going to look almost like he's made out of twisted, gnarled roots with no eyes and a collection of coins and treasure people have thrown down the well.

We already did lifecasts of his head, arms, and torso to start on the creature suit sculpture once some of the other projects are completed.
But I'm also building (with any help I can get) a big set on a soundstage of the bottom of the well.  It's going to look like the walls of the well have eroded away to a mess of reveal dirt and roots and a ground littered with coins from people's wishes.

Here's where you come in.

It would be a huge help if you could donate a couple of bucks to the film.  None of the crew is getting paid (it's a student film, after all), but between the set we need to construct, the makeup effects, and the forest location we need to pay to use, it's not going to be cheap.  So, the producing team put together a Kickstarter page to help get some funding in exchange for some cool shirts and DVDs.

But!  I have a special bonus gift for you all.  If you pledge at least $10 (and email me or comment here to let me know), I will send you the plans to build your own creepy wishing well based on my design.  It's 5 feet wide by about 11 feet tall, so it will certainly make a statement in any haunt (I think it would look great in a cemetery).

Anything you can contribute would be a big help.  Even one dollar is one bottle of craft paint closer to completing the set, you know?

I really want to use this film to show the new generation of filmmakers (hundreds of whom will be at the premiere screening) that practical creature and makeup effects still have a place and can be seriously impressive, even on a relatively small budget.

Please check out the campaign, watch the video (featuring yours truly), and consider sending some spare change our way.  Thanks!

Sunday, September 16, 2012


I just wrapped a senior thesis film for which I was charged to design the makeup for an infected, cancerous version of Mr. Hyde.

First I did a few quick sketches of what the makeup could look like, and let the director choose what he liked.

I then took an impression of the actor's face.
If you recognize that hair in the foreground, it's because it belongs to the lovely model of my first old age makeup.  She's now the Aunt Jack to my Uncle Frank (Mrs. Doubtfire, anyone?).

I sculpted the makeup on the plaster copy of his head.  This is the sculpt before the finishing touches, which come right before the mold is poured.
And then made molds of both pieces (the side of the face and the nose).

They were cast in gelatin and applied in about two hours on set.  The original plan was to have blood or pus coming out of the broken blisters, but the director and cinematographer liked it without.  I think it turned out pretty well, regardless.  Of course, in the end, the one shot the makeup was needed for turned out to be pretty dark, so you couldn't see much of it anyway.
Oh well.  It was still a great experience.  Listening to people's reactions to seeing him for the first time was worth it, alone.  The actor, Richard Halverson, was very tolerant of the whole process and great to work with, as well.