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Battles With Bits of Rubber

This podcast is a joint venture with Stuart Bray and Todd Debreceni. It's all about the making of stuff for makeup effects and prosthetics. Todd is author of 'Special Makeup Effects For Stage And Screen', what many consider to be the modern makeup FX bible. Stuart Bray is a working makeup FX artist with many years experienc. Credits include 'Saving Private Ryan', 'Shaun of the Dead', 'Dr Who' and more recently 'Game of Thrones'. If you have any FX questions you would like to see made into a featured blog post, then get in touch: stuartandtodd@gmail.com
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Aug 27, 2020

Danny has done some interesting things with prosthetics, leading with fashion and high concept looks and bringing appliance work into the mix.

Most demonstrations at trade shows involving appliances are showing just the tail end of a much longer hidden process which perhaps isn't at all evident in the final piece. It's nice to hear about what happens in the lead up to such a thing.

As with many artists sealed tight with Non-Disclosure Agreements on professional projects, trade shows offer a real opportunity to try something new and experiment with ideas and processes without the risk of shooting days or high-stakes schedules.

We chat with Danny about her influences, approach and work ethic and get into some pretty useful stuff. For example, Danny keeps records of makeup applications and lists what was used, including techniques, materials and products as well as notes on what well and what didn't.

The result after a number of years is a great resource which will supply a record of a journey, as well as a very practical guide to your own best practice for similar jobs in the future.

It takes a deal of humility to acknowledge what didn't work and address those shortcomings. It is also good practice to acknowledge what did work and take note of what went well.

It is easy to become automatically self-critical as a default position, but the ability to have genuine regard for your own work, objectively seeing good and bad and using them both as a guide to improvement is a useful tool.

It was a great chat and we got fired up as you'll hear.

Links to things mentioned in this episode

The Dip by Seth Godin:

(summary: Every new project (or career or relationship) starts out exciting and fun. Then it gets harder and less fun until it hits a low point - really hard, really not fun. At this point, you might be in a Dip, which will get better if you keep pushing, or a Cul-de-Sac, which will never get better no matter how hard you try. The hard part is knowing the difference and acting on it.)

Science Kits for kids: https://www.robocube.co.uk/collections/stem-kits

We mention a popular chain of hardware stores in the UK called B&Q, the name is an acronym of the original owners' names, Block and Quayle.

In the US, Home Depot would be an equivalent. If you have been on the hunt for unusual uses for conventional materials, then you may be familiar with the odd looks when responding to enquiries.

Check out Dannys' work on her website and instagram.


Many thanks as always for your time checking the stuff out. You can email us direct at stuartandtodd@gmail.com or leave us a voice message directly on our site.

If you enjoy this podcast and got something out of it, would you do us a solid and tell just one more person about us? Send them a link and help us grow!

-Stuart & Todd


 

Aug 19, 2020

We have all spotted things in shows which were never meant to be there. Scars swapping sides, hair up one minute and then down the next, blood which moves shot to shot or an errant edge which can't be hidden.

Those are the things which you notice, and maybe take great pleasure in spotting and shaming those unfortunate artists who were 'responsible'.

However, there are many things which you didn't spot which could have been issues if they were not overcome before the cameras started rolling.

We go through some of these hidden problems which are not so rare, and which will tax the creative minds of those on whose shoulders these things fall.

We have had a long lay-off and been quiet coping with one thing and another, so apologies for the radio silence. We have a few new toys which will mean things are going to be more regular on the podcast front.

-------------------------------

Links to things we mention in this episode

Nomad sculpting app: https://nomadsculpt.com/
Procreate art app: https://procreate.art/
Infinite painter: https://www.infinitestudio.art/discover.php
Forger sculpting app: https://forgerapp.com/
ZBrush (all bells and whistles): https://pixologic.com/
Zbrush Core (stripped down, lighter version): https://store.pixologic.com/zbrushcore-2020/
ZBrush Core Mini (even more stripped down and free): https://zbrushcore.com/mini/#
Sculptris (free sculpting app): https://pixologic.com/sculptris/

What we do in the shadows (excellent TV show): https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7908628/

------------------------------

Many thanks as always for your time checking the stuff out. You can email us direct at stuartandtodd@gmail.com or leave us a voice message directly on our site.

If you enjoy this podcast and got something out of it, would you do us a solid and tell just one more person about us? Send them a link and help us grow!

-Stuart & Todd

 

Jun 21, 2020

Closing moulds correctly is vital to get good casts out of them. There seems little point in making a good mould and then getting bad casts out of it.

In this episode we chat about things to consider when looking at ‘mould closure’. Essentially, a mould other than a flat or open mould will usually need to be attached or fitted to another component to produce a cast.

This could be another part of the mould if a ‘multi-piece’ mould is made and/or a core which will be placed into the mould to create the interior.

These pieces need to remain securely in position, and may be required to exert a lot of force if the cast piece needs to have thin seams which are more easily repaired.

That has cost implications - think about having to repair bad seams of fifty casts out of a mould which wasn’t closed correctly!

Small block moulds are often clamped together for speed and convenience, but what happens if the mould is huge, such as a full body or a dinosaur?

This episode has another hefty set of notes to help make sense of it all. It is picture heavy and goes deeper into what to look out for.  Get them here or the blog post for this episode

----------------------------------------

 
 

Many thanks as always for your time checking the stuff out. You can email us direct at stuartandtodd@gmail.com or leave us a voice message directly on our site.

If you enjoy this podcast and got something out of it, would you do us a solid and tell just one more person about us? Send them a link and help us grow!

-Stuart & Todd

Jun 11, 2020

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 61-Episode-Art-Cutting-Edges-sm.jpgCutting edges are the point at which a core meets the mould, and is crucial in creating a fine edge for many appliances.

In flat moulds, there can be something similar even though a core isn’t involved, as it establishes where the appliance actually stops and the skin begins.

A cutting edge and overflow are critical in foam appliances, especially where a mould has foam latex added and a core is pushed into it. A gap between the core and the mould face would ensure the excess foam could escape, and the contact point where the mould meets the core would be decided carefully and precisely.

Go to our website to get the free booklet supporting this episode, or go here.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Cutting-Edges-Notes-Mockup.png

This principle has carried on with silicone, although usually excess waste is minimised owing to the fact silicone isn't mostly made of air, as is the case with foam latex.

Wherever the core meets or touches the mould - be it keys, the cutting edge or an unintentional, is known as a touchdown. Getting great edges is important in making pieces which will blend into the skin and appear as part of it, rather than exhibiting a clear boundary where the fake stops and the real begins.

Many thanks as always for your time checking the stuff out. You can email us direct at stuartandtodd@gmail.com or leave us a voice message directly on our site.

If you enjoy this podcast and got something out of it, would you do us a solid and tell just one more person about us?

Send them a link and help us grow!

-Stuart & Todd

May 17, 2020

Blog Post for this episode here.

Tim Baggaley played the one-armed zombie in Shaun of the Dead. He's a damn nice fella, an actor, talented graphic designer and a fabulous dancer.

In this episode, we chat about his experience on set and his recollections of being among the undead.

As we chatted, he reminded me of a few other things we had worked on together and we get into the nitty-gritty of whether or not we should see the genitals of monsters. Sounds like a fun tangent, but it is a serious consideration when making creature suits.

After all, their absence may be as strange as whatever freakishly upsetting creature-junk one may wish to design in their place. Who wants to write that back story?

----------------------

Many thanks as always for your time checking the stuff out. You can email us direct at stuartandtodd@gmail.com or leave us a voice message directly on our site.

If you enjoy this podcast and got something out of it, would you do us a solid and tell just one more person about us? Send them a link and help us grow to the right people!

Stuart & Todd

May 17, 2020

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 59-Episode-Art-Mark-Donovan-sm.jpg

Here is a little treat - an additional little episode that checks in with Mark Donovan who played The Hulking Zombie in Shaun Of The Dead.

We talked through the difficulties involved in getting ready to be attacked with records and cricket bats, shovels and the heat whilst caked in blood.

Also, as you'll hear, some very cool comic book related stuff which was an exciting discovery. You may recall in the bumper podcast episode #55 that Stuart Conran mentioned the back story to the Hulking Zombie, how he came to be a zombie and why he was there with Mary.

I mentioned this to Mark and not only was he aware of it but he has the actual original panels framed at his home!

Check pics in the accompanying blog post here.

Many thanks for listening.

-Stuart & Todd

 

 

May 17, 2020

It was a great pleasure to chat with John face to face (before lockdown, I hasten to add) back in December of 2019.

John is a well known FX artist who has since gone on to work at Tussauds and is a freelance artist.

I think you will get a real kick out of hearing his take, a perfect attitude to how to feel when creating. We chat about what it means to sculpt, that internal dialogue we all have when creating something new,



Fact checking bellend: In this, I mistakenly assign Constantin Brâncuși as the artist behind 'Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2)' which of course it wasn't - it was Marcel Duchamp.

Links to things we mentioned.

The Barclays Bank commercial directed by Ridley Scott.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnVyANe0ZnE

John Schoonraad Episode: https://battleswithbitsofrubber.com/14-scanners-schoonraads/

Neill Gorton Episode: https://battleswithbitsofrubber.com/51-neill-gorton/

Kris Costa: https://www.instagram.com/theantropus/

Olya Anufrieva: https://www.instagram.com/he77ga/

Follow John on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jcormican/

Johns website: https://johncormican.co.uk/

Some of John's work

Nightbreed at Image Animation, Pinewood Studios.

Vasty Moses sculpt in progress.

The Judge Dredd wall panels for the movie.


Many thanks. Don't forget you can get in touch by leaving us a voice message or email stuartandtodd@gmail.com.

- Stuart & Todd

May 17, 2020

Air bubbles of one kind or another are inevitable if you deal with materials which start out life as a liquid and then later solidify such as plaster, latex, silicone and resin. Let’s take a look at what can happen, why, and what to do about it.

Blog post accompanying this post: https://battleswithbitsofrubber.com/58-airbubbles/

Apr 28, 2020

This episode of the podcast, we catch up with some questions left on our answerphone, emails and comments.

Clay issues, alcohol colours, and a nice message from sculpting master Amelia Rowcroft. Cheers to those been in touch, and leaving messages. You can get in touch by email at stuartandtodd@gmail.com or leave a voicemail here.

I mentioned working at the BBC Visual FX department, and I was reminded that I have a book about it -

BBC Vfx: The History of the BBC Visual Effects Department 2010
by Mat Irvine (Author), Mike Tucker (Author)
ISBN-10: 1845135563
ISBN-13: 978-1845135560

I mentioned 'enjoy the suck' and it was, of course, 'embrace the suck', and it's meaning is as follows:

(military, slang) To consciously accept or appreciate something that is extremely unpleasant but unavoidable.

Quite appropriate right now.

Check our podcast website here: https://battleswithbitsofrubber.com/

Apr 25, 2020

The Shaun Of The Dead prosthetic team reunites and talk through the movie effects shots.

Blog post for this episode here

I thought it would be fun to chat with Stuart Conran and Dan Frye, two FX buddies who I have known and worked with for many years on many projects. I rewatched the movie to refresh my memory and listed the effects in chronological order.

Make sure to download the free booklet which accompanies this episode.

This little nod of appreciation comes from that place which still makes me warm and fuzzy when I flick through old Fangoria and Gorezone magazines.

You can easily get in touch with the show by leaving us a voicemail on our website here or emailing us at the usual address, stuartandtodd@gmail.com.

Thanks for listening.

-Stuart & Todd

 

Apr 17, 2020

Blog Post link: https://battleswithbitsofrubber.com/54-approaching-workshops/

Folio under your arm, at some point you may wish to appeal to those who could give you a job.

It's nervewracking to be judged, but your folio is maybe pages of your heart and soul now made visible for others to assess and rate.

The main way anyone gets work is simply by having a portfolio of good work and then show that to someone who pays for people like that to solve a problem they have. There isn't a single path or trick to game the system. You are not likely to be given a job you are wholly unsuited to - the work is too precious to those who are looking to hire, and there is a pretty robust system of hiring.

Here we discuss some main points to help you get your head straight. Think through what you could mean to them rather than what they can do for you. Listen to the podcast for the full monty, but the key points are listed below!

1.        How much to charge.

  • Know your worth       
  • Know how much it costs you to stand still for a day and do nothing.    
  • How much do people get paid? Check with trade union pay rates for your region to compare and see what is current.

2.        The film industry isn't looking to take you on and train you. It doesn't need another mouth to feed.

  • The machine which is the film industry isn’t looking to take on someone, spend time training them only to have them up sticks and work for someone else. The ‘industry’ isn’t a single entity, so much a mass of small companies, individuals and private interests.
  • For anyone to take a chance on someone unknown, share their contacts, processes and the inner circle is quite a thing to undertake. The risk is you could take that and use what you have learned to help a competitor, so it’s a peculiar situation to be in.

3.        Waiting to be picked.      

  • Someone waiting to be picked V an independent self-starter.        
  • Evidence of motivated and talent.    
  • Show evidence of your desire to do the work. A chef doesn’t require a fully fitted kitchen before making their first omelette – make what you can when you can to the best of your ability. Doing so will give you practice and display your journey to an interested party. The people you are trying to work for are like that and they know their own.  If you want to do it for a living then you should be doing it whatever.

4.        Awareness of the state of the industry.        

  • Do you know about the industry? About current artists names, credits and back story?    We have taught at many places where students didn’t know the masters or even watch films to have an awareness of what went before. This is something your potential employers will notice as they DO know and care about it.
  • How good are those currently working and do you measure up?   
  • What can you do to improve?           
  • What do people pay for? ... People pay to have their problems solved.

Whose problems do you solve?

  • Do you know the industry well enough to know that and how you can fit in to it?       
  • What can you provide and where do you fit in the workflow?        

5.        Actual ability levels.        

  • Are you an asset or a burden? Are you asking to help them or are you asking them to help you. Conisder their needs first, and how it will shape your approach.         
  • Does your folio show examples of what problems the employer will need you to solve?        

6.        How Busy is the film industry right now?     

  • The industry sweeps between crazy busy and deathly quiet.
  • Are they too busy to see your folio?         
  • Not busy means they may have time but they are not hiring either.
  • How can you find out and what questions should you ask?
  • It is easier to turn down an email than a phone call. Hard copy letter is something not too many do so maybe that is an option. You can’t game the system – good work and a good attitude will win.
  • Some will hire because of the right attitude and whether you can fit into the organisation as it currently stands. They will pay for someone who is competent enough to do what is asked.
  • Chances are they already have their key players in place, so they are not looking for a Jedi Master. They need enthusiastic and capable people they can slot into an existing framework and who will do what they are asked to do.

7.        How close do I live near the work?     If you don't, consider the following points.

  • Travel costs    
  • Accommodation costs           
  • Loss of income from previous job you may leave     
  • See it from employers’ point of view
  • Language/visa/immigration issues to consider        

8.        Luck.

  • Right place, right time.
  • The harder I work, the more good luck I seem to have.       
  • You can't control your employers or their desire to hire.

9.        People hate 'dear Sir/Madam'          

  • It displays a lack of awareness and disinterest, and laziness. Starting with ‘Hey everyone’ or ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ just smacks of cut and paste, and nobody wants evidence that you have cut as many corners as possible as to not even check to see how your enquiry is coming across. When I read this, I am not 'everyone'. Remember, a single person is reading this at any one time so address them as such.
  • Don’t show your employer that you are lazy in the very first contact. Research who you are writing to.

10.      Offering to work for free.

  • You are going up against people trying to make a living so few of your colleagues will think well of that strategy. Endless supply of newbies who think it’s a viable strategy but the essence is to get free training and opportunities in exchange for no pay.
  • The cost to the employer is babysitting fees and stress, so not always a good deal for them. If you have competence then you should get paid for that. If you have no competence then maybe you shouldn’t be there.
  • Taking work for no fee v covering material costs. Not to subsidise/finance the production. Working for free in order to gain experience and et something out of it, going in knowing this and not being taken advantage of.
  • Maybe good experience and folio building but limit these jobs, and be wary of taking a paying job from someone by offering to work for free.

11.      Security, NDA's and outsider risk.       

  • Relatively new phenomena which didn't affect those running shops when they started out.        Stolen phones, inadvertent plot spoilers, production protecting their investment.
  • Can you be trusted or do you have a history of revealing every facet of your life online which may deter an employer.     If you seem to blab about every injustice you have perceived then as someone who may have to tell you to get stuff done, I am going to wonder if you will hate on me publicly and so that’s not a good quality to have in someone who I will need to have my back. Discretion is a desirable quality.

12.      Unions.       

  • Does a union control the work and are you permitted?      
  • BECTU in the UK. The IATSE in North America is more effective as a union. Unions protect workers and maintain pay and conditions but the trade off is it isn’t an easy path or an open door. The flip side is an unregulated workforce in which good people wouldn’t stand out in a listing.

13.      Look out for cons and being taken advantage of.  

  • Paid/subscriptions/services to find work      
  • Non-payment and getting ripped off.

    Starting out, eager to please but don’t agree to unreasonable. If you are not experienced enough to know what reasonable is then maybe you are too green to be taking commissions. Work for someone else and earn your chops.  

14.      So what should I do to get my work seen?

  • Do good work and present good, clear images.
  • Digital folios are essential but consider a hard copy. These are people who sculpt after all, and like tactile objects.  
  • Keep a list of who you contacted, when, who you spoke to and what was said. Follow up on any advice or information.
  • Be on time.
  • Try and meet people at trade shows and events such as The Prosthetics Event, IMATS and other gatherings related to your area f interest.
  • Remember, you can't trick your way into work. You either have the chops or you don't. Good work gets seen and noticed. If you need to improve, then sink your energy into that rather than aggressive campaigns of hustling.
  • Keep a professional social media profile and post good work regularly.
  • Be persistent and polite.


Once again, thank for listening. Consider leaving us a voice message to ask a question, say hi or to leave us an intro for the next episode! Tap the 'Send A Voicemail' tab on the right, or go to the contact page.

Email is stuartandtodd@gmail.com.

Please consider sharing this podcast with one person whom you think may enjoy it! We want to grow and with your help, we can!

-Stuart & Todd

1.        How much to charge.

  • Know your worth       
  • Know how much it costs you to stand still for a day and do nothing.    
  • How much do people get paid? Check with trade union pay rates for your region to compare and see what is current.

2.        The film industry isn't looking to take you on and train you. It doesn't need another mouth to feed.

  • The machine which is the film industry isn’t looking to take on someone, spend time training them only to have them up sticks and work for someone else. The ‘industry’ isn’t a single entity, so much a mass of small companies, individuals and private interests.
  • For anyone to take a chance on someone unknown, share their contacts, processes and the inner circle is quite a thing to undertake. The risk is you could take that and use what you have learned to help a competitor, so it’s a peculiar situation to be in.

3.        Waiting to be picked.      

  • Someone waiting to be picked V an independent self-starter.        
  • Evidence of motivated and talent.    
  • Show evidence of your desire to do the work. A chef doesn’t require a fully fitted kitchen before making their first omelette – make what you can when you can to the best of your ability. Doing so will give you practice and display your journey to an interested party. The people you are trying to work for are like that and they know their own.  If you want to do it for a living then you should be doing it whatever.

4.        Awareness of the state of the industry.        

  • Do you know about the industry? About current artists names, credits and back story?    We have taught at many places where students didn’t know the masters or even watch films to have an awareness of what went before. This is something your potential employers will notice as they DO know and care about it.
  • How good are those currently working and do you measure up?   
  • What can you do to improve?           
  • What do people pay for? ... People pay to have their problems solved.

Whose problems do you solve?

  • Do you know the industry well enough to know that and how you can fit in to it?       
  • What can you provide and where do you fit in the workflow?        

5.        Actual ability levels.        

  • Are you an asset or a burden? Are you asking to help them or are you asking them to help you. Conisder their needs first, and how it will shape your approach.         
  • Does your folio show examples of what problems the employer will need you to solve?        

6.        How Busy is the film industry right now?     

  • The industry sweeps between crazy busy and deathly quiet.
  • Are they too busy to see your folio?         
  • Not busy means they may have time but they are not hiring either.
  • How can you find out and what questions should you ask?
  • It is easier to turn down an email than a phone call. Hard copy letter is something not too many do so maybe that is an option. You can’t game the system – good work and a good attitude will win.
  • Some will hire because of the right attitude and whether you can fit into the organisation as it currently stands. They will pay for someone who is competent enough to do what is asked.
  • Chances are they already have their key players in place, so they are not looking for a Jedi Master. They need enthusiastic and capable people they can slot into an existing framework and who will do what they are asked to do.

7.        How close do I live near the work?     If you don't, consider the following points.

  • Travel costs    
  • Accommodation costs           
  • Loss of income from previous job you may leave     
  • See it from employers’ point of view
  • Language/visa/immigration issues to consider        

8.        Luck.

  • Right place, right time.
  • The harder I work, the more good luck I seem to have.       
  • You can't control your employers or their desire to hire.

9.        People hate 'dear Sir/Madam'          

  • It displays a lack of awareness and disinterest, and laziness. Starting with ‘Hey everyone’ or ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ just smacks of cut and paste, and nobody wants evidence that you have cut as many corners as possible as to not even check to see how your enquiry is coming across. When I read this, I am not 'everyone'. Remember, a single person is reading this at any one time so address them as such.
  • Don’t show your employer that you are lazy in the very first contact. Research who you are writing to.

10.      Offering to work for free.

  • You are going up against people trying to make a living so few of your colleagues will think well of that strategy. Endless supply of newbies who think it’s a viable strategy but the essence is to get free training and opportunities in exchange for no pay.
  • The cost to the employer is babysitting fees and stress, so not always a good deal for them. If you have competence then you should get paid for that. If you have no competence then maybe you shouldn’t be there.
  • Taking work for no fee v covering material costs. Not to subsidise/finance the production. Working for free in order to gain experience and et something out of it, going in knowing this and not being taken advantage of.
  • Maybe good experience and folio building but limit these jobs, and be wary of taking a paying job from someone by offering to work for free.

11.      Security, NDA's and outsider risk.       

  • Relatively new phenomena which didn't affect those running shops when they started out.        Stolen phones, inadvertent plot spoilers, production protecting their investment.
  • Can you be trusted or do you have a history of revealing every facet of your life online which may deter an employer.     If you seem to blab about every injustice you have perceived then as someone who may have to tell you to get stuff done, I am going to wonder if you will hate on me publicly and so that’s not a good quality to have in someone who I will need to have my back. Discretion is a desirable quality.

12.      Unions.       

  • Does a union control the work and are you permitted?      
  • BECTU in the UK. The IATSE in North America is more effective as a union. Unions protect workers and maintain pay and conditions but the trade off is it isn’t an easy path or an open door. The flip side is an unregulated workforce in which good people wouldn’t stand out in a listing.

13.      Look out for cons and being taken advantage of.  

  • Paid/subscriptions/services to find work      
  • Non-payment and getting ripped off.

    Starting out, eager to please but don’t agree to unreasonable. If you are not experienced enough to know what reasonable is then maybe you are too green to be taking commissions. Work for someone else and earn your chops.  

14.      So what should I do to get my work seen?

  • Do good work and present good, clear images.
  • Digital folios are essential but consider a hard copy. These are people who sculpt after all, and like tactile objects.  
  • Keep a list of who you contacted, when, who you spoke to and what was said. Follow up on any advice or information.
  • Be on time.
  • Try and meet people at trade shows and events such as The Prosthetics Event, IMATS and other gatherings related to your area f interest.
  • Remember, you can't trick your way into work. You either have the chops or you don't. Good work gets seen and noticed. If you need to improve, then sink your energy into that rather than aggressive campaigns of hustling.
  • Keep a professional social media profile and post good work regularly.
  • Be persistent and polite.


Once again, thank for listening. Consider leaving us a voice message to ask a question, say hi or to leave us an intro for the next episode! Tap the 'Send A Voicemail' tab on the contact page.

Email is stuartandtodd@gmail.com.

Please consider sharing this podcast with one person whom you think may enjoy it! We want to grow and with your help, we can!

-Stuart & Todd

Apr 12, 2020

There are often a number of questions about prosthetic makeup that get asked often. We put together the top 5 that keep cropping up and do a deep dive into our responses.

1. How do I match an appliance to a person's skin tone?

2. How do I ensure a good edge on an appliance?

3. How can I create good work without spending a fortune on materials?

4. How do I get work?

5. Will computers take over the work of makeup artists?

Check out the blog post with extensive notes (and a downloadable booklet) by tapping here.

 

Also, you can leave a voice message directly on our website through our 'Speak Pipe' feature. Check it here.

-Stuart & Todd

Apr 2, 2020

Todd talks with his good friends and fellow artists, Jacquie & Brandon Ryan.

This episode looks at how people teach, learn, and maybe don't learn. We all need a motivation to learn, and many of us will require different styles of learning such as visual, auditory, practical hands-on tasks or live demonstration to get started.

One simple rule to remember is this: Sucking is learning. Making mistakes is when you learn. Learn how to make mistakes and pick yourself up. Nobody likes failing, but using that as fuel is worthwhile. As the military put it - 'Pain retains!'

Check our blog post with extensive notes here.

Mar 19, 2020

I first met Neill with a folio tucked under my arm for my interview I had managed to arrange at Ealing Studios in 1995.

My first job with him was making oversized Casio watches, which were fibreglassed out of silicone moulds to make G-Shock watch display units.

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Check out our new website:
Battles With Bits Of Rubber Dot Com

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One thing I have always noticed about Neill is that he has a seemingly fearless approach to problem-solving. He will go directly to the source and grab whatever is the root of the issue in order to overcome it.

This seems to me to be the single best approach to fixing things which go wrong and thus continue on to better results. It is so easy for us to protect ourselves from the pain of that difficulty that it needs constant motivation and reminding to break through that in-built resistance.

The film industry is couched in problem-solving, each situation unique and usually high pressured. It is an attractive career and it rewards those involved with decent pay and pride, at the cost of many long hours and the weight of responsibility.

When things are done well by competent practitioners, it often looks like not much has been done at all - as if the ease with which something has been accomplished has been the result of something requiring little skill. The truth is, people who are highly skilled make it look easy, and it is interesting to discuss this with people who are successful and well connected to their efforts which made them so.

It does nobody any service to imply that great success is easy, yet there is no shortage of 'get rich quick' schemes online, dangling the carrot of instant fame at the touch of a recording button.

Truth is, people pay for what they value and solving problems is a valuable commodity. The job of all of us I think is to figure out whose problems you can solve, and how to be of service whilst building a body of work you can be proud of.

In this episode, Neill & Stuart dig into the behind the scenes stuff about what is hard and how to address the weaknesses. We also come up with three very practical ways to get started, which don't involve massive expense or commitment:

  1. Sculpt self-portraits with clay, spending just 30 mins a day and reuse the clay to practice sculpting. Mirror, lamp and you. Do this for 30 days. Take a photo each day of what you did in the time, and rip the clay up and reuse it the next day. Repeat.
  2. Sculpt a face or creature face onto a board. Make a plaster mould of this and make a latex face mask. Avoid expensive silicone in the first instance, just stick to the basic materials.
  3. Highlight and shadow makeups. The cornerstone of everything, modifying forms with just highlight and shadow using a few brushes and a makeup palette such as the 12 colour 'Supracolour' B Palette from Kryolan.


Neill also talks about his interest in psychology and how it can best affect how we see to sculpt.

We do so many things automatically without actively noticing, so learning to do new things makes you meet those difficulties. That is the blockage when you start learning new things. There is no immediate reward, no endorphin rush of doing something you are competent at.

When starting out, most people are awful, few people are 'natural born sculptors'. It takes repetition and powering through the crap stuff, like purging the spout of a half-used tube of glue, getting the crust out of the way so the fresh stuff can get out.

I'm a better sculptor because of how I break things down into simpler forms. Complexity is just repeated layers of simplicity. Sculpting is difficult because you have a low-resolution version of things - you can't have a high-resolution version of all things in the world, it is too much information to retain and recall so we become adept at glossing over most things most of the time.

When called to reproduce and generate something which is believable, it helps to have a clear idea of how to break down a given subject so it can be approached and digested systematically in smaller, simpler chunks, arranged in the right order.

Asked to draw a horse from memory, most of us will realise what we don't have stored as we have instead an 'icon' of what a horse is rather than a detailed, accurate schematic. You know what constitutes a horse so you can recognise one when you see it, but recreating one will require more resolution than you have, so feed that when needed by studying reference material

Lastly, a few words about social media enterprises.

YouTube sells the idea that it's easy, but there is a lot of unseen work, effort and equipment which needs to be used correctly.

The illusion of social media platforms is that they make you think of them as accessible. In the entire history of entertainment until recently, TV and media used up on a pedestal, that which was on a screen wasn't interacted with. Now the platform has been democratised.

However, you can't own an audience. You cannot control a following.

To be of value, have something first, and once you have something to offer, THEN use the social media outlet to promote it. After all, you don't buy a shop and then wonder what to sell in it.


In this episode we mention a few things, so here are the details regarding them.

The 'Corson book' is a classic and has just come out with the 11th edition. It also has a lot of cool stuff in by a friend of the show Matthew Mungle so we recommend that:

Stage Makeup
Richard Corson (author), James Glavan (author), Beverly Gore Norcross (author)

Psychology book recommendations:

Your Deceptive Mind:
A Scientific Guide To Critical Thinking Skills
By Steve Novella

Black Box Thinking
By Matthew Syed

Radical Candor:
How to Get What You Want by Saying What You Mean

By Kim Scott

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
By Jocko Willink & Leif Babin

VANESSA DAVIS - THE SKULLTRESS™ - @skulltressbeauty

Many thanks for listening! Give us a share on the socials and maybe check our merch store here and our Teespring Store to show your support!

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It's made from metal and everything!

-Stuart & Todd

Jan 16, 2020

At IMATS London 2019, I sat and had a great chat with Rick from Bolton University. For those that may not be aware, a breif Rick bio:

"Richard is a senior lecturer and Programme Leader of the Special Effects for Film and TV degree at the University of Bolton. He’s been teaching at the university for several years and specialises in character work, in both the prosthetic make-up effects and model-making fields. "

In the episode, we talk about the massive effect 3D printing and technology is having on what was previously a traditional skills area. What is cool is that new blood is coming in, taking on board the new tech and learning old skills for the first time in equal measure, making something new and quite special as a result. He is an interesting chap and has, I think you will agree, a very good voice for radio! Give us a listen and let us know what you think.

Incidentally, all the lecturers at Bolton have been doing great work there for years, making a real impact on the quality of work and competence the students leave with. The lecturers and support crew in all the courses at Bolton have been so generous and supportive, they really do deserve a shout out.

We recently collaborated with various mentors to support their recent Island of Dr Moreau project which was filmed this past week.

More on this exciting collaboration with Matt Winston from the incredible Stan Winston Character School of Character Arts here.


In it, we discuss various things, and I mention a He-Man and a Skeletor suit made for a Money Supermarket commercial built by Legacy FX.

Check out the cool behind the scenes video of David Monzingo, Brian Best and Myself wrangling suits for the commercial shoot in London here. I was lucky enough to help out just for a day - David and the Legacy FX team handled the build and full shoot days - it was a blast!

 


Todd and I chatted about safer mould materials, which is great for anyone with limited workshop access, open spaces and extraction. This led to an interesting discussion about comparing plaster and resin use in the UK and USA for mould making.

The materials we mentioned were acrylic polymers to be used with Gypsum, and sound similar in regards to mixing and properties:

Jesmonite by Jesomite

Acrylic Plaster Polymer by Alec Tiranti

Forton MG by Smooth-On

Acrylic One by Active Composite Technologies

We also discuss the workspaces used by students in makeup schools and colleges, measuring accuracy in CAD and ZBrush and the amazing work of Landon Meier. If you haven't seen his stuff, it really is incredible and you can do a lot worse for entertainment than check out his stuff here: http://www.hyperflesh.com/

This article is also entertaining: https://www.greatbigstory.com/stories/this-guy-makes-the-world-s-most-convincing-masks

His Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hyperfleshdude/

His YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/disgustedbaby

Correction - In the podcast at 19:03 it was Monsterpalooza 2018 we did the Bela Lugosi application - not IMATS as I said. D'oh!

Have a splendid week! We shall return soon.

Kind regards

---

Stuart & Todd.

Dec 18, 2019

In this episode, I got to chat with Matthew Mungle & visit his jail cell!

Matthew and his company, WM Creations have been responsible for makeup effects on scores of shows and racked up a lot of awards and nominations in the process - for a deep dive into that, check out Matthews IMDb profile.

The actual real-life holding cell in the studio, now decked out with suitably spooky decorations and effects! So much fun.

Todd and I also wax lyrical about the joys of epoxy and plaster, silicones we like for flat moulds and release agents for Pros-Aide transfers. We both like a firmer silicone as there is naturally some pressure that goes on when pressing a scraper over the back of the mould - so a soft silicone mould will compress too much and underfill if you are not careful!

One of the sculpting areas in Matthews studio.

Matthew talked at length about the process of taking a script, breaking it down and assigning it into a series of tasks - details which you don't often hear people talk about. He always wanted to do his own thing, and so he learned how to please a crew and producers before being a freelancer - getting the priorities right:

  • Learning how to delegate and let things go whilst still controlling quality.
  • How a job gets from words on a page to a series of jobs, and then pieces of rubber on a set.
  • How a TV show is like a train that leaves the station that doesn't stop until it gets to the end of the line.
  • Deciding what will be practical or visual fx.
  • Will an effect be suitable for the target audience to keep director, producer and network happy.
  • Discussing the effect with the appropriate crew like DOP and what to prep for.

We are also on Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud and YouTube ... basically, wherever you get podcasts!

Subscribe to make sure you don't miss the latest episodes!


  • The video tutorial I mentioned on Freeform Sculpt and Freeform Air is here. (It was a squirrel - not a duck as I mentioned).
  • WM Creations have a range of FX materials such as Soft Sealer, Old Age Stipple and Alcohol Colours, and are available from good retailers such as BITY in the US and The Makeup Armoury in the UK.

There are endless rows of lifecasts all over the studio - talk about reference material!

Thanks for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider letting everyone know - tell a friend, share this episode on the socials and leave a comment or review on iTunes if you feel moved to do so!

You can email us directly at stuartandtodd@gmail.com

Till next time

-Stuart & Todd

Click to visit the Blog Post Episode to go with this episode.

Dec 12, 2019

In this episode, Neill Morrill joins me in the workshop as we hit up Todd in Colorado and chat about our collaborated efforts on the makeup we did for The Prosthetics Event 2019.

Neil is originally from the UK but moved to Toronto in the early 2000s and has worked on a number of high profile shows over the years such as 300, The Strain, Suicide Squad, Hereditary, It, Shazam! and the What We Do In The Shadows series.

It was an absolute joy working with Neil on our homage to Rick Bakers' 'Reverend Brown' makeup on Arsenio Hall from 1988 classic Coming To America.

Neil had the idea when chatting to our makeup sponsor Sian Richards when bouncing ideas around. The upcoming sequel recently finished shooting, and so Neil picked that as a good contender as a challenge for us to do - separated as we are by 3, 500 miles of Atlantic ocean.

British Rapper and DJ Normski agreed to be our victim, and so we set about hatching the plan. Obviously distance like that adds tricky elements to a physical process such as sculpting and moulding pieces, so we worked out a share of labour which was as follows.

Some video was shot and we will edit together the whole thing as a complete tutorial in more detail, so check the blog post for an abridged version of the first part of the process: http://www.learnmakeupeffects.com/48-neil-morrill/

Thanks for checking in!

-Stuart & Todd

Email the show direct at stuartandtodd@gmail.com

Nov 18, 2019

In this episode, Todd and Stu talk about our week making moulds with epoxy, dropping sculpts and moulage effects for first responder training.

Earlier in 2019, Stu got to sit and chat with some fine folks at IMATS London and a chat with makeup designer Kate Benton kicks off the first of these finally edited up after a crazy industry year.

This is the sculpt I was detailing and then dropped. Doh!

As you may know, this podcast is a side hustle for us which has been on the backburner for a while as the industry rocked the makeup case hard.

Now as things ease up, the Prosthetics Event is almost upon us and a season of podcast editing is happening and winding down for the end of the year. Deep joy!

Find out more about Kate on her website: http://www.katebenton.com/

The Heidi Klum Halloween makeups we mentioned can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sp390WQaXY

Check out the amazing artistry of Mike Marino and Prosthetic Rennaisance (Proren) here: https://www.prorenfx.com/ and on Insta @prorenfx

We sure appreciate your ears and attention. If you would like to help support us, then please share this episode with someone who you think would get something out of it.

Get in touch at stuartandtodd@gmail.com to ask fx related questions and to suggest your ideas for a future episode. OK, back to the workshop for us.

Speak soon.

-Stuart & Todd

Nov 10, 2019

Starting Education In Makeup Effects & Prosthetics

This episode is prompted by seeing a few questions on forums about how best to learn about makeup FX and prosthetics. Where to go and what to learn?

Depending on what you want to be able to do, let's also draw a distinction between a makeup artist who sometimes will apply a prosthetic v someone who specialises in creating and applying more complex pieces.

Some people want to exist in the workshop only and have no interest in being on set all day. It takes all types but understands there is a profession which specialises in making and one in makeup, they don't always cross over, and you don't need to be able to do everything.

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There are some great colleges out there with tutors doing sterling work. There are also some not so great. We think that is worth mentioning and discussing.

In this episode, I mention some institutions off the top of my head which I reckon do a great job, and I have had the privilege of visiting many more and speaking with the students there.

In the podcast recording, I didn't supply an exhaustive list, and to those which I neglected to mention I apologise. The result of memory oversight. I have been overwhelmed recently by the kindness and generosity of the tutors who make huge efforts to deliver good education.

Thank you for what you do.

There are a few different paths to go down if looking to get schooling. Nowadays it essentially boils down to three main categories of training. Education systems vary across the world, but the essence of these categories remain the same.

1. Academic or ‘certified’ qualification level
(usually longer term)

2. Private courses & tuition
(usually short term)

3. Self-taught through books, DVD’s and online sources
(usually long term & ongoing)

The link to the blog post about training and apprentices we mentioned is here.

That free digital sculpting programme is called Sculptris and is available here: https://pixologic.com/sculptris/

The link to the blog post about training and apprentices we mentioned is here.

That free digital sculpting programme is called Sculptris and is available here: https://pixologic.com/sculptris/

Rick Bakers book, Metamorphosis is out now in good bookstores!

 

Sep 10, 2019

Jordu Schell has been pushing clay around for a while and knows a thing or two about sculpting.

Creating concepts for characters and creatures, masks, makeups and beautifully crafted designs, he also teaches his craft all over the world and has recently released the first of a series of downloadable books The Professional Creature Design Handbook.

In this podcast we chat about:

  • The headspace of sculpting
  • The frustration of failing and why it matters
  • Using nature as inspiration and reference
  • The pitfalls of copying styles
    (Aping the style without understanding the deeper truth behind it)
  • Teaching and learning styles around the world

The other sculptors mentioned are:

The book Todd mentioned was by Uldis Zarins and Sandis Kondrats Anatomy For Sculptors: https://anatomy4sculptors.com/


Subscribe in your podcatcher to make sure you don't miss the latest episodes!

Thanks for listening

Stuart & Todd

Aug 15, 2019

It’s been a while since Todd & I have podcasted, so apologies for the slow return to form.

It’s been a brutal few months, mainly as I have been on the new Netflix/BBC version of Dracula which has kept my hands red and my days long and busy. 

Naturally, NDA’s prevent me from divulging what’s what but rest assured, fans of the Hammer style will enjoy the perfect casting of Danish actor Claes Bang in the lead role.

Dave and Lou Elsey ran the Prosthetics department, and the small crew we had was kept busy. Makeup dept head Marcus Whitney and his crew did some amazing work and as it has been penned by the Sherlock team of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, you can be sure of some exciting storylines. Totally stoked to have been involved!  

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In this podcast, we chatted outside in Todd’s back yard about our endeavours over the previous couple of days, making ears. We had used epoxy and as I have used so much polyester resin with fibreglass over the years, talk fell mainly to comparing the two materials and the pros and cons of each.

We covered:

  • Polyester resin v Epoxy.
  • Block moulds v Shell moulds.
  • Mould closure - Bolted v strap/weight. Discussing the position of a clamp (centre for small mould) or multiple if larger moulds. Designing moulds to have flat, parallel clamping faces or indentations to retain straps so they don’t slide off. Blocks also to keep strap pulling taught.
  • Size of moulds, what determines the best mould material and type?
  • Moulds built to withstand the forces of repeated opening, closing, clamping etc.
  • Why ‘Derry Girls’ may be the best thing on TV.
  • Laying fibreglass over harsh angles and air bubbles.
  • Heat issues on mould halves getting hot, can damage plastiline sculpt as well as warp.
  • Keeping a logbook/record of size of item moulded, amounts of resin/cat used, temp and humidity, how much was left over/waste.
  • Polyester resin used in construction so old school plasterers would use the fibreglass and so would know the material and make moulds with it, but not necessarily from prosthetic sympathy.
  • Collapsible cores v flared out cores and why you’d go there.
  • Plaster Gypsum in US v UK resin/marine industry.

Below is a picture demonstrating one of the main issues I have with fibreglassing over keys. The raised bumps create a sharp angle which can cause air bubbles in certain moulding materials, such as epoxy an the glass matting that is often used.

One lazy way I have started using nowadays is to fill the deepest recesses with a paste made up of a little of the laminating resin with either industrial talc or, Polyfibres/Urefil, a lightweight particulate which is used for just such a purpose.

Picture below or on blog page http://www.learnmakeupeffects.com/colorado2019/

Rest assured the next podcast is coming up soon. We have a few in the can and I am editing again this week! As soon as I can, I’ll upload the finished item. Keep at it!

Stuart

Apr 23, 2019

"Paul walked into a Lifeboat station on his 17th birthday and never left, initially volunteering at Poole and now at Tower Lifeboat in London. So far he has been a Search and Rescue Volunteer with the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) and HM Coastguard for 31 years."

So reads the write-up for the honours listing of Pauls OBE, a high honour of recognition for sterling work which he continues to do within maritime medicine and emergency response.

Training those who deal with emergency and pre-hospital medicine is no mean feat, and making sure casualty makeup used in training medical personnel is both accurate and hard wearing is a key part of that. It was because of this shared interest that Paul and Stuart crossed paths, and led to this episode of the podcast.

Casualty simulation is often an avenue makeup artists will get involved in as they can obviously add a great deal of realism to training scenarios with good makeup. Anyone who has done a first-aid at work course will no doubt be familiar with a biro mark or lip pencil line as a substitute wound.

Pauls experience teaching casualty simulation revealed to him how a lack of correct reference, appropriate anatomical awareness and poor technique meant sometimes makeup being done was not helping the simulation!

This can be both from an aesthetic point of view (it doesn't actually look very good or realistic) and from a medical diagnostic point of view if a 'bruise' looks more like a burn and then is treated as such.

He set about to change that with the training he does with his company Saviour Medical.

We are used to seeing wounds portrayed on TV and they are often overdone for dramatic effect and not realistic, with big blood sprays etc. There is a difference between the drama of a compelling story requiring larger than life effects and correct representation of real trauma.

Realistic Medical Moulage for simulation purposes

This podcast episode hopes to deal directly with that, focussing on what is important with some real insight into how best to approach. Paul made a brief list of key elements which we cover in depth in the podcast, such as:

Correct Wound: - Looks accurate – often less is more - Bleeds the right amount - Skin tones accurate - Right location, need for some surface anatomy knowledge - Right materials used – must survive contact with the responder – no wax or tissue paper

Actor Compliance: - Pre brief the simulation – care of any sensitive issues - Pre brief wound location and ascertain actor is ok with that – we all have bits of us we don’t like! - Pre-brief if trauma 'cut downs' to nearly nude / underwear - Need to gain consent for the treatment interventions - Explain symptoms that should be displayed and progression of symptoms based upon correct or incorrect interventions - Supply safe word to actor and treatment team - Freshly shaved where appropriate - Bring old clothes and a spare set to go home!

Scene: - Supply appropriate props (inhalers etc) - Dress scene to make the mechanism of injury realistic - Ascertain real impact on actor (hot / cold / wet etc)


The Black Knight Always Triumphs. Even though his wounds may bleed a little too much.

We mention a few books, and the ones I really like are The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration by Richard Barnnett and Special Effects Guide Of Real Human Wounds and Injuries by Benito Garcia.

We also mention a previous episode of our podcast where real carcasses of pigs (supplied by a butcher) were shot with different guns, allowing Todd to make casts of the resulting damage - many of which he then used to make appliances with accurate trauma effect!

Listen here to find out more on the episode 'Shooting Guns At Meat'.

As ever, we are so grateful to you for listening and giving us your time. If you enjoy this podcast then please mention and link it in your favourite social media platform.

It really helps us grow the podcast, secure guests and bring you bigger and better shows.

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IMATS LONDON 2019 PROMO CODE

Looks like there will be some podcast action at London IMATS 2019, so come and say hi! Maybe handing out some swag too!

I'll bring some audio gear and record some bits there, and those fine folks at Makeup Artist Magazine have given us a PROMO CODE to get a DISCOUNT on show tickets. When prompted at paytime, simply use the coupon code Bray to get £20 off a ticket!

Till next time!

-Stuart & Todd

Feb 27, 2019

In this podcast we talk about art, what it means to be an artist, why we do it, and the challenges we face in trying to make a living doing this.

This was mostly brought about because of the fantastic conversation I had with my first ever boss when I started working in effects in 1994.

Pauline and business partner, Nik Williams run Animated Extras, an effects company specialising in prosthetics, animatronics, puppets, creature suits, fake bodies and many animals from elephants, bats, sharks...you name it. In their own words...

"From singing sloths to the putrefying corpses of Hollywood A-listers, Animated Extras have been creating all kinds of weird and wonderful things for the Film, TV, and advertising industry since 1986."

Pauline was the first person I ever saw take a lump of clay and make it look like a real person when she made a fake head of Michael Gambon for the film 'Mary Reilly'.

It was to me complete and total magic, and it was an absolute delight and honour to sit with her and talk frankly about the task of sculpting. We recorded this interview at Animated Extras workshop in Shepperton Studios.

Things we cover in the chat include:

  • Finite existence
  • Having a brief set by industry v personal jobs
  • Working in bronze
  • Scans v sculpt and the life looks fake but feels real etc.
  • Types of sculpting and sculptors
  • Get the feel early rather than struggle on with wrong and try and make it right.
  • Watching different sculptors work when you run a company.
  • Photography

 

 

 

The Three Sisters Pauline sculpted in Monster Clay before being cast in bronze. (Pauline hated plastilines before, so this was a significant development)


Todd and I get stuck into some deep dives about art, and how it's a joy to have a craft but also a largely unappreciated career path. It doesn't save lives or risk that of the artist by putting them in harm's way.

It often serves the artist more than the community around it, and may be seen as a selfish, luxury position and an unnecessary way to spend a life.

See what you think and maybe drop us a line at stuartandtodd@gmail.com with your thoughts and experiences about that.

I mention a great podcast I listened to by Seth Godin, (the podcast is called 'Akimbo and this was from series 2, episode 9 called 'Distribution and cultural destiny') and in it he talks about how the distribution of media changed the media it distributed.

From cinemas, to TV, to Home Vidoe, DVD and now streaming, each new development has reduced costs and democratised the medium. Such access means more making and consumption, but often this can also mean a watering down of quality.

Is that a fair trade off or an inevitable side effect? See what you think, I'd reccommend it.

Seth is a very influential thinker and I listen to almost everything he puts out. Listen here

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Lastly, here is the letter to Agnes De Mille Todd mentioned.

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.
If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is, nor how it compares with other expressions.
It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you.
Keep the channel open. No artist is ever pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.
-Martha Graham

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We'd appreciate it if you'd share this podcast with friends or colleagues who you think would get a kick out of it.

Thank you for sticking with us!

-Stuart & Todd

Jan 23, 2019

Richard Redlefsen is someone I saw for the first time a few years back at the UMAE where he was applying his demo makeup on the PPI stand.

What was of note for me was how particular and precise everything was. Care was taken at every turn, and it struck me that the amount of effort that takes must come from a deep well.

So it was a great pleasure to sit and chat with the man himself, and I could ask if he thought of this about himself and if we could pick apart where that comes from. As you'll hear, Richard had a career as a dancer before he embarked on makeup, and his training was thorough. I think that experience and also working for a makeup brand such as Lancôme meant his work doesn't start and stop with bits of rubber!

Follow Richard on his Instagram to see just how versatile this chap is.


Check out a brief selection of the range Richard covers.

A Devil mask sculpt completed recently for Immortal Masks.

 

Claudia Alta (Lady 'Bird' Johnson) wrap-around prosthetic sculpt ready to mould.

 

Zombie makeup on Eva Minaeva for TUSH magazine.

 

Phantom makeup from Monsterpalooza 2016.

 

A 1920s beauty makeup on Sarah Sokolovic from the NBC show Timeless. Sarah plays Grace Humiston (the first female Special Assistant United States Attorney). Makeup was usually done by Peter DeOliveira, and Richard filled in on this day. It's quite a responsibility to fill in seamlessly on a show with established looks.

 

Another beauty makeup on Bianca Lopez from NBC show Timeless. Makeup by Richard Redlefsen. Debbie Zoller makeup dept head.


We are on the lookout for your stories of people wanted way too much of something for a whole lot of nothing.

We chat about a Facebook post which got a lot of people's back up, as a freelancer or anyone with a creative spark, you may have been approached to do something which gradually expands into a lot of somethings, and payment is strangely far from the table.

Email us with your stories, screenshots or anything regarding that. We'd love to do a post focussing on that and read some of the best ones out, and formulate an appropriate response to arm you if you find yourself in that position of feeling bad for wanting fair compensation.

Email us direct at stuartandtodd@gmail.com

Facebook page at Battles With Bits Of Rubber

If you enjoy this, PLEASE help us grow by telling someone about us and posting on social media!

We had a lovely message from Charlotte Annice Spruch who mentioned the formula for finding your worth from a few episodes back on a Facebook group. Cheers Charlotte!

That kind of sharing is what helps us grow, and we get heard by the people who would be glad to find us!

Till next time!

- Stuart & Todd

Dec 14, 2018

Rick Baker knows a thing or two about making stuff in rubber.

It's also fair to say he knows a thing or two about the digital world too, as he has been mixing the two for a while.

In 2015, when it was announced that Rick was to close his shop, the FX world was stunned and the bell tolled once again for the end of all practical effects as people speculated the end of live-action anything.

There was a Vice article at the time which claimed (again) the 'CGI was killing the industry' which, if you were knee deep in rubber and working crazy hours trying to get stuff done for a show like I and many others were was hard to take seriously.

Now the dust has settled, I was so stoked to get a chance to sit and talk to the man himself and see what he was doing with himself now he was out of the industry. He was after possibly the most well known and most respected inspirations working at the time, so what were we to do now he had hung up his makeup brushes?

The answer? Keep on making things.

Simply put, what has happened since Rick retired is that he is still working and still developing. He has worked on things he wanted to work on make them the way he wanted to make them. He has pushed into mixing up practical and digital techniques in both digital sculpting and 3D printing, post production elements as well as being able to indulge in some of the funnest Halloween makeups we have seen so far.

Following Rick on Instagram (therickbaker), you will see a man working harder than ever but this time, he only has to please himself rather than juggle a board of producers. No budget fights or sudden changes of direction to steal away the efforts so far. It is, frankly, amazing. If you have been inspired by the Rick Baker of Thriller, American Werewolf and Nutty Professor, then I am pleased to say your inspiration is still there better than ever.

Rick has been working on a scale model scene from the 1932 Frankenstein movie.
It really is very cool.

I particularly wanted to talk to Rick about this move into the newer technologies. We all love to talk about American Werewolf of course, but that ground has been covered before, and I wanted to talk to him about what is going on now. As you'll hear, Rick was an early adopter so it really isn't that 'new' after all.

As therapy for me, it totally settled my own fears on digital work and I am happy to say I am flying along with ZBrush, CAD and 3D printing now myself. I finally lost the fear and found the love for it. Only took me ten years.

Thanks, Rick!

Blog post link.


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- Stuart & Todd

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