Chris Dombos knows a thing or two about 3D printing, and he is also a massive FX nerd so we got on rather well. Having met him first at LA IMATS in Jan 2017 (I discovered he had some of the original Lost Boys moulds), it made sense to catch up when he came over to London recently. Of course, I figured bring the mic and make a podcast out of it.
We recorded in a cemetery in London, so there are background noises. The whole gamut of life - cars, sirens, passing people, kids, birds in the sky, aircraft, wind – it’s all there in a place of the dead. It's all background, our audio is clear and we chatted about a number of great topics which matter to anyone who makes things. This includes:
We also mention some great artists. These include:
Software and websites to help include:
Hope you enjoy this episode - It's exciting and scary at the same time for me.
I met up with the Mekashes (Eryn and Mike) at their hotel as they were over for The Prosthetics Event here in the UK.
I was lucky enough to squeeze in a face to face interview and had a frankly wonderful time chatting with a couple of lovely people who also are amazing artists and FX nerds. Listen here, or on Apple Podcasts/iTunes. Soundcloud or whatever podcatcher you like to use.
Her credits include TV shows Glee, Nip/Tuck & Movies such as Flags of our Fathers, Letters from Iwo Jima, My Sisters Keeper. As per her IMDb bio:
Listen here, or on Apple Podcasts/iTunes. Soundcloud or whatever podcatcher you like to use. It's a hefty one, almost 2 hours so get stuck in!
We talk about the great book Leading Ladies of Makeup Effects in which Eryn features, being a department head for FX heavy shows like American Horror Story, how much fun Halloween is at Rick Bakers place and recreating The Lost Boys thirty years on using pieces from the original moulds.
Todd was printing a head of himself to make 'Chocolate Todds' so that's the sound you can hear in the background. Todd discusses the finishing up of his third edition to the well-known FX bible Special Makeup Effects for Stage And Screen! Hear all about the goodies in store there in the podcast.
Incidentally, the antler in question which frankly I think looks like something which needs batteries is this: I think this looks suspect. Is it just me...?
The winner of the Steve Wang Sculpting Tool Set is Darren Pastor - well done fella. These will be on their way to you soon!
My sincerest thanks for the Mekashes for giving up their time so generously and for all the beer and pudding!
Until next time!
Stuart & Todd
There are many things which often get taught again and again at makeup school, but along the way there are also things I noticed which are vital and yet which never seem to get the same level of spotlight.
In this podcast, Todd and I discuss 5 of the big ones which deserve looking at in some depth. We gave this subject as a talk at IMATS LA 2017, but this is a recording done recently (Nov 2017) so we're up to date and happy to hear your thoughts. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blog post for this episode with video:
It helps to know your tools, and in the podcast, he chats about how he started the company and how he paid his dues. We also chat with Mitch of Brick In The Yard again, and we talk about the proliferation of information in the hi-tech age and how having so much information on hand doesn't necessarily mean that it makes it into the brain.
Incidentally, this is what the tribble-like recorder looked like which we mention in the podcast:
Sculpting Tools Tools are something I have an unreasonable desire for, and I have far too many already but I'll be damned if that will stop me buying more. I have done a few posts on tools, manufacture tutorials and loop tool repair. This doesn't mean I don't buy tools as well - just because I know how to make a sandwich doesn't mean I don't go to Subway on occasion!
When I met with Rob at BITY, I had a play with the Steve Wang set, a signature set of tools designed in association with the master creature designer himself! I liked them so much I bought a set there and then for myself, and also got another set for a giveaway on the podcast. See the competition details below to enter!
Makeup Education Todd is busy with the newest edition of his book, and I have had a few cool jobs and loads of teaching spots which led me to reflect on the differences between the job and the education side of things.
There are a few recurring issues I see partly because I think people think 'makeup' sounds like an easy option and partly because academic frameworks don't necessarily make for a good approach to what is a vocational skill.
This being the case, we want to hear from anyone who is/was either a student or tutor in a makeup college/school/course and has a strong feeling either good or bad. What was your experience? What went well and what was pitiful? Did you find yourself surrounded with like-minded artistic souls or was it a difficult mixed group?
I've seen a lot of good thing and great tutors working hard to do right by their students, but sometimes any good they do is despite the system they find themselves in rather than because of it. Am I way off?
Let me know by emailing email@example.com It'll all be handled in confidence - I'm not interested in naming individual schools or people but I am interested in discussing the problem areas and what we can do to address them.
Check out Prosthetics Magazine too, available as print or online subscription. This edition features a ton of amazing stuff, and we have part 2 of our latex tutorial - applying latex appliances.
Until next time!
I wanted to take a tour and chat with Allen about what it takes to keep people scared and the business of running a haunt all year round.
When people think about creating makeup effects, masks and prosthetics, its usually associated with film and TV shows. In the US, Halloween is pretty big and getting bigger every year.
I went for a tour of the huge show floor, and got to see behind the scenes where all the in-house stuff gets made - from sets, costumes, masks, prosthetics and props. The level of the thought and detail that goes into setting up a new show (there are several original new shows a year) is incredible. The team work year round updating and thinking up new ways to keep the screams coming.
There are a few absolute wisdom bombs in this podcast episode which many makers would do well to listen to.
Cap plastic is big....and it's not just for bald caps.
Cap plastic is so called as it was originally pretty much used only for making bald caps, so those with hair could temporarily be without it.
Over the last ten years or so, it's used much more widely as an encapsulant or barrier in a mould so that when silicone gel appliances are cast into it, they come out of the mould with that cap plastic as a surface. This allows glue and makeup to remain attached to it - after all, silicone is at its best a mould material because almost nothing sticks to it!
Chek out the blog post that supports this episode of the podcast.
-Stuart & Todd.
This podcast episode is the belated accompaniment to the blog post.
We had a blast, learned some stuff and made some new friends. It was amazing, and I can't wait until IMATS London when I'll be back! Until then, please enjoy and get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and our facebook page.
Please also check out the breakdowns of the makeup demos, there is extensive behind the scenes info on the build of both makeup demos:
Thanks for listening!
Stuart & Todd
He sheds some light on the importance of knowing to look at what was before and honours great artists like Gil Liberto (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0508847/) who does incredible work for the likes of at Joel Harlow (Star Trek, anyone?).
Check out this Vanity Fair article about the makeup work on Star Trek: http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/02/star-trek-beyond-makeup.
The blog post for this one is here:
When going to trade shows and being asked to speak, Rob likes to share what he has known but he is there to be fed knowledge as well as to feed others. He doesn’t want to be the subject - rather he cares about the craft and wants you to care too.
Thinking about provenance and what went before is a humbling way of uncovering the history of your subject matter, and is utterly fascinating. When you think about the makeups from the original Wizard Of Oz from 1939, the list of makeup crew reads like a who's who of the makeup industry - Jack Dawn, Max Factor, Cecil Holland, Robert Schiffer, William Tuttle, Charles Schram...
Two more names that pop up are the perhaps little know Josef Norin (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0635364/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cr33) and his son Gustaf ('Gus') Norin (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0635362/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cr32) who were Swiss artists who brought their talents over from a background in sculpting and moulding small moulds for jewellery. Gustaf was father of John and Robert Norin, both makeup artists with an impressive line-up of screen credits.
Another aspect we touch on is how many of us working can count on the lack of distractions we had from the internet. Whilst it is fair to say that the internet brings untold knowledge to our fingertips, it also means we need to learn how to focus and channel what is important, rather than allow meaningless information to steal our time away. Social media makes people aware of what others may think of them or their beliefs…this wasn't something we grew up with in the pre-internet age. It is certainly shaping how people learn, and it's important to identify what really matters so one can harness that information and power into a tangible benefit rather than an endless distraction.
Not only is he incredibly skilled at making moulds but he has a passion for the provenance of the techniques which he uses and cares deeply to help interested parties understand so they can be better too.
He also will redirect much of the attention he gets to his predecessors and those peers whom he feels deserve more attention. It's a very generous attitude which I believe is born out of an unabashed passion for the subject and a desire to fan those flames in others.
It comes from a very pure place and it's not often you meet someone with that much knowledge, skill and wisdom and who also is phenomenally approachable and easy to talk to. He'll no doubt blush to read these words.
We hooked up at a pub near the Millennium FX in Aylesbury where he was teaching a class that week, and a few of us slunk off to the lobby of Rob's hotel to talk bronze age axe heads, seamlines and technology.
Full blog post here:
Rob, me, Ivan Bellew and Nat Reynolds. Good times!
The audio is clear, but there is some background noise owing to the nature of a public space. It was around 10pm when we started and we kept at it until around 0130…that's how interesting it was. Just a magical few hours and I'm really pleased we could synch schedules to be able to sit down and talk.
The reason I brought that axe head was to show Rob the seams in it - evidence of moulds which have been used to make essential life sustaining tools and weapons. Moulds have been aroud for so long, and it gave me a bit of thrill to be able to have a modern day master mould maker touch a casting from an ancient mould and admire their handiwork 2500 years on.
(Incidentally, this estimation is based on a bit of research I did into bronze age artefacts. This particular head is a palstave, check out http://www.antiques-info.co.uk/new/pdf/July02/1.pdf).
We mention a couple of videos that are on YouTube which show skills at work - hand making globes from 1955 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RWcWSN4HhI) and a Disney video explaining the different types of rivet (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDbTUt3OG9s). This was something Disney did to help the war effort, when training many civilians to make military equipment like aircraft required detailed explanations of manufacturing processes such as these. How better to explain these intricate and involved processes than with an animation, condensing time and showing materials in cross section.
Look out for part 2 coming very soon, and subscribe to use on iTunes, Stitcher, iHeart Radio and Google Play Music to name but a few! Thanks,