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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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Now displaying: 2022
Jul 30, 2022

In this episode, we look at a makeup I did nearly 30 years ago at college. Adrian Rigby sent me a remaining original piece from the mould, along with some photos (prints, no less, which I scanned).

We talk about remembering what you knew then (the past) and how you thought it should be done. You can also advise your old self on how it could be done better using the knowledge you know now (the present) and things you would attain in the future. By seeing your errors written plain, having an actual artefact from the past, you can connect with both then and now. 

We also answer a few listener questions about how to work out softnesses for appliances and what to include in a successful portfolio.

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

Jul 3, 2022

"Bill, there's a scene where The Blob attacks a woman who's in a 'phone booth and it covers the 'phone booth, it crushes the 'phone booth and here and then it goes on the sidewalk and goes into a gutter and disappears into this sewer."

I'm just looking at him and I go…"Okay."

And he says "Figure out how to do that scene!"

I was, like "Well, what IS The Blob?"

He goes "I don't know…you come up with something. Come up with 5 things and I'll pick one."

That was it. That was my first day


Bill who? Pardon our manners. We're talking about Emmy and Academy Award winner, Bill Corso, makeup designer extraordinaire, whose credit list is mind-boggling.

We talk about respect and the future of our industry, which is mainly what this episode is about. There are full-on makeups being done digitally now, but they're being done by people who are not makeup artists. Bill's push is that more makeup people do get involved.

Rarely is the makeup department consulted when digital modifications are employed which affect makeup so Bill has taken the step of formulating the Digital Makeup Group to address the absence of the makeup artist in the digital process. This is a great episode for those looking to get into the industry!


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.

-Stuart & Todd

Feb 3, 2022

In this episode, we talk with materials maestro Pete Tindall about all things making related, along with a dose of rantage.

I moan a bit about ZBrush (although I love it) and the fact that despite the terrifying interface and the huge number of tools available in ZBrush, freedom comes from accepting that you likely need only a handful of them.

Early on in ZBrush, you are can indeed happily ignore most of it with confidence.

Pete is an adept materials man, knowing and using a broad range of materials. We first met on Batman Begins (2005) where Pete worked in the Bat-suit workshop and miniatures for the monorail sequence.

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We also start the podcast as usual with a little FX chit-chat and this time we talk about creating the illusion of hard things in soft tissue such as horns protruding from foreheads, teeth showing from exposed gums and foreign bodies sticking out of the skin (knives or arrows for example).

In the reality of filming, the scene may need to be repeated and used in intense action, so things that are really hard or sharp in real life could break off or cause real injury.

As a result, often it is made up of either soft or semi-rigid material which looks solid but is safer. Sometimes the thing may be designed to break away, be replaceable if multiple takes are needed, be incredibly lightweight or even detachable so it can be removed when not needed.

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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.

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

Stuart & Todd

Jan 27, 2022

Check the shownotes on the blog: https://battleswithbitsofrubber.com/

This second part of our chat with Ian and Cliff takes a look back at the company they had together, Creature Concepts - or as Ian puts it ‘How not to run a business'.

Ian and Cliff mentioned Blood On The Satan’s Claw (1971) and I watched it on their recommendation.  It whetted my appetite, and I had to rewatch some of my favourites, The Creeping Flesh, Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter and of course The Curse Of Frankenstein.

It also reminds me of the joys of direct-applied makeups. Things like burns, or wound interiors for example have many random details which can be created in different materials. Sculpting in plastiline is the usual method for creating the forms in appliances, but some things are better created - or at least started - using other techniques. 

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

Jan 21, 2022

This episode was recorded at Cliff's studio, with all four of us present and correct.

Ian and Cliff have worked together and separately in the industry for a long time - Ian's credits include Little Shop Of Horrors, Alien 3, Saving Private Ryan, War Horse, Fury and Dr Who.

Cliff racks up an impressive listing on IMDb with Hellraiser (1987), Lair of the White Worm, Black Hawk Down, World War Z and 28 Days Later.

It was a hefty chat that we split into two parts as it was so long, but also they divided into two clear conversations which lent themselves to being broken in two. We had a great time recording and producing this one and we hope you get a kick out of it too. It's not often Todd and I get to be in the same room when we record so getting to do this was a dream.

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Check out the website for more info and full show notes: https://battleswithbitsofrubber.com/

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 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

Jan 1, 2022
Competence and comfort are the results of the repetition of activity over a significant period of time.
 
In an age of endless self-promotion, this podcast has always championed the work involved in quiet competence. Being competent at something is what people will pay money for, so it is worth considering as an ambition. 
 
But how do we keep ourselves on the right track?
 
A great many working professionals have a very meagre following on social media precisely because their work is mostly protected and discrete because of NDAs (non-disclosure agreements), and they are not looking for mass appeal from as many people as possible.
 
Check out this episode written post on the podcast website - it's hefty - https://battleswithbitsofrubber.com/
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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

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