IMATS interview with the man who sculpted the most famous hand in werewolf cinema

A. Quinton — Mar. 6th 2015

AWIL handAn iconic example of body horror introduces the most famous werewolf transformation in cinema: David Kessler stares in terror as the palm of his outstretched hand slowly elongates. The claws haven’t appeared yet, but it’s not David’s hand anymore. Sculpting that hand was one of Tom Hester‘s first assignments as a make-up effects artist.

I’m sorry to say that before today I wasn’t familiar with Tom, but I’ve been enjoying his work since I was old enough to cram a tape in the Betamax VCR. In his 30-year career, he’s worked on films like Harry and the Hendersons, Gremlins 2, CocoonGorillas in the Mist, the Thriller music video, and of course, An American Werewolf in London.

During the Live@IMATS video series from IMATS Los Angeles 2015, Stan Winston School co-founder Matt Winston and fellow effects artist Norman Cabrera interview Tom and get a look at some rare photos from the production of An American Werewolf in London.

Okay, there’s actually only a few AWIL photos, but one of them is this incredible shot of the creature effects crew in England.

AWIL crew

Despite the IMATS site having oversold the AWIL content, there’s a lot of great stuff in this 19-minute video. Winston and Cabrera are energetic hosts, and it’s clear that all three guys are just as excited about their jobs now as they were when they started as kids.