Tag: creature effects

Gore is Boring, Yak Hair is Awesome! NYT Interviews “Wolfman” Makeup Artist Rick Baker

Oh boy, it’s Oscar time, and if you’re  a blogger for a major media outlet and you haven’t got something to blog about, you’re fired. The Carpetbagger‘s Melena Ryzik is no slouch– last week she posted an interview with Oscar nominee and Werewolf News perennial favourite Rick Baker. There are no earth-shattering revelations, but it’s a good read nevertheless, especially if you’re interested in the ways crepe, human and yak hair can be combined to wolf out one’s face and body, even the relatively hairless Benicio Del Toro.

“There was a lot of handling of hair, where we actually have a lot of loose hair that’s glued on the actor’s face. It’s almost a lost art in the makeup field, but it’s something that I perfected because of my love of Wolfman.”

I was also pleased to read about Baker’s disdain for Hollywood’s current love affair with buckets-of-blood horror filmmaking.

“I’m not a fan of slasher movies, of what a modern horror movie is,” he said. “I’m not a big fan of ‘let’s see how we can kill the people in the most graphic ways.’ Zombie gore doesn’t bother me, but when it’s just somebody killing another human being in a graphic way, I’m not a fan of that.” … The gory stuff is really easy to do, and I found that out as a kid… the gory stuff doesn’t impress me.”

Amen! Give us realistic monsters to be afraid of, not boring deranged humans. Read the full interview here.

Making a Monster Movie? You Need The United Monster Talent Agency

Even if you don’t recognize his name, you’ve probably seen Greg Nicotero‘s handiwork. He helped form KNB Efx Group in the 80’s and his creature & gore special effects have been seen in films like Cursed, Splice, Grindhouse, The Mist, Predators and most recently, AMC’s The Walking Dead. Werewolf News reader Viergacht sent me a link to an awesome little short film Nicotero directed last October: The United Monster Talent Agency.

“What if classic monster weren’t special effects but real, (sort-of) trained critters?” writes Viergacht. “A short by special fx artist Greg Nicotero… which includes an out-of-control Wolf Man tearing up the set and getting shot with a tranq!” Watch it below, and keep an eye out for cameos by Eli Roth, Robert Rodriguez and Frank Darabont.

That’s an industry I could work in! If you’re interested in reading about how Nicotero put this together, Shock Till You Drop interviewed him in October– it’s worth a read!

First photo of the eponymous werewolf from “Big Bad”

1313FX’s Tom Devlin recently had a brief chat with Dread Central (you guys! always getting the exclusives!) about his creature work on the upcoming upcoming horror/dark comedy film “Big Bad”. There’s also a longer, rather interesting discussion with producer Rick Moore about the film’s story (three kids locked in an abandoned prison overnight are stalked by something sinister), its production ethos (Monster SquadThe Goonies and Gremlins are mentioned) and the production’s approach to the creature effects:

“You read a lot about some filmmakers who don’t like CGI and want to do everything old school and also those who swear by the freedom that computer-assisted effects give you. We are actually firmly in the middle. We knew from the beginning we wanted a detailed, scary monster on set – one that could emote and perform everything written in the script. 1313FX and Brad Bishop completely delivered on this front. For some more complex scenes we may duplicate parts of the monster or enhance a set in order to achieve a certain shot that would have been too difficult or expensive under our time and budget restraints.”

The Dread Central article is accompanied by a number of in-progress makeup photos and an image of the film’s poster, but the one photo I think you’ll be most interested in doesn’t seem to be there anymore, despite Horror-Movies.ca posting it and crediting Dread Central as the source. Weird. Anyway, the photo I’m referring to is of the werewolf creature effects. Check it out below.

I’m not going to lie to you, Marge. I like it. There are definitely some things I would do differently with the creature design (somebody get this werewolf some Dream Cream), but damn if he isn’t rather scary. And check those abs!

Read the Dread Central article or visit the official “Big Bad” Facebook page for more info.

Hat tip: ArcLight

Arrow In The Head gives us a first look at a “Howling Reborn” werewolf

Arrow In The Head is responsible for me fruitlessly using the “Sharpen” filter in Photoshop a whole lot this afternoon. They’ve got an exclusive first look at one of the werewolf designs being used in “The Howling Reborn” via a blurry photo from the set. I’m not sure who sent them the photo, but it came with this description:

The werewolf you see below is one of the henchmen werewolves. Flat snout. The head werewolves have the classic HOWLING sticking out snouts. I know you’re all better people for knowing this.

Conspicuously missing from that description is an explanation of the giant ears, the smaller-than-a-human’s nose and the Henry Rollins neck. Partial credit for originality and using practical effects instead of CG, but c’mon. Whoever approved the maquette for this design obviously look at it from the side.

Update: okay, it’s not as bad as that. I got carried away. There are definitely things I’d change about the design, but overall it’s pretty cool.

Hat-tip: @Karwood_Pub via @_Mjollnir_

Life-Sized “Werewolf of London” Mask (or Bust) by Steve Neill

You might not know who Steve Neill is. I didn’t when I first saw this link in my inbox, but after digging around on his site and looking him up on IMDB, I came to realize that I had seen his special effects work in some of my favourite 80’s movies. He sculpted (and performed one of) the monster arms that burst out of Dana Barrett’s chair in Ghostbusters, for pete’s sake!

Steve is still doing masks and props, and one of his latest creations is this mask of the Werewolf of London as played by Henry Hull. He details its creation on his blog, from the initial sculpture to the finished mask. Yes, “mask”. Despite the fact that the eyes are filled in the photos, Steve is selling mask versions for $225 US (scroll down). You can also get it foam-filled with glass eyes, which I suppose makes it a bust. This isn’t exactly the kind of werewolf I dig, but it’s a classic, well-crafted by a guy who’s been doing it longer than most of us have been alive. Love your work, Steve!

Macabri Werewolf Photo Shoot

Through the magic of Facebook, I came across these great photos of Werewolf News reader / contributor / friend  Macabri. She was kind enough to let me post them here, and she had this to say about the shoot:

What I can tell you is that is was for a horror-themed group shoot that happened last year in San Diego. Each model was asked to dress up as some sort of monster, but since the coordinator already knew me, she asked me to be their werewolf. The makeup artist (Chrissy Lynn) is really good with blending sexy and scary and did the makeup from scratch that day with little to no planning. She always blows me away.

Great makeup, great photos, great concept! This looks like it was a lot of fun– I wonder if stuff like this happens in Vancouver? Thanks for sharing, Macabri!

Makeup & Hair
Chrissy Lynn
1,2 – Fournier Film
3 – Dale Porter
4,5,6 – Jayde Wofford

Sweet “Wolfman” Prosthetic Arms & A Distressed-Looking Animatronic Werewolf

I saw @CreatureCompany mention this on Twitter this morning, and it definitely met my criteria for posting here (I clicked and said “whoah, that’s cool!”, which is all it really takes). Hollywood Movie Costumes and Props is a blog dedicated to exactly what you’d expect. This morning, its proprietor Jason posted a bunch of photos he took at a recent display of “Wolfman” props at Universal Studios Hollywood. If you’re into the movie or creature effects, I suggest you go have a look. Here are two photos I cribbed from Jason’s post:

Animatronic Werewolf Mask by Gadget FX

Gadget FX is a special effects company based in Spain, and buried deep within their dreadfully Flash-based web site is a page dedicated to the creation of a whole-head animatronic werewolf mask. There are some photos of the sculpt and build process, and an interesting video that shows the whole effort from start to finish. I like this design a lot, except for those ridiculously large ears. What is it with that? Anyway, nice work, Gadget FX!

Update: Werewolf News reader Foxdie found a direct link to the video on YouTube, so I’ve embedded it here.

Rick Baker, you’re all right! More from him about “The Wolfman” special effects

Are you tired of hearing about The Wolfman yet? I’m not! Here’s a recent Hero Complex column from the Los Angeles Times somewhat dramatically entitled “Rick Baker’s ‘Wolfman’ regrets: ‘I hoped it would bring back monster movies’“. Geoff Boucher asks Rick Baker five (actually rather interesting) questions about his work on The Wolfman, and Rick brings the answers in his usual candid way.

I don’t read his tone as regret, though… it’s more of a palms-up shrug, like “well, what can you do?” I think he got screwed over by bad management and a directionless production team, and I commend him for being so relaxed about it. Read the interview and tell me if I’m crazy.

Bonus: here’s a short featurette starring Rick. When it’s not busy looking like a trailer there are some neat shots of Rick applying and touching-up his werewolf work. The spritz bottle shot makes me laugh every time.

Hat-tip: ArcLight

Composite Effects Releases Another Insanely Realistic Mask: Lupus the Wolf

Composite Effects makes some of the most amazingly life-like monster masks and gloves I’ve ever seen (check out the videos on the product pages to see what I mean). They’ve just released a mask that’s got me checking the balance in my savings account: Lupus the Wolf is “perfect for howling at the full moon. A wolfman in the most animalistic form, the mask will turn you into a savage beast even on a moonless night.” I like the design, particularly the ears and the creases around the muzzle, although seeing a hairless werewolf is a little strange at first. I can understand not wanting to include hair or fur as a built-in part of a silicone mask, though. A shaggy wig would work well, and maybe it’s just me, but Lupus looks like he needs to be rocking some big muttonchop sideburns.

The mask is available in hand-painted brown or gray, and costs $500 US. If you think that’s steep, you didn’t look at any of the videos yet, did you. Did you. Composite Effects guys: if you make werewolf gloves to go with this mask, I’ll have no recourse. Hat tip: David Peters.

UPDATE: Wes from CFX emailed me with word that while they haven’t made gloves specifically to go with the Lupus mask, they can do an alternate paint job on the Orlock gloves that will match the werewolf mask. Yellow nails? Friends, I am sold.