Fan Expo Vancouver hit my town two weekends ago, and as part of the event’s celebration of geek culture, monsters and creature effects, two New Image College makeup artists turned Vancity Buzz contributor Andres Markwart into a wolfman for your time-lapse video enjoyment. (more…)
Tina Fey and Robert Carlock’s Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is the funniest thing I’ve seen all year. Much of that humour comes from the friction between the show’s absurd characters and its uneasy commentaries on race, gender and class. One such scene happens mid-season and stars my favourite character as a werewolf. (more…)
Three months into 2015, I’m still playing catch-up with many of the werewolf films that came out last year, but failed to make it out to my neck of the woods. (I’m not exaggerating much when I say it pains me to think that the last one I saw in a theater was 2012’s Underworld: Awakening.) Today’s selection is the simply titled Wolves, which seems to promise a back-to-basics tale, but that’s not what it delivers. (more…)
Photos of Tyler Posey’s “Teen Wolf” werewolf form + I try to stop whining about a show I’ve never seen
The new “Teen Wolf” show is not as clever or allegorical as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” but the comparison is almost unfair; Buffy was about teenagers but didn’t try particularly hard to be for them, whereas “Teen Wolf” is on MTV, which has a bigger investment in selling youth to youth… If “Teen Wolf” builds on the original’s sneakily radical message of self-acceptance instead of fetishizing its characters’ suffering like “Twilight,” there’s a chance “Teen Wolf” 2.0 will look as zeitgeisty in retrospect as some of its adolescent-lycanthrope genre forebears: a no-judgment monster show for the same proudly atypical fan base that Lady Gaga refers to as her “little monsters.”
I’m trapped. I don’t know what to do. There’s a strange momentum building behind this show that I find exciting, but I can’t find its source. The glimpses I see of non-pretty-boy werewolves look terrific, but every time I really pay attention and watch a trailer, read an article or see one of @MTVteenwolf‘s chipper PR tweets, everything other than the effects (you know, important stuff like “story” and “acting”) look flimsy. Superficial. Shallow. When Pappademas asks leading man Tyler Posey why he thinks werewolves are so appealing to women, Posey responds with this gem: “Girls are just really naughty and love to be thrown around”. Super. He’s obviously joking, but jokes are supposed to be funny and not make me dislike the person telling them.
This show is built to sell, which is fine, but I wish the people behind it weren’t so two-faced about their motivations. Executive producer / writer Jeff Davis waxes philosophical about the history and cultural significance of the werewolf, but then he asks for “scarier glowing wolf eyes” to be added to a scene in post-production. You know, for authenticity. He cheerfully admits that using the “Teen Wolf” title has more to do with appropriating a recognizable brand than anything else, then goes on to admit of Hollywood: “I don’t think we’re running out of culture. I think we’re running out of courage.” What am I supposed to do with that?
I just want to watch a show that 1) has cool werewolves in it, and 2) doesn’t insult my intelligence. If Teen Wolf winds up checking both of those boxes, awesome. I’ll eat humble pie for all of my fence-sitting “opinionated dork with a blog” comments. I’ll buy the DVDs. But for now, I really just want to filter out the PR hype, because none of it is making this show look like something I want to watch. Please give me some more creature effects shots and I’ll be content to sit quietly until June. I promise.
The Academy is pro-lycanthrope! Last night Rick Baker and Dave Elsey each won an Academy Award for Best Makeup in recognition of their fantastic work on The Wolfman. This is Baker’s second Oscar for werewolf work, the first being awarded for An American Werewolf in London on the eve of the category’s inception (insert Inception joke here).
I wasn’t able to find any video of the actual award for this (although I’ll update this post if one pops up), but apparently the Academy gives winners some extra time back-stage to continue their thank-yous.
Update: Six years later, the backstage video is long-gone, but here’s the award:
Congratulations to Mr. Baker and Mr. Elsey, and hey Rick? I really hope your Hugo Weaving wish comes true.
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.
Readers sometimes share their makeup photos with me, and at this time of year the levels of effort and quality go through the roof. Here are two separate shoots that I really enjoyed.
Macabri – Wolf Man
Photographer: Rick Basaldua
MUA/Hair: Chrissy Lynn
Werewolf Face Piece: Michael Spatola
Bailey & Paige as David & Jack
Bailey Quillin sent me this photo of she and her friend Paige. I’m going to let her describe what’s going on.
…my best friend Paige and I dressed as David Kessler and Jack Goodman from An American Werewolf in London to watch the annual Little Five Points Halloween Parade in Atlanta, Georgia. Our makeup was a strange mixture of gore and drag, since we are actually both girls with shoulder length hair. Our friends at the Junkman’s Daughter had a hard time recognizing us in costume. This was also my first attempt at FX makeup.
I declare these two the winners of the Werewolf News costume contest that I should have started a month ago but instead just made up right now. Flippin’ fantastic. To see more photos of this startlingly faithful makeup / costume situation, check this post on Bailey’s blog. There’s also a more recent post showing she and her boyfriend as a mid-transformation punk rock werewolf and Teen Wolf, respectively. Great work!
Hey…remember that Brooke Shields werewolf thing for Nickelodeon? I didn’t either but apparently it’s airing this October. Here’s a short bit with one of the actresses.
If you have an aversion to clicking on links or the New York Post web site, here’s the pertinent text:
“I got to do most of the prosthetic work and the transformation [into a werewolf] was all me,” Justice says, adding that she had to spend three hours in the makeup chair to get the werewolf prosthetics glued onto her face. “The cool thing about it is that I don’t look pretty at all, I look disgusting — like a beast.
“There’s a werewolf suit that somebody [else] had to operate,” she admits. “I’m 105 pounds, so there’s no way [she could’ve worn it]. I would’ve passed out from heat stroke.”
Some people have all the luck. You can see Justice as a “disgusting beast” when the movie airs on October 22nd.
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.
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!