Tag: makeup

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:

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

You Wish This Was You: Applying a Werewolf Facial Prosthetic

UK special effects & creature company Nimba Creations have posted a how-to video featuring the application, painting and fur-ing of their werewolf prosthetic. I don’t usually have the patience to sit through a 7-minute Youtube video, but this was quite interesting– it was possible to watch the model slowly transforming throughout the process. The laying of the hair (sounds like an arcane ritual, doesn’t it?) was particularly cool. Check it out, and if you fancy trying it yourself, you can buy the supplies directly from Nimba.

The Design, Tech, Execution & Politics of “The Wolfman” Transformation Scenes

Trusty Werewolf News friend ArcLight sent me a link to this fascinating CGSociety feature article about all of the CG work (and politics) that went into the transformation scenes featured in “The Wolfman“. The article includes extensive comments by Rick Baker (who, as you probably know, designed the Wolfman’s look and the practical makeup effects) and Adam Valdez (the Visual Effects Supervisor at Moving Picture Company, the group that did the CG work). Here are some choice excerpts:

Drawing on his years of experience and success to create a character he had loved since he was a boy, Baker requested “a couple of weeks to do some designs, a range between man and wolf. I did a number of Photoshop images and ZBrush sculptures ranging between Del Toro and a wolf. In other words, if man was one and wolf was ten, was the Wolfman a five, or perhaps an eight? Well upon viewing my designs they said it wasn’t anywhere in that range.” Baker was asked to do additional concepts showing steps within that range to narrow down the final design. This happened repeatedly until the point where Baker told them there simply wasn’t an in-between left.

Nothing like design-by-committee to ruin a project!

[Says Baker:] “I had a great time working with the folks at Digital Domain on the CG Benjamin Button character, I would have liked to have contributed the same way on this film.” One scene that he felt could have worked particularly well using animatronics and makeup was the scene where Del Toro is strapped to a chair surrounded by doctors, since the chair offered plenty of space to hide the hardware and it would have been easy to digitally remove any visible mechanics.”

That’s probably my favourite scene in the movie, and it blows my mind to imagine how much better it might have been if Baker had been able to work his magic.

Johnston wanted to see how the transitions would look in action, so animators were given rigs that could do rough deformation and transformation work. [Says Valdez:] “In the middle of that we had to start over, because Joe wasn’t happy with what he was getting. There were a few rounds of discussion about whether or not Benicio Del Toro, who played the Lawrence aka Wolfman, should turn into something else on the way to becoming the Wolfman, so rather than traditional close-ups of bones stretching and hair sprouting he might turn into something resembling an almost fetal orc-like creature.”

I wonder if that “orc-like” concept was used for the creature that appears in some of the movie’s dream / hallucination scenes.

There’s a ton of down-and-dirty CG modeling talk near the end of the article, so if Maya and ZBrush are your thing, you might want to get a napkin ready to mop up the drool. Now stop reading this post and read the article!

Del Toro Enjoyed Getting His Wolfman On

Despite having to rely on crew to remove his fangs so he could speak and his claws so he could use his hands, Benicio Del Toro enjoyed his time as a werewolf while on the set of The Wolfman. He recently spoke to The Daily Record about the experience, which involved scaring the hell out of unsuspecting crew and the occasional walk through London at 5 AM while still made up.

For more on The Wolfman‘s makeup and effects, check out last week’s issue of Make-Up Magazine (issue 82), which is dedicated to Rick  Baker’s work on the film.

Fangoria Correspondant Traumatized (Delighted?) By Face-to-Face With Wolfman

For those of you who aren’t already climbing the walls (Underworld Lycan-style) with excitement over the approaching release of The Wolfman, here’s a tidbit from Fangoria’s January 2010 issue (which features on its cover a great new photo of the eponymous beast).

Midway through our chat, the lights go out, plunging the room into total darkness. “Stay calm,” instructs the film’s unit publicist, “it’s just a problem with the fuse.” But something is afoot. Suddenly, there’s movement at a door, and a large shape enters the room. As our eyes become accustomed to the gloom, Fango can make out the silhouette of a 7-foot-plus Wolfman, chowing down on a severed arm. As the lights come back up, this growling, slavering, hirsute beast bounds over and puts his snarling, fanged-filled face within inches of our own. And roars…

I don’t know who I’d rather be– the guy in the makeup or an unsuspecting bystander in the room! Visit Fangoria to read an expanded teaser of the article. Issue 290 of Fangoria hits stores January 19th. Why do I not have a subscription already?

More Wolfman Rumours: Baker Brought Back On to Save Transformation Scenes?

This morning at ShockTilYouDrop.com, Ryan Rotten shares some inside information he’s received about the oft-delayed Wolfman remake.

One tipster says Universal has sunk nearly $10-30 million into re-shoots in England. Much of the scenes had to do with the full Wolfman makeup because it wasn’t “working out” and “was too much like the original” Chaney makeup. Another writer tells me Rick Baker was brought back in to direct practical transformation work because the CGI, again, wasn’t working.

Ryan stresses that these tidbits should be treated as rumours, but that he’ll try to get corroborating statements from official sources. It’s a shame about the makeup being redone, as I rather liked the official publicity photos that have been floating around since March 2008. I certainly hope the part about Baker being brought back on for the transformation scenes is true, though– around this time last year, he was unhappy at being excluded the first time round, and as we all know from An American Werewolf in London and The Howling, Rick Baker knows how to turn a person into a werewolf properly: physical makeup and effects, rather than CG.

Nick Dudman Talks About Harry Potter Werewolf Makeup

Make-Up Artist Magazine and the Los Angeles Times have both posted short interviews with Nick Dudman, the head makeup effects designer for the Harry Potter films. In each interview, Dudman talks about the efforts behind developing and applying the prosthetics for werewolf character Fenrir Greyback (played by Dave Legeno). There’s not much in the way of photos, but still worth a read!

Grimm Brothers “Big Bad Wolf” Foam Latex Appliance

Grimm Brothers Big Bad Wolf Foam Latex Appliance

It’s never too early to start planning for Hallow’een. The Grimm Brothers (yes, they’re actually brothers) have just released this exclusive werewolf appliance for 2009. Check it out!

Three “13 Hrs” Werewolf Costumes Being Designed By Lifecast

It looks like the werewolves in the Tom Felton / Isabella Calthorpe film 13 Hrs. are being designed by Lifecast, a family-run special effects / lifecasting / creature costume studio just north of London. According to this post on the Lifecast site, the Lifecast crew were charged with “creating 3 werewolf costumes in 3 weeks….. from scratch”. Accompanying the post are several photos of Isabella Calthorpe sitting for her head / body cast, which Lifecast will then use to turn her into a “she wolf”. Presumably the other two werewolves mentioned are Felton and Simon McCorkindale. Hopefully we’ll see some completed werewolf effects soon– based on the other work Lifecast has done, they really know their stuff. Thanks to Dig at The Werewolf Café for the link!