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Stuart Bray and Todd Debreceni talk makeup effects and prosthetics. If you like rubber monsters, prosthetics and gore then you can listen, learn and suggest new episode subjects. 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' and 'Dr Strange'. Email u ...
 
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We covered cutting edges in episode #61 but this one is specifically about cutting edges on flat moulds. Cutting edges on appliance moulds do the work of separating the fine appliance edge from the flashing and excess, allowing the mould to close properly and achieve the feather thin edge you have sculpted. The exact width of the distance between t…
 
In episode #74 we talk about running lots of foam latex and overcoming the things that can go wrong with foam latex. Despite silicone being the material most go to first, it is a very real material that needs to be kept in mind for certain projects. We also chat about how 3D scanning and printing has had a tangible benefit on some jobs we had this …
 
Rod Maxwell is a bit of a Renaissance man, and the more we talked the more you can see how wearing many hats has informed his approach. Of late, Rod has become known for his fusion of digital techniques with practical outcomes. Looking at his Instagram, you can see trailblazing work with 3D printed moulds, scanning lifecasts and moulds and using th…
 
Adam has become well known for his miniature and smaller-scale work which has both great expression as well as high levels of detail, and even developed a material which allowed such tight detail for miniatures called Cx5. The man has done a lot of things and has worked many jobs - let's be clear his feet are on the ground and he knows what hard wo…
 
Daniel was the first professional prosthetic professional to look at my portfolio. That stuff sticks with you. That was back in 1994, and there was still a lot of Frankenstein stuff kicking about in the workshop from the previous year. I learned a lot being in that workshop, and got to see a makeup test on Ian McKellan for Richard III in my time th…
 
In this second and final part of the chat with Dominic, we look at his art and discuss the drawing and sculptures. As usual, this podcast episode is a tale of two stories. Todd and I talk about the difficult work involved in lifecasting the deceased, which can be much trickier than dealing with the living. Then the chat with Dom, looking at his pro…
 
In this episode (and the next), we have a chat with artist Dominic Hailstone. He works extensively with visual effects and has a background in makeup effects and practical effects which inform his approach. Being an early adopter of visual effects and using computers places him in a unique position of seeing both sides and is well versed in the pro…
 
This episode is a catch up on some emails and questions we had over the last couple of weeks. We have some great questions this time around, so many thanks for getting in touch! We talk about epoxy surfaced moulds, crinkly edges, and dodgy makeup course practices. Books mentioned in this episode: Silicone Art - Silicone As An Art Material By Tom Mc…
 
Brian Kinney is a primetime Emmy-nominated makeup artist and a Journeyman in IATSE Hollywood Local 706 Make-up Artists and Hairstylists Guild, where he serves as Makeup Craft President and Executive Board Member. His work can be seen in feature films and television shows, such as Fear The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Westworld, Purge: Anarchy and…
 
Lars is a generous self-taught artist from Sweden. He works in film, TV and theatre productions often using new technology to scan and print items for practical effects. We wanted to chat theatre stuff, as that is not something we have spoken much about on the podcast. It's an area which may well be more available for people starting out, as many s…
 
https://battleswithbitsofrubber.com/ It’s Halloween. A Saturday! A full moon! Also not happening because of Covid. Boo. It’s a damn shame, but I imagine around the world, a lot more horror movies will be watched. I can only hope such mass consumption will drive production to make more stuff as we burn through the back catalogue of shows with a worl…
 
Danny has done some interesting things with prosthetics, leading with fashion and high concept looks and bringing appliance work into the mix. Most demonstrations at trade shows involving appliances are showing just the tail end of a much longer hidden process which perhaps isn't at all evident in the final piece. It's nice to hear about what happe…
 
We have all spotted things in shows which were never meant to be there. Scars swapping sides, hair up one minute and then down the next, blood which moves shot to shot or an errant edge which can't be hidden. Those are the things which you notice, and maybe take great pleasure in spotting and shaming those unfortunate artists who were 'responsible'…
 
Closing moulds correctly is vital to get good casts out of them. There seems little point in making a good mould and then getting bad casts out of it. In this episode we chat about things to consider when looking at ‘mould closure’. Essentially, a mould other than a flat or open mould will usually need to be attached or fitted to another component …
 
Cutting edges are the point at which a core meets the mould, and is crucial in creating a fine edge for many appliances. In flat moulds, there can be something similar even though a core isn’t involved, as it establishes where the appliance actually stops and the skin begins. A cutting edge and overflow are critical in foam appliances, especially w…
 
Blog Post for this episode here. Tim Baggaley played the one-armed zombie in Shaun of the Dead. He's a damn nice fella, an actor, talented graphic designer and a fabulous dancer. In this episode, we chat about his experience on set and his recollections of being among the undead. As we chatted, he reminded me of a few other things we had worked on …
 
Here is a little treat - an additional little episode that checks in with Mark Donovan who played The Hulking Zombie in Shaun Of The Dead. We talked through the difficulties involved in getting ready to be attacked with records and cricket bats, shovels and the heat whilst caked in blood. Also, as you'll hear, some very cool comic book related stuf…
 
It was a great pleasure to chat with John face to face (before lockdown, I hasten to add) back in December of 2019. John is a well known FX artist who has since gone on to work at Tussauds and is a freelance artist. I think you will get a real kick out of hearing his take, a perfect attitude to how to feel when creating. We chat about what it means…
 
This episode of the podcast, we catch up with some questions left on our answerphone, emails and comments. Clay issues, alcohol colours, and a nice message from sculpting master Amelia Rowcroft. Cheers to those been in touch, and leaving messages. You can get in touch by email at stuartandtodd@gmail.com or leave a voicemail here. I mentioned workin…
 
The Shaun Of The Dead prosthetic team reunites and talk through the movie effects shots. Blog post for this episode here I thought it would be fun to chat with Stuart Conran and Dan Frye, two FX buddies who I have known and worked with for many years on many projects. I rewatched the movie to refresh my memory and listed the effects in chronologica…
 
Blog Post link: https://battleswithbitsofrubber.com/54-approaching-workshops/ Folio under your arm, at some point you may wish to appeal to those who could give you a job. It's nervewracking to be judged, but your folio is maybe pages of your heart and soul now made visible for others to assess and rate. The main way anyone gets work is simply by h…
 
There are often a number of questions about prosthetic makeup that get asked often. We put together the top 5 that keep cropping up and do a deep dive into our responses. 1. How do I match an appliance to a person's skin tone? 2. How do I ensure a good edge on an appliance? 3. How can I create good work without spending a fortune on materials? 4. H…
 
Todd talks with his good friends and fellow artists, Jacquie & Brandon Ryan. This episode looks at how people teach, learn, and maybe don't learn. We all need a motivation to learn, and many of us will require different styles of learning such as visual, auditory, practical hands-on tasks or live demonstration to get started. One simple rule to rem…
 
I first met Neill with a folio tucked under my arm for my interview I had managed to arrange at Ealing Studios in 1995. My first job with him was making oversized Casio watches, which were fibreglassed out of silicone moulds to make G-Shock watch display units. --------------------------------- Check out our new website: Battles With Bits Of Rubber…
 
In this episode, I got to chat with Matthew Mungle & visit his jail cell! Matthew and his company, WM Creations have been responsible for makeup effects on scores of shows and racked up a lot of awards and nominations in the process - for a deep dive into that, check out Matthews IMDb profile. The actual real-life holding cell in the studio, now de…
 
In this episode, Neill Morrill joins me in the workshop as we hit up Todd in Colorado and chat about our collaborated efforts on the makeup we did for The Prosthetics Event 2019. Neil is originally from the UK but moved to Toronto in the early 2000s and has worked on a number of high profile shows over the years such as 300, The Strain, Suicide Squ…
 
In this episode, Todd and Stu talk about our week making moulds with epoxy, dropping sculpts and moulage effects for first responder training. Earlier in 2019, Stu got to sit and chat with some fine folks at IMATS London and a chat with makeup designer Kate Benton kicks off the first of these finally edited up after a crazy industry year. This is t…
 
Starting Education In Makeup Effects & Prosthetics This episode is prompted by seeing a few questions on forums about how best to learn about makeup FX and prosthetics. Where to go and what to learn? Depending on what you want to be able to do, let's also draw a distinction between a makeup artist who sometimes will apply a prosthetic v someone who…
 
Jordu Schell has been pushing clay around for a while and knows a thing or two about sculpting. Creating concepts for characters and creatures, masks, makeups and beautifully crafted designs, he also teaches his craft all over the world and has recently released the first of a series of downloadable books The Professional Creature Design Handbook. …
 
It’s been a while since Todd & I have podcasted, so apologies for the slow return to form. It’s been a brutal few months, mainly as I have been on the new Netflix/BBC version of Dracula which has kept my hands red and my days long and busy. Naturally, NDA’s prevent me from divulging what’s what but rest assured, fans of the Hammer style will enjoy …
 
"Paul walked into a Lifeboat station on his 17th birthday and never left, initially volunteering at Poole and now at Tower Lifeboat in London. So far he has been a Search and Rescue Volunteer with the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) and HM Coastguard for 31 years." So reads the write-up for the honours listing of Pauls OBE, a high honour…
 
In this podcast we talk about art, what it means to be an artist, why we do it, and the challenges we face in trying to make a living doing this. This was mostly brought about because of the fantastic conversation I had with my first ever boss when I started working in effects in 1994. Pauline and business partner, Nik Williams run Animated Extras,…
 
Richard Redlefsen is someone I saw for the first time a few years back at the UMAE where he was applying his demo makeup on the PPI stand. What was of note for me was how particular and precise everything was. Care was taken at every turn, and it struck me that the amount of effort that takes must come from a deep well. So it was a great pleasure t…
 
Rick Baker knows a thing or two about making stuff in rubber. It's also fair to say he knows a thing or two about the digital world too, as he has been mixing the two for a while. In 2015, when it was announced that Rick was to close his shop, the FX world was stunned and the bell tolled once again for the end of all practical effects as people spe…
 
Something that Don talked about passionately in our interview was how (mostly) young, creative people can be in a position to get taken advantage of. When working starting out, you are not likely to be handed a position of massive responsibility with large sums of money and heavy hitting clients. So it stands to reason when the phone first rings, i…
 
We are back with more Don! Even though I was there when we recorded, I still get a buzz hearing back what we spoke about. Simply put, Don will make you better and get you thinking about sculpting. In part 2 we spoke to Don about: - Ego - Looking for the positives - Music whilst sculpting - Using the same tool to get many results - Sculptures that w…
 
If you have any sculpting ambition or love for any monster movies made in the last twenty years, then you should know the name Don Lanning. Not only is he a gifted craftsman who has worked hard for his place, but he is also a gifted teacher who can help make others better, and he is damn fine fella the whole time he is doing it. Don has been workin…
 
After the madness of Monsterpalooza 2018, we had the chance to grab the gang for a wind down chat to debrief about the trip and talk about what we got up to. It was a fun time, and I hope the warmth of a truly magical few days comes across, as Todd and I were truly humbled at the non-stop kindness and generosity we were liberally soaked with. Antic…
 
Steve LaPorte was a joy to speak with. For one thing, he is incredibly talented and has a fantastic body of work. That aside, he also recalls exactly how he got there and can track back the step by step process of how he got there. It’s a wonderful thing when someone can trace back their steps and know how they got to where they have and are keen t…
 
Michael Westmore has done battle with rubber for a few shows, it's fair to say. With a long career spanning every aspect of makeup, he comes from a several generation deep family which practically bleeds greasepaint. Many know of his work on Star Trek, but the breadth of his experience is quite something. To read more on the subject, check out a br…
 
Contact lenses are pretty easy to find nowadays. It wasn't always so, and the increased use of lenses has meant an increase in opportunities to have problems with eyes caused by them. We chatted to Cristina Patterson of Eye Ink FX about eye care and lenses, especially in the light of many people around us who had created characters for Monsterpaloo…
 
Todd and I had a great morning chatting with Allan A. Apone and Brad Look at MEL headquarters (Makeup Effects Lab) based up in North Hollywood. MEL now occupies a huge area of workshops and produces effects for shows as well as products used by artists in the industry, including PAX paints, baldcaps and appliances. Starting out as a small lab in 19…
 
One of the great things about Monsterpalooza, and other makeup FX heavy trade shows is you get to meet the people who make a life around doing the work, and who care enough to help others do it too. For my money, this chat with sculpting and creature legend Steve Wang was the most potent use of 20 minutes anyone could have. Steve was in high demand…
 
Chris and Fangs FX is who we call when we need teeth, but there is a lot more to Fangs FX than just...well...fangs! This is the first of a series of interviews Todd and I did at Monsterpalooza 2018, a three-day event in Los Angeles which was busting at the seams with visitors, demos and vendors. It was amazing, and Todd and I applied my Bela Lugosi…
 
So, this is my turn at soloing for a brief episode of Battles with Bits of Rubber. And, depending on responses to my musings, perhaps Stuart and I can extend this into a longer broadcast with tips from you all on how to get rid of unwanted and no longer needed stuff. Hi. My name is Todd. And I’m a pack rat. (Hi, Todd!) Let’s face it, most of us hav…
 
I had the great privilege to be asked to teach some masters degree students at Theaterakademie August Everding in Munich, Germany recently. I had a splendid time! The three students I worked with all had ambitious, figurative projects which they had been working on for some weeks when I arrived for my five day stint there. Daniel Riedl had made a f…
 
Seven hours is a big time difference to deal with when trying to synchronise a podcast with two people. To help with that, Todd and I figured adding some extra single features to help keep the show moving. ------------------------------------- At Pinewood studios, I was teaching a great class which had me thinking a lot about what we teach and why.…
 
Most people learn techniques and perfect them. Some people then take those techniques and look at what can be improved. Sangeet falls into this camp. He is now pretty well known for creating high quality prosthetic transfers, moulds made which contain the appliances and are used directly in their application. As far as I can ascertain, this system …
 
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