Making films often rides on being well-connected -- knowing someone somewhere who can perform a service that your film needs. Most of the time, finding financial backers, a DP, sound/lighting techs, actors, and editors is fairly easy regardless of who you know or where you live. However, finding a good FX artist is a little bit more tricky (In 6 years, I've only met 2 in my hometown), and if you're unable to find one, you might have to do the next best thing -- learn how to do it yourself. And who better to teach you some excellent techniques than Oscar-winning special effects makeup artist Rick Baker.
I wouldn't want to give the impression that special effects makeup is as easy as slapping some latex over a model and adding fake blood. No, guys. This is an art form that takes years and years of practice, patience, and incredible talent to master. However, if you need some SFX makeup for your film, or you're simply interested in makeup and prefer a DIY learning approach, then Baker's tutorials will definitely offer you some pro techniques to try out at home -- which is really exciting considering his incredible body of work, which includes films like Maleficent, all three Men in Black films, Hellboy, Videodrome, and An American Werewolf in London (for which he won an Oscar).
In his latest video, Baker reconstructs a character created by special effects artist Bob Burns in 1959, "Miss Shock". Starting out with a mold of his daughter's face, Baker begins to craft the area around the left eye using a "build up" technique, in which he layers modeling clay, latex, and poly foam to create negative space around the eye. One really cool trick he uses to make the prosthetic more gory is dipping maroon yard in latex. (His original solution was made up of latex, Pros-Aide, and matte medium, but he eventually switches to just latex.)
Check out Baker's tutorial below:
Baker offers many other special effects makeup tutorials on his YouTube channel, including this one on how to make a "retro monster" -- which not only goes well with the retro "Miss Shock" makeup above, but also shows more of the "build up" technique.
Do you have any special effects makeup tips you can share? What tools/materials would you suggest to beginner SFX makeup artists on a budget? Let us know in the comments below.
Link: Rick Baker -- YouTube
[via Filmmaker Magazine]