Rick Baker is a retired special make-up effects creator and actor, mostly known for his creature effects and designs. He won the Academy Award for Best Makeup seven times from a record of eleven nominations.
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is one of my childhood heroes. When I was a kid I wanted, be a makeup artist. I wanted to be the guy that create Things like american werewolf in London and STAR wars and all the special effects for these movies that I love so much. I loved mister movies from the time as a kid- and I was always fascinated by how they turn someone into these terrifying beasts. In my world without question and he's he's very humble person. He did not agree with me. He is the master is the guy who created american werewolf in London. He turned Jim Carrey into the Grinch too many movies to list he's the schitt. Please welcome Rick
Baker. Experience join my game, join Roccat, podcast by night, Hawaii surf cam great show everybody's been saying on my instagram. I should do this podcast for agents. Well, I'm glad they listened or you listen. Brother. I've been a fan of yours forever man. I was a huge star wars fan when I was a kid and you inspired me when I was young. I really wanted to be a makeup artist. I wanted to do special effects and that kind of stuff that you do and I had no idea. Yeah man. I think it was probably star wars, kicked it off for me because I, like many kids, a lot of people today we're so removed with first ah yes and then Dvds and laser discs and now streaming it's so easy to watch movies. But when STAR wars came out we would go see it over and over and over again it was like a little contest between a lot of kids that I went to school with. I think I saw it thirteen times. While it was out in the movie theater, but I became
fascinated. I've always been fascinated with comic books, always wanted to be a comic book illustrator, and I always loved like like of those fantasy novels like creepy and eerie in on those those graphic novels, but I really, I'm fascinated with special effects and particularly make up after your work. Well, yeah. I was kinda same thing. For me, I mean I you know I grew up in I was born. One thousand nine hundred and fifty. You know I grew up in front of the tv, but it was a little black and white when you know- and always the monster movies on saturdays or Sundays, and that that stuff just hit a chord with me- and I just I have to do this in When did you? What was the first thing that you did? First first, make up can I did well. I mean that you know I was I'm an only child. My mom wasn't supposed to have kids because she had bad hard and stuff, and and but they wanted children and
but I was very shy. Hi I stayed in my bedroom. I couldn't talk to an adult and stuff like that first thing you know I I got interested in make up and I got some just white greasepaint and black grease paint and smeared it on my face and just what layer of grease paint on my face when I was looking in the mirror, it wasn't a little Ricky Baker anymore, and I could do things that I couldn't do without this, it's made of my face and it just it. It helped me overcome my shyness, but I mean it. It started with that, but I mean I I, but does it I wanted to do something more. You know so I ended up making. I made my first mask. I think when I was thirteen curse of Frankenstein Frankenstein doubt one mainly because I thought I could copy that when you make it look close enough, because it's it's it there's some crudest of that make up I've. I've actually hit first didn't
like it, but I've I like it now. You know what I mean it's when you find out how the film industry works and and Port Phillip Leaky, who did that make up had like a week to prep piano and had no money, so it hi. I forget some of the faults with it. Well, it secret Will you stop and think about? The earliest versions of makeup his special effects, style makeup up in movies. You know you go back to like Nosferatu. Probably one of the very earliest right they really didn't, have anything to go with there wasn't anything to copy the kind of how to make it up yeah, and I mean that the do you know. The thing is the nurse right to is such a great film, great l, as still to this day, yeah and and the look you know, I mean it shouldn't work by all right. You know it's like a big, knows you know, and I it, but it works in any. Yeah same thing I mean Lon Chaney had nothing to right here come in and he did To this day someone still the bet my favorite make up some of the best Makupson. I think the
Haitians in a lot of ways made the make up work better. You know I mean now we can add so much stuff and I find happened so much now like with a face off show instead of people it's more like about. How much can you pile on someone's face? You know, but sometimes the most effective makeups refer to stem Cheney is a little bit of things that you do and and in the letter humanity show through like launch any in in phantom of the opera. It great makeup yeah! It's it's with an Cheney was just brilliant and yes, you know I'm great at making scary faces. That's how I learned to make scary faces watching Chaney movies, yeah he's another one that was. There was not much for him to go on and it wasn't. He was kind of a pioneer for sure the I mean again, I said still some of my favorite makeup, Satine Injectors, Frankenstein's monster gas, again crude, we'll see you know it was in poor boys Carl off when he had to endure. I mean that isn't, isn't
None of the make up she did on imports were comfortable. You know with cotton. Coming collodion collodion. However, if you know you might know, clown is because your fight background kind of stuff, but it's a a plastic piece to use it to close up boxers wounds and stuff, it's a kind of this liquid plastic, but it smells horrible and you know it could be working around someone's eyes with this fumes and stuff Yeah I mean he had to put up with a lot, so it's kind of like a glue yeah, it's it's kind of a liquidity, plastic, east he pulled a video of a nose for auto what year was that? Twenty? I don't know, thank you, twenty twenty, that's crazy, yeah, stop and think about that. You know The film itself is only been how old then yeah, not very you, know, but yeah it's easy to get a video of it yeah his it's just the whole. Thing about the way he moved like everything was so creepy and interesting. Well, the whole film yeah usually shot. I mean so many of the silent films I mean the photography is so incredible. In a
I mean I wonder: how would they did with the fingers like how they get his fingers? Well, those those are just his hands at this point. You know I mean later I mean and and like in, like the Barrymore, doctor, Jekyll and Hyde, Virginia famous monsters, which was again might like my Bible, you know, did you get famous monsters at all yeah? You said Creek area North Shore. He John Barrymore did the whole transfer without makeup. You know, it's not true. He's got finger. Extensions on rack pointed back, yeah but yeah. It's nice right to bring So what do they do for his ears? Do you know well, not sure what they're made out of sync with the bald head. I mean I, I know rubber existed and I mean you can kind of see I mean he's got. I think it's probably just like a slip rubber, which is like a you know, hello. What we hello in masks are made out of tears and bald head knows.
Yeah, some sort of prosthetic nose right, yeah in those big pointy teeth. But again I mean we few if you really kind of analyze it and look at it. You think this is stupid. Never work now and but it works. And I also think it's because MAX Schreck was great yeah. It does some really cool things with his hands and stuff. Well, if you didn't, if nothing, like this existed and it was dark out, and you saw guy like that in your house. You would freak out. Interesting ways of somebody in my house anymore. Yeah, someone smiling yeah, it's just it's such an interesting time capsule when you look at these films when you look at something like like Nasfaa Rado from night twenty two and then look at what we're doing today with C Gi in a lot of ways I mean I'm not a fan of CG, I I'm not a fan of it in terms of like for monsters marked, it just seems everything seems fake. There's. The suspension of disbelief is higher than if I'm like what you did with
american werewolf in London. What one of one or more brilliant things about it was a special effects, makeup or fantastic, but there were these really quick scenes. It was like. You saw out for a second. It was burned in your eyes and then and then it vanished what John Land Send me is the time never going to really show the werewolf for more than a couple seconds, and I hardly even want to show it. Then you know right and what was great about werewolf we're working on that film, which I Landis was he you know said you're the expert that I, for like a hound from Hell, I wanted to make a biped world. You know we argued about and it was basically you know he wins he's the director. You know, but he says for like a from Hell? Make it, and I did I mean the sculpture- was what the final thing became same with every you know the nazi demons, all that stuff you know cut to like when I did the Wolf man I mean it did thousands designs in and you know all these producers are gone well. Maybe If you do one between this and that in one between this and that and or maybe this poor should be over here, you know and
kind of stuff, just as so soul sucking yeah, and it's one of the reasons I retired. You know I just but to this day I mean like on the cover of my my book: is the sculpture from the one of the Nazi demons from american werewolf in a number So this is like one of the designs ever in on this kind of stuff, and it's people were production, designers and stuff, and it was it's pyrrhic baker without interference right now and that's what I thought the industry would be in right which it isn't for the most part. You know it's just everybody wants to it's the same with comedy it's the same with. It seems like it's the same with everything everybody wants to put their greasy little fingerprints on it and say that, the reason why his nose like that was me yeah. I I Rick Baker, you don't know what you're doing yeah you got to make the nose wider, nine known. That's of and it's you know it's watered watered down.
Designed yeah. He said it's soul, sucking I mean if and when you know you know it sculptures take a long time. You know you squeeze cult every pouring every wrinkle and everything you know I have like magnifying glasses. I wear on doing this and if you spend you know hours and and sleepless nights doing it and then some guy who doesn't know what he's talking about comes in and says. Well, you know why don't you do this? You know disturbing your artistic vision. That was just so I mean when someone contributes money and they're the ones who get to decide whether things get made or not made. You know, just they think their artistic as well. It becomes a faster, and it's the thing you know I mean when you see me er tv show forty seven producers used to be, they were show people You know, for example, on gremlins 2M Finnell, who is the producer who Roger Corman school of filmmaking, you know, so you really checks every penny, but
He was a guy could go to and he go. He would look at everything you got. Why is it? Why is this? Why you buying this and he would explain it to him and you go ok that makes sense and there'd be a person. You could talk to you and you could get an answer from it now there's, like, I said forty seven producers and nobody will commit to anything yeah, it's it drove me crazy. You know I mean I it was I I did make it because I loved it end of this. I feel so fortunate that my hobby became my profession and he did well in other words, for it and stuff in for something we do for free. You know, but it got to the point where I I I was just be I mean a bitter old man because of all this, and I just now I have to retire and I wanna make things for myself. Well, I still can't you know. Almost sixty nine years old and you know having trouble with joints and vision and all kinds of stuff. You know, and I I'd be Pist off. If I working on some movie for some producer that
didn't know what he's talking about in a screwed up my work in your head yeah, it's time to just make my whole thing and I'm loving it. You know like what kind of If you doing now, I do all kinds of stuff I mean I still do like us, you for fun. I've actually stop some of my eye. I saved a lot of multi cast up some of the old star wars, stuff, animals and and and stuff, and I I do animations, I hi make models and make little movies you're just doing it purely for the joy that nineteen M sculpting it's just like it was when I was a kid on ice. My awesome, my bedroom was my way of my workshop. You know I and it surprising, still alive you know I was. I had a bunch toxic chemicals, same room that I slapped you know, but it's it's what I've done since I was a kid is. How I have fun is how I entertain myself, you know and and
like I said on my Instagram everything's going. I thought you retired, and I said I retired from the film industry. I didn't retire from being a creative guy. I mean this is who I am. This is what I do it's how I have fun that's awesome. You know as much as the process is probably annoying with the Wolf man. The end result was cool. I really love he did it and you made it old school. It was kind of like almost like the original Wolf man, but like read, you know re done yeah. Well, I was a fan yeah and- and you know what I think it's. I think that too I mean people, whose love for their doing to come and from a fanboy point. You you know it and it's, I think the producers don't understand because they're all about making. Much money is a can and I think everybody's trying to cheat him out of money and stuff. You know it's like how so many times I I would say why did you hire me? You know if you don't you're, not let me do what I do right now and it's like well you're, the best I could well. Let me do it may be the best sad face. You know I mean you're making it so I can't and the Wolf man was a case like that. I mean it was a bad.
Through the whole thing, and that was one of these things with thousands of designs and change this little thing. But I thought you know. In the end, director left right before we started filming. They brought somebody else in and I just said we don't have. Prove design, I'm making what I thought I should make. Seven months ago I did a test on myself that basically looked like that. We don't have time to screw around the new directory, isn't going to have a choice which I don't think he was really happy about, but in the end I mean I thought, That movie was the closest thing to an old school horror movie in a long time it was, but it also had the feel like a lot of people fucked with it. It felt like it was missing an individual or singular vision. Well, it's every movie! Now god, it's so frustrating to hear. Well, I think
Tino still pulls at all, yeah yeah. I know I mean he's one of the rare guys. It's still you you watch a movie. Go Jesus Christ like that that he gets away with that's a Tarantino movie once upon a time in Hollywood that is Tarantino Movie, there's no like. If you tell if I saw that movie and he said who made that movie I'd be tearing that movie if they did not go want to jail. He gets away with so much in his movies seem like his movies and he's a fanboy yeah. He knows movies really well, and you know I mean thank God for him. You know I mean I really enjoy his films that I met. Quinton. I was at a film festival in Sieges, Spain, instead of science fiction, Fantasy Film Festival as a guest, an I was there, that's where I met Peter Jackson. We actually, he sat next to me at a screening and we we became friends and and this movie brain dead. Have you ever seen that? No, oh, it's really good
The fund is really gory, but fine. He gory in really clever but anyways. When did you make well? This was like in the nineties or something I guess. I am real bad with dates. You know but anyways. We were sitting and talking and Freddie Francis who was director and a director of photography for a did, a lot of hammer, movies and and stew reborn was there ever sit in this thing and there was a big kind of goofy kid walking around. You know, and I thought he was just like a fan, so I said, come over and sit down with this. You know we started talking and go doing here in he was obviously like an American. He goes. I have a film here, when it was reservoir dogs and we went to see it and I actually left in the scene where they're, torturing, the cop it's funny, people think I like gory gory stuff. You know 'cause. I've done it in films, but real. Stuff in. If it's really intensely done on a film like that was I mean I thought I was gonna, let this go out like this guy in fire. That he's always got that cop in a chair. At one point I said I can't I don't want to see this
So I left and so did Wes Craven well yeah and we went and he got so jazz by that ' that he quit and he goes he could ask Wes Craven, couldn't take my movie in Rick Baker. Couldn't take. My word is so cool. You know, that's awesome. I know it was in. There was a great thing I mean like I said I was my introduction to Peter Peter Jackson and we became fast friends. We kind of had this background is like you look what you said to me about wanting to be make up artist in Reno sings. I know some people like that you Danny Elfman, it was said that to me really Fogarty look alikes that, let's not so good yeah! I don't really want to be make arrests, but he really likes to like that stuff. You know slash, you know a lot of utilities, different people and they went into rock and roll. Instead of that, you know, and but you know I
I never veered off that path I mean from from age ten. This is what I wanted to do and I didn't have a plan b and fortunately you were because I grew up very lower middle class, and I wasn't in didn't know anybody in the film industry you know and when finally met somebody. I was thirteen. And universal studios just started their tours, and I talked my parents. They said you know you're going to be a teenager to special birthday. Know what can we do? You know I can we go to universal to the universal tour her you and in my head I was going to hop off the tram and run into the makeup. Hire me, but on the way I knew that. Are you familiar on post masks the dump studios they universal classic monster masks that were in the back of famous monsters and stuff okay. But
They did is really high quality masks that were like thirty five dollars in the sixties, which was way beyond anything I could ever afford. But everybody every kid muster kid coveted windows, masks you know, and- he. His studio was in Burbank near Universal, and I had seen him on tv talking about how he is buying universal. So when we got close, I asked my dad if he could maybe look in the phone book and maybe call up Don Post and we could go visit and they were very gracious. You know my dad is sending my son Ricky likes monsters. He makes masks and we're in close by king,
I'm buying, they said sure you know gave me the whole tour wow yeah and on the wall in DUMBO studios was picture of Bob Burns. Who I'd read about in my monster magazines. He he's a collector and he's done some make up yet a mummy Sudan on a gorilla suit that he made his phone number and I wrote it down and again being. I was still pretty shy and I got my dad to call this guy who I read about him. Monster magazines- and he was the first guy ever met in any anywhere related to the industry and again very Bob and Kathy welcome me into their home. He told me, you know it showed me how to do a scar out of cut out of morticians wax and where to get the stuff at MAX factor and- and it just was like one of the first people to show me stuff and he worked at.
Local CBS station and introduced me to the news, the guy who did the news of the makeup artist, who made up the newscasters, and he was like blown away by the stuff that I did I'm going to take you to the makeup union and I was like fifteen at this point, and so I went to the makeup unit with a box full of heads and masks and make pictures of makeup. So I did again even thinking that they were going to say start tomorrow. You can get a job in the business rep of the union said you know, give up kid you're never going to get in. You know that you have to be born into the industry. It's a real at that time, time- is a lot and had to to the still that tad yeah, but he says if your westmore, you know you would get a union card with your birth certificate. You can't, but Nobody knows you don't know anybody, but he can hear your. I can. He said. First of all, you have to be twenty one to serve an apprenticeship office. Fifteen
He said that there's gonna there's only a few apprenticeships and are going to go to a west more to it. About our error. You somebody who was a name makeup artist or a relative right. Any so said. The kind of makeup that I wanted to do, which were monsters and weird stuff, is here Those jobs are few and far between and most of the time, you're going to be mopping, sweat, office, mpg actress and it was kind of like and across your he kind of it kind of did, but it also was like you know what you I'm going to show you, and I did Definitely did I mean boy? Was he ran? He turned out to be the greatest of all time. Well, I don't know about that. I think Smith is the greatest of all time, but well you have to think that I can I think the book I'm sorry I'm going to make sure you get it well, there's a there's. A picture immediately, wow that was from a newspaper article in my local newspaper, when I think I was a sophomore in high school,
and that was the first time they called me. Rick Baker monster maker yeah. That's from high school that was yeah. I was thinking I was the third and now I must have been like fourteen or fifteen or six something like wow man. You are committed to the path I mean my bedroom. Had it was all men six in you know the rock did you ever do there are model kits? Yes, yes, dead, yeah yeah. I mean that was one of the big regrets that out when I got married I thought well, I gotta Grow up here, yeah, which models I got rid of the models and and I've regretted it ever since those were so cool you're paying them. I remember those I think I had a quick. I think I had a creature from the black lagoon. One did they make a creature that they did yeah yeah? That was that was an interesting film right, because that was a unique turn on make up where they took this guy and they kind of put him in sort of like a scuba suit. Slash reptilian thing that was
the cooler on a snake up works for the time. It still is it still. The best man and the sea yeah really well done, pull that up Jamie creature from the black that was like. Was it 50s yeah and it was that, was The west more regime, Jack Pierce, who did Frankenstein the Wolfman all the classic stuff, was used, old school techniques. During the time the people were doing foam rubber? Jean came in universal and all of a sudden it Jack and a pink slip. You know you're you're out, you know these motors yeah very yeah go with the larger one in the lower left corner Jamie. What you see the whole body yeah I mean, but a cold. It is, and it was designed by a woman, Millicent Patrick who she nailed, she did, but she didn't get a lot of I mean, but Scores regime got the credit for when the when the movie came out when some this is found out that a woman designed it it was. They did a whole kind of beauty and the beast campaign
and apparently bud Westmore was furious, you know my work, it's known and he was he was a famous. Proposing with other people's stuff. You know I mean uh, find sculptor named Chris Mueller sculpted, the creatures had anyways, and I think he did the abdomen and some of the parts and a also a sculpted, the Melanie Mutant from design interest. You know the big bar okay yeah in there's a there's, some pictures about westmore, holding a really in a it's culture tool next to the sculptures and from what I heard he would, whenever they publish this, would take picture. So you let give everybody a day off for the afternoon off and then he would go up to the lab and pose with its own in Christ. I hate, so disappointing. You know when you want to think that all these people who take credit for all that work. They did the work yeah and I tried to do that and it's funny because you know so many people I mean I never wanted to be businessman, you know I and I never even thought about that aspect of it. You know that I would have to
employees, and all that you know I mean either, and I hated that part, and I mean that was something I didn't care for. You know an eye resisted being a businessman, have. I wasn't listed anywhere. My company wasn't listed. I didn't have a letter head. I do have business cards, how the hell I didn't have an agent, you know how the hell I ever was successful. I don't know other than the fact that I worked hard in my work is pretty good and you know yes. Fortunately, it worked out for me like I said, certainly did what was your first gig was the first first professional gig that you got where it was like holy shit, I'm getting paid to do makeup. Well, I mean first time I ever got paid actually do anything. I didn't make up for a stage actor who wanted to be old and I charged him seventy five dollars and which was
more money than I ever gotten from anything before and, like I said, just came up with a number in your head yeah. Well, I kind of somehow figured it out of it. Anyways I did these pieces for him and he lived off that Pasadena free with that one. It has a weird right, angled off ramps. You know and my dad drove me there, because it couldn't a drive at the time and he actually had a make up kit and had some hair pieces in a bunch of stuff, and he said you know I will trade you this. Instead of giving us any five dollars a. This makeup case and with the full of the stuff is like yeah, that's really cool. Looking over my dad wanted to teach me responsibilities and stuff, and this is around the time I I think I was like sixteen and was going to try to drive any because a year my insurance is going to go up in what you have to do. Is you have to get that money? You have to give me the money to pay for the
rate of the insurance is going up like oh man. I really want this makeup kit, you know, but but I mean amazing parents, who I mean I would have been, I wouldn't be- who I am if it wasn't for them. I mean that's cool they supported me. It just crazy decision to make monsters for a living, well it's been so happy when it paid off, though yeah? I was glad that they lived long enough to see that and I got to bring my parents to the Oscar. Wow wow yeah and they were. They were very proud and. And you know it was funny 'cause I mean I had like my mom's brother. My uncle would, you know, say stuff, like you know, when is Ricky going to stop doing the silly stuff and do something can make a living. You know and when yeah of those people- but you know my dad- was a sickly- never grew up in a new. I never was going to you know what was your dad you do for a living what he did a bunch of different things. He he was a high school drop out because he he he had to help his family. His Mother Father can pay bills and He had a variety of not very good job
you work at Sears as a sales. He drove a truck, he did stuff, but he was always he was very creative and it was held down in his lifetime. You know, don't do that you can run into some can make a living Sears because of that I benefited from that. He supported the creativity and when I think I was a sophomore in high school, he decided he wanted to try to make a living artist- and we lived on my mom's bank teller salary for a number of years. He hardly made any money at all, but he was happy. You know, and and he a because I mean, like I said he. He supported my creativity and he was really my first teacher. He he shot should be. We you could do with pain? He knew a little bit about sculpture. He was also a fan of monster movies. You know he he saw the Fredric March Doctor, Jekyll and Mister Hyde Wing
he told me all about it, and that was a movie that they didn't have on tv that I really wanted to see. You know when he said when he saw it in the theaters. You know he went ahead and hide his eyes or high by the seat. You know- and I so I need to see that Adam and he also said you war of the world's the George PAL yeah that was so cool and the sound effects were great and then was never on either end. When I was in the seventh grade, I think it was I decided to get on the student council for the main reason this is my plan. Was I suggested that we could raise money for the school by having showing movies after school? We could rent sixty Miller Movie, sixty millimeter movies and show them and charge admission. Like basically just went through all the movies, I hadn't seen that I wanted to see you and got those you know there were maybe four or five people that showed up to see him, but I was happy so awesome yeah. What was the first
film that you did special effects for first film was a film called the Octo man and it's kind of a cult classic, because it's such a movie. You know he was shot in ten days at it all it can in Griffith Park when was a nine. In high school one thousand nine hundred and sixty nine and I went to two years to a junior college, sixty nine seven thousand and seventy one. I guess it was so. You went from that to star wars only like five, six years later right, yeah, something like that. Yeah, it's crazy. I and King Kong and- and you know, there's a lot to me and I don't I didn't design all my goodness that thing here, but I mean this: I was a full time student. I had six weeks and like one thousand dollars to make his suit, and so I after school
and I got my friend the very first job I ever had. Actually this in this again happened because of my dad. When he was a truck driver, do plumbing supplies. He went to the wrong in the building, went into a call, cloaking productions and he made Gumby and dating to life. Stop motion animation, which I did stop motion as well big Ray Harryhausen fan. You know. And for some reason I grew up in Covina, which is east of la like thirty or forty miles, wasn't in there was anything film related out there, but for some reason, cookies was out there. I think because it was cheaper rent and he s hi. I was my and my quarter week allowance. When I found a place I could buy rubber. It was like eight almost nine dollars recorder, Robert and you know it took me a a lot of weeks in a lot more lines and a lot of stuff to save up that money, and I said I need I need a job, so I don't have a car. We only have one car
family and I went to any place. I could walk to supermarkets busboys all the stuff. Nobody wanted me and my dad said why remember this place and did stop motion and you stop motion. You know, maybe so I went there with my box of stuff. And it was summer vacation between my junior and senior year, high school and they said start tomorrow got paid minimum wage, which I think was one dollar and twenty five cents or something at the time. But that place was like a magnet for any weird kid or anything. It was like a stop motion fan and he stopped much. Someone show up there at one point or another, and I met this guy named Doug Beswick, who was a few years older than me, and we became again fast friends. You read famous monsters. He was a rare iosan fan and Doug. When I did this, I did this optiman film Doug had a uh
the workshop and we did it in his workshop. We did it together. One but yeah with the in in in in was a real introduction to the film industry, because it was the very first days filming I feel, meaning in Bronson Canyon Griffith Park. We show up, we Doug's fifty seven chevy that had doctor man in the backseat know, and we show up there and- around is nobody there and what what the hell know so- and this is before cell phones on the chin, so we have we went back down the hill down Bronson Canyon, to like there's a market there and we gotta pay phone called the production office, and it was like We push one day. We just forgot to tell you, you know it's like a movie called the Ark man. You forgot to tell the people who are making the Oct demand the title character. Movie that you weren't filming snowing- and it was also- I mean they- rv introduction to the movie industry, though oh it was in. I learned that you know you believe anything. They tell you. You know I mean
designed by somebody else- and I got this turn it down a few people. I met a clunky so that it was going to be stop motion. One point they decide to that was too expensive to make it suit The first thing I did was a little Mcat. A little wet Mcadams got the small sculpture of the design, but I said, there's the because he they need to try to figure out how they could do eight tentacles on a man in a speech kind of like turned into tentacles in a kind of split off and into a back tentacle, but I said I think they look like elf shoes and and it's not good for a way for me to join the two things together and it's like kid don't worry about. It is only going to be one shot of the Octa man in the movie where you actually see it the rest of the time The shadow or a glimpse you know, but will have a money shot where you can make sure it looks great. The movie starts out with a close, but the speaking, how exactly you know at the end, and you know it was it the It was a real introduction. I I thought it was going to be like,
going on eight millimeter millimeter movies, like I did as a kid, you know it just jumps in and work or making movie. Let's do it right. It wasn't that the dp, the director Photography 'cause, I had long hair and Doug had long hair. He called us, girls. This was at a time when you know we'll get the girls to get there. Silly monster suit out. You know, but we there was a if you can believe this, the Octa man was written by the guy. Who is the writer of creature from black lagoon? and he also wrote it came from Outer- So it was basically those two scripts combined with with ecology thrown in and he it was like.
This is day where the instead of in you know in the creature, they they put a log across the lagoon, and I can't get out you know here. It was a lot across the street in a driving and we've got the Winnebago and they can't get out get out to try to get the log out he open the Winnebago door and hot demands in in there and he. A guy down in the neck exposed the other guy supposed to pick up a log throwed. The Oct Amanda Nichols where's the prop blog that we can use in an era, and you know who he was, that is that gonna go that's It's a tree limb. You know, I got it, that's going to Rick the guy in the suit and is going to hurt the suit. You know when I go and we were going ursis right now, we don't have time to sit and go when he activates supposed to bend over and pick up the pier Angeli, who is the female lead who killed herself after this movie can tell you how good you know so when he goes to pick her up, let's cut there, because if you
but I can wrap the tentacles around or look more like he's holding her so anyways, they start filming without rehearsing. Optiman opens the door knocks a guy down. Should log throws at the AC demand, hits him rips the suit. He goes walking over and he's virtually blind is looking at a two little holes out this far away. Is it real cluster phobic suit? The poor guy read Morgan, who played the AC man was great to deal with, but it was very hard suit to wear goes to pick up your angelique. Nobody says cuts He her up so walking around the guy who knocked locked ground is laying on the ground, spread, eagle insects right on his nuts falls over backwards throws Angelina bones against the Winnebago. She's crying says he wants her mother, guys holders nuts she's broke his hand. 'cause a log fell on his hand and every
scream and I'm going to get my soup. You know we lost today out of our ten day, shooting schedule so hairy, Essex, who is the director and writer, was tearing pages out of the script like just we don't need this. We don't need this. We don't need this and then when they tried to make a movie out of it, it made no so I mean I think, if the first twenty minutes or stock footage. If in the beginning there was nothing and then you know, then there was slime and then you know, with the whole, can't wait to watch more now. It's it's there's a! I think it's in public domain now I think it's on Youtube, but those apps on Blu Ray out of it as well. I think I might have to fire up. Join that one. Now, when you when you look back on that you mean it's gotta, be kind of, even though it sounds like a cluster flock, it seems like it's kind of a fond memory as well, because that was where it started. It was yeah. We got to see how much nonsense there is in the movie industry, but you also got a chance to get going yeah and I got you know we came up the way to do this because we couldn't it's
rubber suit informer recipe baked in an oven. We didn't have a big gob and we didn't have the means. So we we came with a clever solution and that's what I had do so many times in films. Do things that people have done before going a budget and schedule. You know and try to figure out and that's part of the fun yeah, but what was cool about the Oct Amanda? The male lead was occur with Matthews, who was Sinbad and send forces in bad, get a raise every house in film yeah, big fan of you know so one of the for things I had to do. There's a scene where the documents to Nichols was a creep through this cave opening and they basically what it up. Some tar paper and I stood behind the tar paper in Branson caves and stuck my hand in his technical into this. Did this in when curling walked by, I said Super Dino mission, which is what Ray Harryhausen's technique. He called for a few films, and so you know about that. You know so I thought that was really cool. My kids
How about a hairy hills and from Monsters INC and they were like who's, that who's Harryhausen and I said well he's the guy that made all the early monster movies and so then we sat down and we watch King Kong together. They were scared at first like, oh, my god, I'm scared, but They started laughing when they saw king. The stop motion. Yeah, I mean it's it's today in comparison to you know even comparison, your version, King Kong, when you could, you know, make it mechanized, and you know it's just it's it's amazing when you think about how far we came, but you know the the stop motion and he doesn't didn't animate in King Kong. He did mighty Joe Young, but King Kong is what inspired him. That was Willis O'Brien and PETE Peterson. Who are the animators on that? But He did the was the the one with Medusa. Did he do that? One Heraeus in yeah clash of the talks lasted tight. Yes, right now isn't right. Waking and Ray was a one. Man show you know, it's
motion. You know it's twenty four frames. A second you're welcome, so self in when you're an enemy in seven Scott and chasing the argonauts or seven skeletons fighting seven rice. He did all the items on self and I became I became friends with Ray and how and I would see them in it- and this was during the time the computer stuff was starting out. You know, and you know his movies were fifty thousand dollar movies. You know the whole budget movie in a just the facts in the early ones that he did. You know- and I said you know Listen to piss you off that now the millions of dollars and there's hundreds of people working on stuff that you did by yourself. You know and well they didn't. Take away his legacy now, even though he did on him. He was not just a groundbreaker, but these the when you think about stop. Maisch, stop, motion, films and and horror films he's the guy that you think of you for Jason and the argonauts skeleton scene.
I believe he did that all himself coming. It's a very, very detailed and intricate seen no 'cause, you have to match what they're doing yeah I mean, and you know you're in a room by yourself in moving up, a fraction of an inch, a puppet at a time. You know, and it takes time ever you know, and I mean having if you've never stop motion can appreciate it Oh my god. What year was this? I'm not sure exactly and looked at out of the ground. Oh it's it's! Bernard Herrmann music. In this you know he always had a terrific scores in his in his films as well and again he was a fan he handled who who made living, doing something that you love, imagine being the actors and having to sort of respond to all yeah these.
Shelton's they're popping out of the ground with shields and swords which aren't there? Would you know and yeah and yeah it, which you know it came in a month later, yeah, okay, you seems killed and now you're scared he's going to take your soul ray what kind of direct those scenes, because in most directors, don't know what to do with that can show- or you know, yeah, but he was You know what I thought was great about Ray is like so many artists. Aren't appreciate you after they're gone, you know Ray saw the impact he had. I mean I went to his 90th birthday celebration in in England, well British Film Academy did this great tribute to ray and everybody showed up Peter Jackson came, you know, who didn't show up at set video Steven Spielberg Center video John John Legend, Jim Cameron did all talking how much raise films and raise work, influence them, and it was really great. You know
and it's so nice that he was able to be appreciated like that in his lifetime. Now, I'm actually I'm at the funny thing. Is I'm getting that now with this with my book is come out, people are just going to my god you're. I love you so much in the Are you done? It's just. You know it's nice to know that you know served a purpose. You know you, you did you serve the giant purpose and you served a big purpose in my life and, like I said, I'm I'm such a huge fan of your work and when you look back at what was the first thing, you did where you okay. That was a good one. Well, you know it's funny once you do something and you look at it, you see all the things wrong with it. You know and and I always say I wish I could see the film before I make this stuff, because so many times the thing is supposed to be the most important thing this isn't in something that you like through together, is all of a sudden. The most important thing I mean I hey I mean american werewolf was probably the one who are. I mean the
this one. That really put me on the map. I mean a lot of people say: King Kong was but american werewolf. You know I looked at it That was pretty cool, you know, but I also want God wish we did this in which I do you know. I didn't do that. You know- and I see so many things- that I would do differently now- that movies are masterpieces what it's a great and I mean- and I my second film schlock, which was John Landis, is first film. I was Twenty- and he was twenty one- and I had again. I think I had six weeks and I think I added one thousand dollars again to make. John played the schlock throb is, I don't know if you ever see, no never saw another one. You gotta watch low budget. You know movie shot by kid. Basically, you know with a you know in He like, I said he played this. It was base. Have you ever seen? Trog? Yes, yeah yes
he sought Roggen couldn't believe that they made this movie, so he was making like a joke joke version of schlock. You know and he wanted to play, is eight man character and it's like well? Okay, but you're going to be the director two, so you had to be on set at six hundred in the morning whether it's lock worked or not all made up. You know It was shot three weeks in John and I are going on our sleep at night. You know he. I would make him up. We were out in the at at what used to be Oakwood School where John went for a while and think it was thrown out of and we lived and worked in his like screened in patio. That was leftover in this the building is making a John on a bar stool and eventually he was like falling asleep and doing those. You know that thing you know and it had a great. Album, but he for some reason they were doing the dailies at mg. So we would have to go from after twelve hour day of filming and
you know our removing the makeup would get in the car drive to MGM. Look at the previous day's dailies. Try back sleeper to two Please get up start again. Oh my god. During a heat wave in a garage and the first day John, had the Sudan all day, and I was like combing and brushing it in the hair was just falling out in handfuls, and I went oh my god, my my second film in my career is over and I staying up all night with her directed trying to drag it out, so I could glue more hair on it. You know but it's it's. It's actually kind of a cool make up in in in in that kind of a fun character. You know and John had already written american werewolf and he said my next film is going to be american world when you put out by the time he was twenty. One was twenty one year old, wow, and he goes it's be my next film. He said want to do a transformation in a way that never been done before. It doesn't make sense to me that.
A man changing in his body going through this metamorphosis would sit in a chair like Lon, Chaney Junior and be still until he finished changing, as I think it would be painful, and I want to be able to move, and I want to show the pain and how would you do that? Hang on guys, no flocking idea, but I would love to looking at now. 'cause. We both love those yeah transformation scenes. You know, pull that. Transformation scene did the initial transformation scene is so fucking awesome, because I remember seeing it in the theater: what year was this nineteen eighty one Ok, so it's fourteen years old, I was in high school and I remember seeing this in the movie theater, and this was another one- that sort of cemented the idea that I to be a a up artist when he pulls all close off and burning up
and then he looks at his hand. His hands start stretching out like that was incredible. This was just such a different werewolf to like everything about it was different, yeah well again, and he created John for that, and he also said you know I want to do it in a brightly lit room. It's not going to horror, film lighting, it's going to be real, you. How did you do this? How do we call it? A change? Oh is actually a fake hand, storyboard, the whole sequence and that's a different fake hand. There that's the second one right and that's another one there it's got syringes in it that we now he's wearing an appliance handed matches that and we storyboard the whole sequence in, as you saw when David first off his clothes he's, not pretty hairy right and I for me to glue little bit of hair on and then we do him a little hairier in a little hairier, it's better for us to work in river. Let me do him in the hairiest. First now pull her off and trim it and just saying yeah, but we boarded
pulsing out, so in this hair growing was reverse. I punched her through rubber and then pulled it through and leave. It it's on the car. This is a whole fake back again with things coming out of it. That's a so you punched here through over and pulled it through and then reversed across wow. But what I we thought what would be the most impactful thing would be for his face to change last. But, I don't like if transformation like here, the wolf the big man of hair, so he's got this big hairy neck that I don't like you know, and is it. And that's David doesn't have lenses in his eyes or just read from that was a ten hour day of make He just exhausted and yet make upon. This was incredible, meant, that's crazy, that he doesn't have any eyes. He does everything in his eyes. That's just his eyes. Polish it but yeah The first stage change ahead. So this is a rubber head that had mechanism that push it out. You know in
the second stage. Change ahead stretches out like that I think it was interesting 'cause I mean I I was thirty when I did this It was at a time when there weren't people that did this kind of work that just few in Hollywood. You know like John Chambers, who did planet the apes, but for me find a crew. I hired kids that sent me fan mail as a kid a kid from Texas. It's me fan mail, let the kid from Connecticut and they were like eighteen. Why am I mean I had a crew of like basically eighteen year olds? In me, it was like, I think, six of us s who did this film thirty five. However, many years ago, I'm not good at math, and still is pretty decent he's awesome, not pretty decent. I mean there's a reason: why have the american werewolf the Pat Mcgee version of it sitting there in the front? But now I have to call Pat to move. The legs are off what's wrong with the latest there to stretch out too long it to you know we. Actually. That was a prime, because I didn't know how I going to make this four legged wolf work yeah and I figure out some.
And it came to me one night. I thought I remember the kid ever do wheelbarrow racing when someone holds your feet, you're walking on your hands? You know, I thought what we do, something like that and have like puppeteered legs in the back. So if the reality is, if you really see the full wolf, there's feet sticking out now. He's got two legs sticking out, but we had him like on a platform with wheels in the back. Legs were puppeteered with little rods. So. You never know the in the back. Please come in that's when you cut right right right in a lot of the stuff like in Piccadilly Circus in the big bus crash in CS. That's me: in a wheelchair, with a with a head with John push me down the street wow. That was a great scene because there was a great senior point where wealth comes bursting out of the the the the port of Philadelphia yeah, which divides the guy in the head that script I think was the only script that I've worked on my entire crew that script I read was basically script. We made the only
Prince was when John wrote the script originally that EROS Cinema in in the circus was at Cartoon Cinema in the original script as a cartoon cinema, but when we got there it was a point of cinema, so he changed. It seems you know to a cinema other than that. It's the. The script is basically verbatim what he wrote. As a twenty year old, and his use of music and everything groundbreaking at the time. People didn't do like the way he did. And his friend that kept returning jack more or more and more rotten every time like that. Was a genius idea as well like that Jack had explained to him when he came in kill yourself, you're, aware well, if you're gonna kill which people like the office, so everything about it was so unique user, it it completely flipped the whole idea of what a werewolf movie was on its head yeah in in a in a work. You know one in Griffin who played Jack When I first made him up in that make up he
as I was putting the stuff on, you make a chair, he's kind of like getting more and more sad and like sinking down in the chair, and it's like. What's wrong, Griffin isn't wrong, he goes look at me. You gonna get yeah, and look at me. This is my big break and I'm in my throats torn out- and I mean nobody's going to look at me. You know and it's like did you read the script yeah Let's say your throat torn out yeah, but I didn't I think it would look like this and you know I did and that's what John publish his bum down where he was at first. You know because it is it's disturbing to see, but it's a great role yeah I don't know, and he was brilliant and he was terrific to work with you know, but the initial shock of seeing himself torn up right was. It was hard for him to take so realistic yeah, but he you know, I thought. Ok, I gotta call John was in England. Locations in so I said you know you gotta talk to Griffin, he's no cut upset about what he looks like you know. But you know I took that opportunity being a sensitive guy that I am
to tell him that the third part of his transformation was, it was actually going to be a puppet. It wasn't really going to be him because he was supposed to become basically talking skeleton you know, and the makeup process is an additive process in and he would have to be a huge skull to look right. You know, and he was happy about that either, but I said, but I want you to operate the mouse, because doing the lips sink, you know you're you're doing the voicing, so he operated a puppet, but he he turned out to be a great guy. You know and and and he I thought he was brilliant in the film and and the whole film, the film's amazing, and it's funny too. That's one of things. It's interesting about the film. It's like it's silly: but horrific like the violence in the explosive scenes of the werewolf ripping people apart
then some of it is hilarious. Well, that hosts sequence in the corner, theater with older people, love bloody pie. I mean when we were when we were filming it. I was kind of going. Is this funny This is good. It was Ernie yeah. It was a welcome sort of comic relief from the the graphic car of the the way there will tearing people apart, yeah yeah and it's I think it's a brilliant film written and it changed my life. I mean I got my first Oscar for that film- you know an and I mean fortune to me that that and came into my life and this this happen again because Don put studios that I talked about or they made Halloween masks, show one was a male boy at Fox for awhile, and he knew John Chambers. He would deliver mail to the John Chambers it at the planet and makeup
and he talked to John Chambers at first about to watch lock, Johnson. Well, I need two hundred and fifty thousand dollars in the budget. The whole film, I think, was thirty thousand dollars. You know, so I think you just basically didn't want to do hyperactive kid in so he sims DUMBO, studios and Don Post. You know said well same thing and they don't really want to deal with this kid and they had it. Would be way too much money right, but they said, there's a kid who comes in here and buys material that used to go there to buy materials because in those days now there are stores that sell all the supplies that you need that I used to have to drive all over California get what I need in some stuff. They would only sell in a fifty five gallon drum, which I couldn't afford like Poly earthing polyurethane foam, which is a two part foam that forms up chemical reaction forms it up, make cyanide gas when it forms, which nobody told me by Don Post, would pour some in it. Can you go here? You go kid. You know first time I used it in my bedroom. I practically died
Yeah- and I have a strong is. I have a very strong allergic reaction to it now when, because of that Yeah I mean my throat closing up. I can hardly breathe and well and in what was going on- and I found out what it was but Don cyanide Jesus yeah. But because of that, because I left that's the only time my life actually had a business card and John says you know it said: Rick Baker monster maker, but I think it said Rick Baker, makeup artist, you know, but I gave a card and some pictures to DOM Post and when they were trying to get rid of this kid who wanted a funky gorilla suit thing. You know they said, this guys made some gorilla suit. When it talk to him and John Lydon Westwood near the cemetery there, the veterans Cemetery he drove out to Covina and again I still pretty shy. Point in my bedroom. At that point was I had I slept on my convertible sofa 'cause. I got enough money to buy one, so I could fold it up and have more floor space to work, but my masks in my head- Morty, everywhere. You know and John is very loud and nnnn
Devon and he was coming in and he was flipping out over the stuff that I made you know and like touching it and stuff, and I'm going this guys in my room, he's touching my stuff and is really scaring me now, but I mean thank God. I mean american werewolf, put me on the map, and I mean I did coming to America. Murphy was in was, and I did a lot of things with Eddie and because of John actually met my wife, Sylvia on on a John Landis Film, where he had me play at originally it was a Jesus freak. It was a film called into the night and it was all from night and met my wife on Hollywood Boulevard in front of Frederick's of Hollywood. In the middle of night- and it turned out- I didn't change it to a dope dealer. I was playing a dope dealer in Sylvia. Was the hair stylist on the film and John came in and since I to be in the movie. I want you to play the part you were born to play
My wife was a hooker in the background. You know and there's a picture of us it's in the book. Actually, on the night we met in French to hollywood- that's cool, and now we have to have amazing children and and and and a great life. And now you know, I John Lott, well you and John made magic. He really did mean that that So you know, and as we said, one of the things about that film it's. It was so strategic in its use of the werewolf. You know that you do. You do really eat when you got a chance to see it like one of my favorite scenes was when the guy, the Biz this man is in the subway he's running away from the werewolf, and you know it's chasing, but you don't see it, you don't see it until he stumbling on the escalator and then you see it at the bottom of the escalator just for sucking into this walking in the frame and they're like fuck yeah, and they cut right before he speaks sticking out his as well. That was something with the design of the world was well 'cause, because John said he wasn't going to show it. I normally you would when you do something it's gonna be.
Animatronic Eric you kind of sculpted in a neutral position, and you let the mechanism make the expressions but from my experience in other films. The editor doesn't necessarily choose the moment where you think is the best expression you know, and I thought, if it's only going to be on for a second, I want it to be scary, looking so a sculpted in a scary expression on it, which I normally wouldn't do so. You is no way that wasn't going to scary website right snarling was that the case with the Cantina scene in star wars, because star wars scene, there's that's that's a crazy scene, because you've got so many characters in that scene, Ann today when you go back and look at it like it's. Yeah yeah. Well, that came about show me. The film is done in England. Nobody knew start was going to be star wars. No Stuart Freeborn was the makeup artist in the film he did. The will
he did the Cantina scene originally, but George wanted to embellish on it and didn't like a lot of the stuff that he did so I Ilm, which was in Van Nuys, then industrial light. Equal started the guys that doing the visual effects wear for that for star wars My friends that I met at Chloe's didn't Dennis Muren KEN kid Ralston were shooting that they special effects and George came in said: do you know anybody that can make a mask. Is I I want to add some asks to the to the Cantina scene and I go yeah. We do so. He called me and. So. I went over to Val Jean Ave on in Georgia on a flatbed. Editor showed me the sequence as it existed, and I was flipping out MSN What a cool idea to have this bar full alien. You know anyone do you know still to one that has like in like this kind of like a alien pirate. That's got like alien parrot character and this thing is well. We don't have any money, you know, You know that we've already spent the money. You know it, we don't. One of my friends, I just want masks- and I said well,
You know what I have a bunch of stuff. I made myself for fun that we can throw in there the there's a devil guy that one I made that five years before star wars. You know there's a werewolf guy in another guy with glowing eyes. I made those before star wars. I just said you can use them. I thought they were going to be stuck in the background We did like the Cantina band. You know the first on top the first aliens that you see almost all the first stage. You see all the ones that we did. I think we did thirty and but what was great yeah. That was when the tasks I made before he's good, James best, yes, Jim yeah. That was such a great scene to the These are stored, freeborn things, you know, but the thing that's great that the band was never there and When you see the movie, you think it's there and I've used it. So many times where I say, can we shoot this like in post production? That's the devil, guy yeah, and these guys were the guys that we went agaisnt.
So you shot the alien band and yes, in LOS Angeles in by different people, at a different time, and I've said to you know when I say to people: let's: can we shoot this in post and CAS happens. You know most directors don't like dealing with the the you know and they'll put it off to the last shot of the day, and then it's like when you got forty five minutes and go, but this is the money shot right in a prepared for month for this you give me forty five minutes to do this. It's not right in unless you're in post production. Well, that'll never work never matches like. Did you see star wars yeah, bandits in the Cantina yeah that was shot by different people in a different country months later. Did you know that no no. It's like you think there there you hear the music to the plane through the scene. You know these are some of are aliens, those two guys, the blue eyes and as is that werewolf and then that was
when it looked like a mass well yeah I mean, I think it's a. I think they all look like mess. We made that guy in that mask in the background was one of mine that had before too. It was also great scene, again it was a great idea and people. I did not make that one that was on stewards People think of it, you know the end is more, that it's a great idea than the work is great and it was. It was a great cook Conglomeration of cool characters all in one bar and you know at the time is completely in unique. In new things, yeah can't, but after that, every movie, every space movie had a cantina scene. You know and and and is america- we're off every transformation after american world was basically the same transformation and they did the same thing. You know it happened on thriller two. You know I mean I because
american werewolf win Michael came to John Landis to do thriller. You know he like he, where, if you wanted to do, he wanted to be short want to one color, music, video and John, contacted me and said you know: Michael Jackson wants to do this. American horror flick, music video, for the song thriller, which I hadn't heard it was like. You know, Michael Jackson, little Michael Jackson, Jackson, five, but yeah he's not called that anymore. You know, and so Johnson I'll. Send you a kiss it at. Get some ideas, you know so this, and this is had little walkman. I think you yeah I listen to it with wine. I had another one that I would like, like reassociate ideas when I was listening, you know and- and it was like- I thought well, these we came up, they did during his dancers and- and I said well, you know I'm sure can hire the dancers way in advance, so they can learn to dance and stuff, because no they they they were. They only need a couple of days of the hard in like three days before he felt
I can't that doesn't give me time to take life masks and do all the stuff that I would do and he's obviously be really cool. You know, so I said how if the first time is UCR like me and my crew, because we already have life mask, we can start those today and we can spend the time and making some cool. So I'm in thriller coming out of a crooked this year in all my crew, basically the first guys that come out of the ground and break through windows, but the dance as I said I'll figure out a way we can do them, and I hate it because I had a number of life masks to different people and small medium large male small, medium large female and resulted he kept pieces. We called like bandit mass. They were kind of like this around this area like a band in a brown rice like raccoon Mass yeah, and it did, had the nose on it because you know proportionally, you could get away with more, so we had different sculptures at small, medium, large male, small, male or female. That we just say: okay, you're, a medium mail number. Two and we made these big teeth that we could pop in their mouth
put some denture lining material and fit him so the dance It's were not as good as the more featured make about Michael in the upper left hand corner when Jamie with eyes. Yeah. Look at that like that was excellent and again we kept it that way, what happened is a zombies after that I was just doing pieces like this. I only like that, because the limitations I had in the team you Know- but that was I mean- and that was another really quick job in very little money thriller it's very little money. For me, it turned They spent the money. They have a lot of cameras in the lesson when you're filming, but it it. I was working day and night every day of the week to get stuff done and John didn't surprise me with the making of thriller. On the day that Michael was coming. For us to take his life mask then make a cast of his face. He goes others I'd, be a camera crew here couple cameras, and we are you talking about. He goes I want to make enough
Well, I'm going to know it's like it always looks horrifying to see. If somebody having like mistaken right and I go, I don't need a Michaels really shy. I don't We don't need this. I don't. I don't I want to see this shop for doing it. You know it's like you know, I'm not happy about it, but in so many people come up to me and her make up artist now and go the reason. I'm a makeup. Artist making a thriller in in an inspired me to to do this. You know on my stock answer. Is you thought that if this idiot could do what I can do it there is a time where music videos were a new thing and then thriller changed. What music video is? It was so huge. It was a world premier event. That was on MTV and it's so hard for kids. It understand what that means. But we were all gathered around the tv waiting for the Michael Jackson, thriller world, Premiere, Anet
it. Premiered in it changed what a music video is. Then, all of a sudden it became this film and it was the cool because, like Jackson was a sweet guy and he's on a date with his beautiful girl and next thing you know he's a fucking where cat or whatever it was. Was that supposed to be a cat like well yeah? I, he wanted to be a werewolf, and I said you know, I don't think it should be a werewolf and I thought something feline would be fit him better. You know and originally did uh like a black panther, and then I was afraid of the black Panther. You know that searching the black with the black panthers. I mean political yeah, so became more fantasy. I gave it longer hair and like White Street, you find his transformation to the cat because it is reminiscent in somewhat of a miracle of american werewolf, but cool unique in its own way. Although we didn't, we didn't have the time to yeah. I wasn't sure what it was I was like is that a cat is a werewolf. Is that what people call the wearable sometime? People called account. I said yeah. I just thought it was cool,
definitely cool, looking whatever it was, but you know what happened I mean thriller was work work work work in an originally. It was going to be my my crew were going to be the guys that do the makeups and they were all non union and it at the last minute became a union production. So I had to hire union makeup artist. And there were many to do- the dancers, an many of 'em or people. I didn't know in there a lot of people that were good at this stuff yeah. That's gonna, give me hello letters in his hand. There's actually an american werewolf hand in here. At one point I think oh really yeah leftover, hence yeah, that's a nail. Growing thing was from american werewolf. And then you did a similar thing with the ears and he had whiskers yeah, yes, like his yeah silly. But when you look at that like what is that? Is that a cat? Whatever? It is, it's cool, but he It was an amazing experience because I knew I I was really stressed out the data reforming the dancers, and I was I had to
michael- is a zombie. I had a number of make. I didn't even know it didn't work before with before. We're doing other zombies and I'm running through trailers going no. No! No, this you know Michael and it's like. Oh man and they filming in Vernon, downtown LOS Angeles in next to the farmer. John meat packing place in they'd just slaughtered the animals, and it had this weird smell in the yard and then the dance started, and I all of a sudden it just like this wave went over me of. Just this stress went away, and I just was looking at was having in front of me, and I was going my God look at this and people would pay. I need to see this and then I get to see this. I saw this thriller dance happening you know, for the first time in there, if you know when it was being filmed, how may times of the shoot it not that many, I think, but there were, I think it was six cameras on you know the whole. Treating a friend that was filled with cameras and but the other thing that was so cool about it. That was one of the dancer makeups.
The Michael, when we were doing in pre production Michael, did a on a motel. Special, that was on television, where the moon walk for the first time, but nobody had seen the mohawk. And I didn't see it. I was busy working and all but one of my crew who went home at night and it recorded it and you're not going to believe this is the same kid that was in her makeup chair the other day. 'cause MIKE was very shy as well, really make and quiet in person and he's so dynamic on stage you know, and- and it was like two different people- I mean when Michaels performing he's incredible. You know that he was a, I mean to say he was unique, is the biggest understood the history of the world but this whole scene with him when he becomes a zombie, was so bizarre to like even the dance was so strange? You know it was although I really cool and to see it live for the first time you know out in the cold with it. If they don't do anything
like this anymore. I mean really, it doesn't happen, yeah. Well, you know it's funny. I, like you, said a number times. I try to explain to my daughters, let you know we had television, but you I had a tv guide. I would look at page and try to find when a monster movie is going to be on and have to watch it then, or I couldn't see it. If I wanted to see it again, I would have to wait a year. Yeah. There was an internet, you know, and you know I had. I had to go to library to find books and make up which there weren't very many yeah. Now you get this all these, you tube videos. I even have some you know in, but it it's a different world? I mean the information, wasn't is available and you couldn't. You can just call up. Let's see thriller, yeah? Now, you did the Wolf man. Was there a push to do some sort of cgi version of that was it? Did you have to fight I eat or discussion about how to do it.
I did that he would do it CG. I, because everything at that time was basically CG high end. I had a friend that a copy of the script- and I read it, read like a CG. I And I was actually filming at universe. Your film is, Norbit stuff at Universal, and I went to a producer there that I knew who who's a visual effects producer as well, and I asked him if he knew anything about the Wolf man. You know, because I said I'd love to do this. You know I it's one of the things that let me do what I do you know, and I said: is it going to be? Cgn goes no. Actually they were talking about it being a makeup and cool. Will you put my name in there that you know I would love to do this, so they are. The original director wanted it to be makeup, and I we were going to do transformation. We actually built stuff for transformation. It was a weird film in so many ways it seem like
in a b, was great to work with he wanted. He wanted to be with me and you know, he's a monster real monster. Kid too. You know. Anthony Hopkins was great, you know I I did it with my friends. Dave well see, but I think we're the only people that wanted to be working in a movie called the Wolf man. I mean think everybody else was embarrassed that they were working in movie called the Wolf man really yeah and they would do things. The production manager called me into the office once and said what? What is this? Why are you? buying all this hair. What is hair for? I go seriously, you quite you need this hair and had a big behind his desk at a big science at Wolf Man and I went and covered it up in a cover up the Wolf part with my hands and go right. Now we had this a man, I'm going to make him a wolf man, and I need her for Why do you need her? 'cause wolves have fur noise like when I went to flock. I can't believe I'm having this conversation with you, you know, because what
I mean do you need all of that her? You know. I mean what I know it's like that through the whole movie. Just so embarrassing, you have to talk to someone like that. I know, but then I'll just let you do whatever you do. I know, and I think people who are in industry have to deal with this stuff all the time to think that I never have to. You know crying happens all the time. You know it seems like everybody has to yeah yeah in, but it I mean it was very frustrating but again do David well see. In a week we had we'd worked day and night. And when everybody was gone we had the best time. You know like we're working on Wolf Man Movie, you know and when we first filmed the sequence in the Gypsy Camp, where this always gypsies and fog and stuff is like- yeah. That was me in movies. You know that's what was. It was very reminiscent of the old movies, but like a new version of the old movies here with the fog in the Gypsy Camp and all that jazz is, it was really similar to the original loan. Cheney There is also undertaken junior and had kind of a hammer film field.
To and we an Anthony Hopkins Make was a little more. The werewolf Christopher Christopher Christopher, the the name Oliver Reed, who had that kind of feel and I mean like I said beneath- is a real big fan of the horror films, and We got along great. In fact, he he would come into the makeup trailer with old monster magazines and that he bought on the internet and there he isn't here, and quiz me and stuff. You know I what's this, I knew everything I knew and you know everything on. Every page you know, and we we became weak, connected. We bonded over that you know the scene where he makes the transformation in the medical theater. That was a great team. It's all cg, though is that all Cg Cg? Oh it's based. It's based a lot of ideas that I had you know. 'cause, I mean what I said. Because this is we gotta do to great transmission like America. Where often I said
american werewolf we had a naked man who changed into a four legged hound from hell we have been the Toro he had I'm here in his face, you know in some teeth right. We can't The changes aren't the same. We can't stretch out his body, we can't write, you know what we want that same kind of feel, so I saw how about if we do things where his fingers twisting do it uncomfortable things and stuff that right, but we actually made a lot of stuff, but is so weird. I mean like the production, We weren't even invited to the set when they did the transformation, even though we had stuff they did. I want you to go. They didn't want me there. What I don't know, then what you're input, you know, I guess, even though it's a lot of what's in there, based based on animatics, that I did some drawings and stuff, but It was a really weird deal, I mean it's like we were the unwanted children in that movie. You know, that's so crazy for meeting here, something like that. It's so it's stunning
because I would have assumed that in my eyes, you're Hollywood royalty like you're, the I who made the american werewolf in London you're the guy who made so many these an incredible movies with makeup and special effects. I would think they'd be popped. The you were there well yeah I thought that too no, but it wasn't the case, but you know you know something interesting when I read this book did and my career I complain too much about the film industry and I shouldn't because it's been really good to me. I mean I he said it's because my hobby and I made a decent living at it and I got awards for and I got free food and things you know, and it is magic. I mean you at role at you, you it's like time. Like working on this movie when we're London in an area They haven't changed since the eighteen, hundreds and you have all these people in period cost. It really is like you time travel, you know and you get to
with some really amazing people yeah see. This is also do really well done, Cgi really! Well, then, yeah and Steve Beg who is the effects supervisor was a great guy and he was really upset that we weren't able to do the stuff as well, but they I think they did a terrific job, and I you know I like CG to a degree hi. I like the fact that it's another technique that we can use to do things that we can't do in the real world with rubber right right. I just don't like that. They do things when we can do it. You know it and I think a lot of it comes down to for american werewolf, I would have to try to beg people to. Let me do something I mean it was like. Can I put a mustache and in a scar on this guy. You know like after american world. I would get scripts with stuff in and I had no idea how that was going to do, and I like crazy, crazy stuff, but they they would say to me
What, because is a lot of interviews after America World when they said what is the. Material that changed to allow? to do work that we haven't seen before, and I said I got adequate time. Inadequate money and it was the first time I had that and after that I like when I did gremlins two. I had a year's prep. The problem is, I need answers a year before we start filming, because I need to make this stuff and You see a director's on another movie, then it doesn't want the eventually, after I found them, I'm trying to get an answer will give me some kind of answer which make me shut up. You know CG, all that stuff comes in post the films already made you kind of cut it together. They start making the stuff, but this is to make up. That is yeah. So c g transformation telling the world and then, when he's aware of this was done in a different day. Yeah. Well I mean the the the CD was done all in post. Yet right,
but yet him sitting in the chair was been easy on the day, and this is that's actually the stunt double. And so sometimes when he was running he was running on all fours yeah and on leg, extensions and most of that stuff is Spencer. Wilding, who is our stunt double? There is There's some shots of close ups. This is Spencer. The stunt double yeah, but that was what was weird about. It is like he's running, but he's got kind of like doglegs yeah. Well, he's got everybody running on two legs with dog biped I get it that's been easier, but it was. It was a hybrid yeah now of american werewolf and the original man yeah. You know the woman. Had you know he stayed. He stayed on his balls of his feet. You know you can try to get that illusion of like dog, yeah, regional, one yeah yeah, and you know I it's so funny, because I walk like that as a kid, the all the time you know I did, and we do things in so could Dave L C, but we tried to get the stunt guys are even easier to do it. They couldn't do it, we can walk.
There is under bother feet like that with their heals up, you know not. I don't know you know it's like how come I can do it, but it's also something skill, develop as a child. Now, when You see a film like that, and you say you think about all the difficulties that you had in making. It was for a film where they let you just go crazy, just do whatever you want to do well pretty much. American Marvel yeah. Well, that was the best one and again you know gremlins, to which I did was. My turn down numerous times. My friend Chris Chris listed the original gremlins and I didn't basically want to copy Chriss work, work and and house. It was a big job, a lot of stuff and they kept after me. Chris was unavailable. He used to fly and the Jeff Goldblum version yet, which is amazing, may have made a first grade teacher won an Oscar
That was, when the all time, great performance, yeah. A lot of people forgot about that movie. He's he's brilliant in that home, but the They say what can we do to and in time do this movie. I go. Let me redesign the grill in some. I would like to make them individual characters? Chris is version all the grown. The same mold the same old, so you basically gives you can like one puppet. That does everything. So you have this puppet. You have your hand and you have this puppet. Have some rods on. You have this puppet that does this, but they could be interchangeable for any any mod wire any gremlin making an individual characters means I had to have you six versions of each one. So we made hundreds of things, but I said you know if I can make them characters in change the design some I'd be more interested in then we came up with the idea of doing the genetics lab one turns into a bat turned into a spider interns at the edge of a gram. But what was great about working with Joe Dante Mean Joe
is also a monster fan. You must recant guy, so we we could communicate in that. In that way, you know I would say you know it's like innovation, so awesome, and he was talking about like berry sign in failed who I did men in black with. I said that too he he going never seen a science fiction Movie Illinois ever signed. The sign says what is going said. I went to see alien, but I got too scared and left. I live in my crew and on minutes, like all my God is going to be a disaster. You know a lot and I was saying you know I don't you know It could be a really good thing. He could make it really unique film and not just base it on others yet seen you know, and I think men like is a really great fit. Is an art yeah? It's really think he was. He was terrific for it. You know, but at first it was a little scary. You know, but Joe by. Joe is great in he's really open to suggestions. You know, and the first gremlins. They had a suggestion. Boxes like what can we have the do doing people would put things in there, so we could how about. If we do this, how we do that? Okay, so
it was. It was a nice collaboration, and that was fun, so you have some fond memories of no. I mean I have a. I have a lot of fun memories and mostly it's in the pre production time I mean my cruise. It is hard, though, to not concentrate, he will give to make effort to not concentrate on the annoyances in the negative parts yeah It is hard in special in that you get it every day, yeah, but the aboriginal people realize I mean a normal. Film is a twelve hour day yeah, but I you For me, an average makeup is a three and a half hour makeup. Then you have a. Every day? Do you have our removal time? so they're very long days I spent most of my career working, one thousand eight hundred and fifteen eighteen hour days. You know, and our days and sometimes all night, you know yeah in all day, just to get the stuff done. You know that's pre, Adderall yeah You know yeah yeah yeah and you know I'm surprised that I'm, like I said and to be sixty nine in like a month and I'm
presents the whole life will let you know in in in in able to walk and do stuff. You know when I think about the days standing on my feet all day, all the stuff. What about the case? Michaels. That's the thing that I would think it's a little scary you and We I mean I because of experience of, like I said, with a polyurethane foam and yeah. I know that you know this stuff is dangerous and I also had one time We, the paint that I used to use to paint rubber it's hard to get rubber paint to stick to rubber, and I found out not on the creature from the black lagoon. They made paint out of rubber cement, an universal tinting, colors and thin did with benzene, and it was bonded rubber. So I used to paint my mask in my bedroom with benzene, which is a car. So
Jim this atomizing, it's prince, Rainier brush. You know, nose, spray books or anything. He says I just have a five gallon drum of benzene, that I'd wash my hands on him. You know, oh my god and then, when I found out because they weren't materials. Safety data sheets like they are now here I found out how danger this stuff was, I became kind of fanatical about. You know shop, my studio, I, seven spray booths to take the fumes away and and make sure it was safe, and I mean I think, the safest shop in Hollywood with this stuff, because I didn't I don't want to find out ten years down the line it My crew died because of with me so, but So it's a little scary, especially in the old days when we didn't know better right, yeah. It's most people now are pretty safe. With this stuff, the last time you worked on Maleficent. Not the one just came out, but the first one and it
interesting. I am I came about because a friend tony g, whose Angie's make up artist and does her make up all the time she worked with me on the first two on the ninety professor and then we did life together and she was like the department head in the grandchildren, so Christmas and planted heaps of planning needs, and I did Dell with all the makeup artists, it was really great. She said great beauty makeup yes, but also really great effects. Makeup person and she said to Angie. You know when they're going to do maleficent. She goes, you have to get in Rick Baker he's the guy to do this. You know and he's got a good aesthetic and he knows not to who to put stuff on when not to no one- and I said boy- I don't I don't women are the hardest to make up. You know the especially
major back up. You know, I don't think anyone wants to look at old Android done some films. We do the most incredibly subtle little saying and and and the won't want one does want to come out trailer because they say they look burn victim and stuff. You know, or tears, and I said you know I Angie why appliances, she wanted rubber on her face and I was thinking I know I don't think she should help. You know. I said why I think we can do it with the horns and maybe just ears. You know yeah, but she had this very specific idea that she wanted these angular sharp yeah cheeks, first thing I did I I did as I said. Well, let me just think about it and do it design. Who would I think it should be? I did this design and I met with Angie. She came to my studio, which is now a storage facility dhea in she brought a couple of our kids in and like in any kind of person in
he followed me close the gates and we're talking and she's telling me what she wants in one of our kids says to than any person in his own a coke in and she was made since talking to me and she went please can it really. I love like that she was teaching her kids manners. You know and that kind of sold me right. There okay, she's a mom to you know and- and she is incredibly beautiful to look at you- know she's, pretty persuasive in that respect. Yeah. They don't get any prettier yeah. They just get different yeah, but I mean oh wow yeah. Well, you did a great job in keeping that beautiful face, but adding just a little bit of weirdness you've, demonic, weirdness with the cheeks and again with the horns. I was saying you know. Maybe this is a really good case of doing CG horns and having them tracked onto her, because when you have something, that's not much help isn't well, we made it really lightweight. It was incredibly lightweight and we spent out of time developing these lightweight horns, that could be removable, so she didn't have to warm all the time.
So. They remove like in a point about this, far up off of her wig. So I thought if they decide they don't like it, we can take him off and had for, but she she wanted him and she wore them, but so we spent a lot of time, trying to make those really light figure out the wings, the wings I didn't do I don't, I think, I'm not sure even how they did, that I didn't, go to location. Filming Tony G made her up and I had a really great Dutch, a guy who was a fan name, Aryan and Titan, who did who put the appliances on with Tony g e n what is a picture with the american werewolf with the hand, that's a MIKE Hill MIKE Hill. Does these cool of like
six figures with the silicone, so he did me and he did me as a younger man, which was on the worst once he's done, and this is at the academy for something but yeah he I gave in the malls actually from American, where for the the hands in some of the stuff, but he does he does his great figures in. Unfortunately, I and I think even he's the one they did of me- was one the when the lesson as well. I think it looks good well, it looks good, but it looks a little grim too, and I think part of that was my fault though he wanted to do me smiling and I go you know when I'm working I'm like this, concentration face you know and about ice at four hundred, am and had life cast and everything but uh awesome, brilliant stuff, uh, whatever happened to the original molds, and although the original masks and stuff from american werewolf in London, the original sculpture of the wolf while its culture gets destroyed. Basically you make them hold,
I have one of the original head. Still I mean foam rubber is basically the sap of a rubber tree that you put chemicals in to make a cure and you whip air into it to make it fall. When you put another chemical in to make it congealed, and then you bake it in the oven, but because it's an organic material to decompose, it's a yeah and it will last through a film, but it usually doesn't last year's, but it does american world, the stunt head, the one that I killed Griffin within the owners and then go through the pig daily. I have and it's hard as a rock it turns to like I called like grain crackers and if you touch it hard, it'll crumble into dust, wow minds, it's all hard like that but it's not even people don't touch it. So what is Pat Mcgee make these out of the one? Our wolf, as I think it's probably slip rubber in polyurethane foam and that last a lot longer, but it will decompose on yeah start ordering another one? Maybe we can get him to do this. I keep it out of sunlight and keep it out. You know I mean
he doesn't get out of the studio. Yeah, that's good, he'll, he'll. Last a long time- and I mean I, I have Bob Burns who this guy, that I met when I was young has some of my original estimate, honest, thirteen, thirteen and and they're still supple. You can still move. I don't know how that last time. All that time, that's pretty incredible long time. When anyone comes here. One of the first things you want to do is take a picture with the world. That literally, is like one of their like everybody, and their brother has a photo. Like posing next to wall for pretend the wolves biting their head or pretend they're having sex with the there's a lot of people from behind the. What I think I should get residuals piece will taste something free cokes, something anything, but that I mean that thing is if you had to go through like all the more are you the most iconic monster in the history of films. I mean you're you're in the top two or three I mean it's, it's right there with all of them that that where, where Wolf was like my
god I mean mean it's absolutely one of the most iconic monsters ever cook, someone just on my on my Instagram just posted a picture of a tattoo beautiful, beautiful tattoo of the werewolf yeah. So many people have am one guy did a cover up tattoo. That was incredible. The werewolf, but it's funny a werewolf at Harry on people got yeah and some of the stuff Harry and the Hendersons yeah another one That's one of the things I think. Still I mean when ask me what my favorite one is. I say Harry because I I collect that from the day. I think it holds a perfectly fine. The only I think I would changes and would make his teeth a little more translucent, but that was a challenging movie because he had to communicate just by his visual. Right and carry the movie. You know He did, and I think it in order to quite was there? Is there a movie that stands out as being the most frustrating like the end result?
you. You know I mean they're all frustrating to a degree. No, what well. If there's one particular one I mean I did, and I don't consider this my film. I was approached by Bob lines we need to do a werewolf movie called curse, that Wes Craven was going to direct and a basically turn it down, and it wasn't a lot of time and. Bob use my own words against me, apparently on a on a dvd of America, where, if I said I'd like to have the opportunity to do a transformation again into it, knowing what I know now with the crew that I have now right, Nicolas I'm giving you that you said. You know, so I said to him the only way I would do this is, if you don't have an opinion and west. And have an opinion, you just let me make what I think is best for this film. It's the only way I can make it cool in the time that you have. I can't play the change. This change that game. You know absolutely
the course: that's not the case at all, and they say that and yeah yeah. It was like change this change that change this and that- and it was just like you know- and you almost have to have a a clause in the contract that, if they do funk with you at all, you could just leave and get paid. I've done that in in in one contract, but yeah it turned out that they started before they really had a script, and it was what an idea yeah. It happens all the time and date it was just a mess, and that is seven heard of it. First, you know what's good, you can hear about surprised, I'm even mentioning it because it did shut the film down and okay, I said, but we were. We were doing some really cool transformation stuff and it wasn't quite done- and I said, listen if you ever think the film's going to pick up again. If you can keep a number my people on for another month. We can have this transformation. Stuff will put it in box. To be ready to go said if they spurs now,
it's gonna be like starting again because Robin I want MR get the same people. You know right. You know, I know what you just put everything in a box. Europe is shipped to us. Were you know if we again, we'll figure it out. They start stop again, I didn't do it. I was on something else someone else took over. They changed everything that I they didn't use a lot of what I made. But the film has a single card opening credits as Rick Baker on it I I spoke with no Weinstein go. I don't want for this. Film is not my film. This is in my work anymore, but it would help them to have you on it. Yeah so I mean I found that frustrating you know, but you know again. I have no right to complain about this stuff. You know, don't do a not a monster movies anymore and the number of werewolf movies. You can kind of count on one hand right in power stretching we have the hyper link. Of course you have american werewolf have the earlier films, but this you know, and then you have those I don't
consider them? Werewolf movies, those the one of the ones with the lady there underworld seconds, data, yeah, yeah, yeah, those are kind of, but but they're fun to Watch Kate Beckinsale in a slick suit is pretty hot yeah, but they're just kind of whack. The movies are kind of why the vampires are whacked. It's like I don't buy By any what you're selling, I don't think he's a real vampires. I'm not scared, I don't think that's a werewolf gets fucked outta here yeah. Well, I'm more old school horror movie guy Not a big slasher movie you know I mean again- I don't like I mean I can't I can't watch those it's that your resume USC five failing. I have a one of my crew. Eddie hang shout out to any great guy. Yeah Eddie was the person he He with the EP study I've seen you can you can watch this wreck and these guys hit each other in the face with elbows, and I I know it's not for me, you know what in people's, because they think I like this stuff pictures, filled
don't cut my head, you know it's, I don't I I pass out when I cut myself, you know really yeah do you. I mean fake Gore is one thing I think it's bad, that you know a movie know when you know, Halloween and in in Fraser, and it just became what's the most graph- that we can kill a teenager. You right and people Beco when you see a guy with a get shot, and I shall sign that people I use like cheer. That seems wrong to me you know, yeah the d sensitization. You should be repulsed by this stuff, and I mean I don't know. You know, but so I mean people would think it's funny and kind of ironic coming from someone like you, who's made
insane monster films like American, where from and we're just rip and guys heads off Piccadilly, circus monsters, Gore and then adding thing like you know. If, if it's a zombie killing your killings on that's okay, you know: that's that's not real! You know right, but just kill the person in another killing a person in a graphic way, and I'm not fond of you know. So I don't like you know I mean I like, call monster movies more than right. Now, let me too- and you know I mean Charles Laughton Quasimodo- I mean it's brilliant and yes, it's a brilliant makeup there in nineteen, thirty nine right and you know it is perfect makeup on a perfect actor. You know Charles Lamb was great in that movie and you feel for You know you feel for the Frankenstein's monster, you know those those movies just don't they
so few and far between today, I see a real Frankenstein type movie. Will you fond of the Robert De Niro version of Frankenstein? You know when I heard they were going to do that film? I thought I gotta do this. You know and I like I said I don't have an agent. I have a lawyer that makes my deals that I ended up. You have to they give you a contract, you don't understand, you know, and he I said you know anybody involved with this because you know, can you put in a put my name in the hat? You know. And they didn't seem to be interested in. When I saw the film I was kind of glad I didn't do it. I wasn't, and I also it was disappointed. I thought how cool they got. Robert DE and not just some pics TAI Chi yeah Carla from was a good actor. And then eventually you know when it turned into Glenn strange who was bigger and stuff who is still kind of cool Frankenstein, but it wasn't car off. You know I thought great, that they have an actor you know, but I was so disappointed when I saw it. I didn't think what he did was amazing at all and.
The design. It was a lot of work and I thought it was well done, but it didn't have the impact that the Carla from yeah in right, expression, yeah and- and you know, and it's something it's very much. I when I was a kid I did make up thinking well he's pieced together out of a bunch of different people, should be lots of scars, will different colors and things you know, but You need a certain sell a wedding, something that just catches your eye here knowing, and I didn't think that one did you pull up that of the image of Robert De Niro's Frankenstein. Can you pull up the same time, Boris Karloff one mean that was the first and it's yeah, sure and again the design. If you think about it, doesn't make sense. You know why is it a flat head in right? Why is it bolt on his neck yeah. Well, that makes more sense because that's how they fit interesting, yeah done
on the left. I think it's so or something that looks different to me. Yeah and again it does kind of makes sense when you think of as a man. This piece together a different part right, but why the peace in his face together, I know, and what you know Mike- is Boris Boris Karloff. Wasn't that piece together, but it was the the head was very but- Charlie, had in you know in in the stuff. You read the Jack Pierce said in press at the time was you know, hi Frankenstein wasn't trained surgeon. He would take the easiest route to take the brain out. The top of his head by cutting topic set off opening up like a box, yeah company name, your new brain closing, a backup like a box but but it wouldn't be flat. Yeah, you were to put the skull back on it. You may be be a an eighth of an inch shorter. You know how bout frankincense bride she was still hot. I know with that Nefertiti Asher, crazy, hair yeah, but she was still hot. Is it the original Frankenstein? Where was
Yeah, that's the Edison Frankenstein again he kind of a flat head. So I think I got my hair yeah getting money. He it yeah he's kind goofy looking but Yeah Carlos face was just so perfect for it. You know, and I didn't know there was that many Frankenstein so yeah the other one. What is that one thank weathers? The Christopher Lee from Chris is right in saying right in its What's a young frankenstein, oh young, Frank, yeah and Herman Munster on the bottom yeah yeah yeah, the monsters are cool, but it is kind of funny that Herman Munster is just a rip off of Frankenstein. He knows he supposed to be well. He supposed to be. And you know I mean that's fine, just like cracking and right, yeah sure and eddies kind of like a little Wolfgang enough yeah And I remember in tv guide before this came on the air, but they come and they talked about. The new shows are coming out. This is in
six season? This is when the big monster craze happening- and I you know I was all over it, and so there's gonna be a Frankenstein guy and me you know in in the great time for somebody like me. You and to soak it all in what the impediment like it seems like people love those movies when they come out, why don't they make more of those movies you well first of the Wolf man that I did wasn't very successful. I didn't make a lot of money and that was stopped in production. At one point it was reshot, they re shot a bunch of it yeah. Well, we came back for reshoots and again this is same thing. Movies called the Wolf man right there. MIA and going to do some reshoots in three weeks we want to build suits for two stuntmen, because we're going to do is quadruped running which wasn't in the film. Originally and he said in three weeks. I said you remember we did the Wolf man. We set up a shop in London that took like
two months to set up. You all the malls or somewhere in London. I have no idea where they are you in storage somewhere said we had found a crew, we did the whole thing I got there's no way. I can do it in three weeks. I said what do we I mean they said well, the fight at the end in the house and all that- and I said well, this set is going to take awhile to put back Oh, you know we started at three months ago and I went so you're giving me three weeks to make the Wolf man for this reshoot and he knew about it for three months in a you know inside you know, n, if they want to call me even a week sooner, it was a time when Everybody was out of work. It was kind of a dry time it, but the week before they called me. A whole bunch of shows started. Everybody was busy couldn't find a crew. You know it's like, oh my god, you wind up doing it work Day and night, and I got my friends Davanloo else again and I found couple guys that could kind of do some of the stuff and we pulled it off, but it was. I mean I see he was working day night.
Don't plane flew to London, got off the plane made up an easy, oh and another trailer we had. People had worked with before making up the stunt double and it was like. We have It is because Emily Blunt is going to be doing Gulliver's travels. You should only available for two days, so we have to film. So I get off the plane initial stunt doubles made up. Here is looking good. I walk. Where were filming and they're filming stunt double in silhouette, and this is again there's like video village, where there's an r reduces sitting in chairs, looking at the monitor yeah I went over to my said. Ok, you have to explain this to me, nickel white red, going to go Why are we filming this fuckin' stunt double when Emily Blunt he the Toro, Hugo Weaving or sitting in their trailer. We only have Emily blunt for two nights filming in the summer? In England, it gets dark at ten o'clock, it gets light at four: morning. It's going to be light in two hours. This is one of,
two days. We have Emily blunt. Why are we not filming her. And they all looked at each other nickel here are there? Why are we not going hurt? must be a reason. You know. Yes, the movie was curses. Yeah isn't John Landis son involved, as I'm sort of a remake of american world. He it's been announced that he was going to do that. I don't know if it's ever going to happen. Those things happen all the time you know I'd ride, denounce it matches for yeah. I think your mom just Horo every other week or some film that is gonna, make that you know, and some of them happens- and we don't you know, but he's a big fan of monster from here. As in he again, I think he's he was a part of the strain wasn't into the film yeah that that's all the service, yeah and and I met curable first, he was make a parts used to be a make up artist in Mexico
and he was a Dick Smith student in a fan you know Dick and Dick introduced me to him and Guillermo came to my studio as a fanboy makeup artist first and I did Hellboy with with him, and I was in the strain he has me killed by one of the struggle and strain the strain starts off grid. The book does the books really good for, like three quarters of the way through, and then it's they just kind of try to finish it, you know very compelling in the beginning. It's like an interesting storyline like work. I see what's going I'm not much of a reader, I'm kind of dyslexics timer alarm riding in. Do you listen to books on tape, ie? No, it doesn't work for me either really yeah. I I have too many voices in my head is additional, but when I'm working I mean I have a real hard time like if you do a red carpet thing. It's people talking any other side, it short circuits, my brain right and they ask question an I'm just hearing these other people and I words when want to come out of my mouth. You know
okay that way when I'm working- and I think part of it like I said I was an only child- I learned working room by myself and quiet. You know I like it. That way I mean I if I sculpt or paint I listen to music. But if I do on the computer allowed to do a lot of designs on the computer and stuff, and I do some computer animation stuff for fun. I can't have any other sounds. Yeah you just in a fight to be focused. If I you know, my wife knows this very well, I'm trying to answer email and she's like talking to me. This call is screwed up. I mean I Just doesn't work that way. I did a book sign in the other night and if people are talking when I'm say my name, I wrote I wrote the yeah, the person is spelled her name and then they were saying something else. In there I screwed up their book name wrong. I've written my name wrong in the book. There's a picture.
Trying to did as a kid when I didn't pennycup Dracula and I wanted to be because it was pen and ink and I could erase it. I got our famous monsters to make sure I spelled Dracula right and very carefully I was looking at the letters and writing and pen and ink it says crackly what time is it painting for my wife, this kind of romantic painting. And it was for Valentine's day, and I wanted I didn't know how to spell Valentine. So I looked it up and I very carefully painted Valentine time. So again, thank God. And my career choice worked out, because I couldn't work in an office and I'm sure I'd be a homeless guy. You know I mean my brain, It doesn't work like a normal person, well, but with the way it does, work is wonderful. The way your brain ten focus on the things that you really love and you figure out how to get it to focus correctly: shut the music off to be alone,
yeah. I know I I it it surprised me that can do that. You know, and and but in and they really get his own. I really focus on what I'm doing and to me I mean the funny thing is I mean my? I think starting this before? I was talking about not wanting to be a businessman? It stuff and people are always surprised that I'm hands on still you know a lot of other people who have, for example, Stan Winston who was great. He did some great stuff and was great for the make up industry and help it. Has a state of the art was a businessman more than a hands on guy. He hired people to do the work he had a good eye and he would contribute up, but he rarely sculpted the stuff I'd. I just got the stuff. I design stuff, you know, I'm in I'm always surprised. When people go, I paint in to do all these things. You know and when people see one of my paintings they go, you can paint
It's like there's shock that I can paint you can sculpt. You know I have a There's a bronze gorilla at the LA zoo that sculpture that I did and people you can sculpt. It's part of what I do. You know I mean it. Man yeah, you know that werewolf came from yeah, you know so, but yeah. I don't know where I was do you think that there's ever a project that could come up that could tempt you into coming out of retirement? If somebody listens to on this podcast and realizes that a lot of people which is why it worked and Cedric Week do something amazing, just one more. You know when I first retired, I would have said. Yes, I mean I was leaving it open that I said, while maybe do designs or consult you know, I'm having way which one doing my own thing. You know I mean I still probably have the remains of my Halloween makeup. Halloween is a big thing in my family. So
free dating, send you a copy of the book. It's going so I'll get it don't worry when I get it I'll put it on Instagram. It's not so much about that. I just think you're a fan, I think you'll like it all. I am assuming I'm blown away by the response that I'm getting it's awesome. When people I mean they're loving it, then it's not a cheap book. It's like two hundred and fifty dollars, but weighs seventeen balance it's too volatile and with two thousand pictures in it up from First basically did my last film and beyond. You know in retirement, but I don't know where I was going with that. Would you ask me what we're talking about possibly coming out? Yeah I mean you were saying how much fun you're having right now. No, I I I sears
I doubt that anything which would give me back. Well. That's great to hear book is s it's not great. I would love it if you did another movie, but it's great to hear that you're having such a good time. Well, you know one thing say I am when I watched him breaking bad in bring Cranston such great after, but I said you know he would make a great line Cheney if they ever did a remake of Madame a thousand faces, which was a storyline Cheney. He would be a perfect You know this has been a great actor in my wife saw me. I went to a comic con and went to a panel that they had on breaking bad and we went back in a minute Brian and Anne and Vincent, and I said that to him you know, you know, and I don't know maybe if that happened, you know uh. I don't think anybody would go see that film now or anything or how many people who line Cheney is now you know, but he
to be able to recreate some of those makeups on and after, like that, you know, and if it was the right people, but again I, I realized you know what I mean Death became a more real thing to me when my parents died, and I have friends that were younger than me that are dead now, one of my favorite crew and my best guys, and we just recently passed fifty four. Or something uhm. I know there's an end insight and I know I've got arthritis in my I've got cataracts. I there's a limited time that I have left to do the things I want to do and I want to do what I want to do. You know what I mean, and I don't want the frustration in the stress and beautiful beautiful He did it. What is the most amazing movies ever I mean you know if I died today, which I hope I don't I mean I would be happy with a condition that was another thing with the book and when you see it laid out there and in him,
eight hundred pages. You know uh saying well, I've made a lot of ship. You know so yeah I made a lot of stuff in and I'm proud of what I made. You know. I mean you do the best you can in the circumstances, and I fight one of the things that. I realized when I read the book to which the Cameron Publishing who did the book in and Jonathan Rensselaer, who wrote it? Who? Who did? He interviewed me a lot and you also went back to the old articles and it all things at the time did a really nice job of leaving the story together, but when I read it, I thank God know what a pain in the I am I fight for what I think is right, for example the Grinch. Grinch stole Christmas. They wanted me to paint Jim Carrey Green, and that was it. You know it was like. Well I mean I think they wanted her to you know, but but I can't come on. You know it's not called the Green, Jim Carrey soul, Christmas Grinch stole Christmas Grinch. So I
like I do many times on myself, like I did in the Wolf man I make myself up. I feel himself in his show 'em So I made myself up when I thought to Grand should look like I filmed some stuff. I cut it together. I shouted him with you guys. This is cooler than the Grange and Kerry. I'm sorry, you know well. It doesn't look like Jim Carrey and go no because it's on me and you go bed again is not the green, Jim Carrey, you know, and it seems to me it should be this character. Not just you know, yeah I fought and fought and fought, and I ended up doing a thing where I decided to use the internet to help me get my point across. So there was a of internet movie site at the time that it was popular in and I knew the guy who ran it- was always a fan, and I said: can you That you saw this test that I did in that. The guys reverse, are making a big mistake. You know and just let the fans time in so that was like thousands are
What the hell is wrong with these idiots that are running the movie studios, it shouldn't. I don't see Green Jim Carrey. I want to see a great ship so like two weeks before started filming the they change. Because of this and I had sent you it. I only sent a copy of my tested to Brian Grazer and RON Howard and runs going How did they sky get hold of this copy video tape and angle. I don't know, I only sent it to you and and Brian now, and I'm going to let him know what I did at the time now I don't care is came. I think the movie is better for it. You know sure and in fact, even at an Oscar Party, one of the executives. Video came up to me and said. Thank you for for doing a and for arguing with this because you were, the decision was right. There was definitely You turned him into the Grinch. Who really was the Grinch right? I thought it was going to get hit by a meteor or something, but this is not right
you've never tells you that stuff. You know I know, but but again I mean I, I fight because my work and if my names on it, I want it to be of a certain quality. You know and it's not easy to get it done now you know and it's part of the battle you know in but it's also part of the frustration you know so now, I'm going to have to fight with myself beautiful, man. Thank you very much for coming here. It's been an honor and a really I was really looking forward to this is a real treat for me to get to sit down and talk to you. Thank you. So much, I'm glad we did. I figure anybody has numerical more open. Their lobby can't be bad guys. Thank you. Thank you, my pleasure by everybody. Thank you. For tune into the show, and thanks to our sponsors thank you to Legalzoom, gonna lose room, dot com, a leak or what well, like. I said, Legalzoom dot com today and find out all the different ways that they can help your business and don't forget to enter
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Transcript generated on 2019-11-05.