Wednesday, April 17, 2024

From the Archives: Lorne Hulk (Thing) - Angel Season 5

A recent conversation brought up the Lorne Hulk (or Thing or Behemoth; it went by several names while we worked on it and afterward), and while I was already planning on digging this one out of the archives to share, it gave me a little fire to do it sooner, rather than later. For those keeping track, this monster appeared in Season 5 of Angel in Episode 5, Life of the Party. The empathic demon Lorne was having sleep issues, and due to this, his subconscious manifested at a Halloween party and went on a rampage.

Before I go any further, I must remind everyone that this work is a collaboration of many talented artists and technicians. I was one of many who brought this thing to life. This time, I was the designer, and I may have painted the makeup, but it was over twenty years ago, so who knows. After twenty-plus years, I cannot properly give credit to everyone else involved. Sorry, but people's names were the first to go after I left LA.

This one went through several versions as production asked for something particular and then freaked out when we gave it to them. After changing it, production freaked out that we, once again, gave them what they wanted. Mix, repeat, repeat again and again - AH! The good old days! I have never seen these episodes and have no idea how this thing turned out, save from some set photos. One of these days, I will need to watch these series in their entirety to see the fruits of so much labor. Let's start things off with the concepts for Lorne Hulk.

Lorne Hulk - Design A

They wanted the Hulk - a massive green man-monster that could rampage through the episode, causing all sorts of chaos. So that is what I gave them. The body would need some padding, but if they hired someone like, say, David Mattey, you were practically nearly here. Big Dave was the perfect choice for this. He was a friend of the shop, a great guy, and had the chops to be this monster. We would need to make gloves, or possibly articulated giant hands, oversized shoes, and some other tweaks to create the illusion of him being even bigger than he already is. 

Lorne Hulk Head - Design A

The head design was shot down almost immediately. They wanted it to look like Lorne but bigger. No extra horns, distortion or mutation, no fun, nothing interesting. Oh well.

Lorne Hulk Head - Design B

Now for the wackiness. First, they didn't want big hands and feet. But everything else stays the same. Uh... okay. I guess we can do that. So, that is what we sent back to them. Oh, and I updated the head in this one.

Lorne Hulk Head - Design C

As a surprise to no one, they realized their idea looked ridiculous. So, they scrapped it all and just wanted it to be a regular guy-looking monster. You know, just like the regular Lorne... but mad. So, that is what we sent them. Shocking to no one, they freaked out that this was just Lorne and that this monster needed to be a giant and scary. Did I mention it needed to be GIANT!!?! So, we sent them the first design again. And they seemed to like it a lot more now. I am sure there was some sort of agreement made, but I was not there.

Lorne Hulk Head - Design B

This was the revised head design that production approved. It was even more simplified as things moved forward. They didn't even make any new horns. We reused horns from the Bohg'Dar demon.

Lorne Hulk's original drawings

While I did my finishes and edits on the computer, I did a lot of the original concepts on paper. They are hidden away in my flat files. Safe for a later date when I finally decide to part with them.

Lorne  Hulk makeup sculpture

I do not recall who sculpted any of this, and I have no images of the cowl being sculpted, but I have this one image of the face makeup. Speaking of the cowl...

Lorne Hulk makeup and cowl

Since Lorne was a returning cast member, his makeup had to be consistent over years of shooting the show. This meant that the Lorne Hulk needed to be that same color. Here is the painted makeup and cowl that was worn by Big Dave.

Wardrobe tests and fitting

We made the padding and undersuit to give the monster more bulk, and the wardrobe department made the suit to make the one worn by Lorne. To marry these two things, everyone came to the shop. Here, we see Big Dave padded up and getting the final adjustments done to the suit.

On set ... well, at the trailers

Here, we see Big Dave in makeup with Darnell Shepherd from the shop. Darnell is excellent and does awesome hairwork. I was not on set for this episode, and I actually have no idea why I wasn't there. Likely I was needed at the shop. As you can see from his non-green hands, we did end up making large gloves for the Lorne Hulk.

Okay, now we are on set!

Finally, the Lorne Hulk is on set and at the party. Big Dave is in full makeup and wardrobe with Jim Ojala from the shop. Jim has his own shop now and is a super cool guy. This looked like a fun day on set, and I would have liked to be there, but I have enough fun memories of being on set; it is good that others had a chance, too.

Big Dave as the Lorne Hulk on set doing his thing. The hands and feet could have been bigger, but he looks good, and at the end of the day, that is something.

David Mattey as the Lorne Hulk and Andrew Hallett as Lorne

Sadly, we lost Andy in 2009. Andy was one of those humans that was happy whenever I saw him. He didn't need to remember me; I was just one of the makeup FX guys, but he made a point to say hello to me whenever we crossed paths. I remember one day, I was driving on the lot, the Angel trailers were right near the side entrance at Paramount, so we could just drive in if we needed to pick up or drop off, and I was in my car talking to another person from the shop that was on set that day. Andy turned around and walked back over to us to say hello and made a point to make sure we were seen and acknowledged for the work we did. It meant so much to me. Not many of the actors on the projects I worked on did that. He was one of the good ones.

Big Dave has had some serious health issues, too. If you can, there is a GoFundMe for his medical bills and needs. Big Dave has played many fantastic monsters, and I was fortunate to work with him on several projects. He put the fear of God in me when he goaded me into attacking him with a fake weapon. Big Dave was FAST and skilled. It was all over before I was even aware it had begun. It was astonishing and horrifying. He could use your help.

That is all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog. See you back here on Friday! Until then...

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