It is funny how I can be reminded of something I did over two decades ago. Last week, I was reminded of my work on The Chicks' video of Goodbye Earl. This was early 2000 when I was still fresh out in Los Angles making monsters - so nearly 24 years ago to the day. As all this happened 24 years ago, I do not have much to show for my work during this period. While I tried to keep a camera with me and get some photos when I could, there just wasn't the speed and ease we have now to take dozens of pictures and videos without care.
It was a Friday morning when the shop got the call. They needed a zombie/dead makeup for the actor Dennis Franz on set and ready to go by 6 am Saturday morning. This is a good time to mention that at this time in the industry, it was not uncommon to have EXTREMELY short turnarounds for video and commercial projects. I have no idea if it is still like this today, but twenty years ago, it was typical for us to have various commonly needed items ready to go so we didn't have to pull all-nighters.
They couldn't get Dennis Franz to us in time to make a life case so that the makeup would perfectly fit his face. To be honest, I am not sure we would have had time to fit a life cast into the day if we wanted to. We selected a face cast that we hoped would be close to Dennis' face and went from there. The boss was focused on sculpting the makeup.
One of the things that really saved us was that we were already commonly using gelatin for makeup. We would have never had the time if we needed to use foam latex and bake the makeup for hours. With gelatin, you only needed to microwave it till it was liquid, pour it into the mold, and VERY quickly close it and clamp it shut.
We had two makeups and a complete set kit, so the only thing left to do was head to set. We ended up there around 5 am, if I remember correctly, which meant we were there early and had time for breakfast. One of my consistent memories of LA was how good the food was on set - no matter how big or small the project was, there was great food to be had.
Dennis was super awesome and a real treat to meet. He was the biggest celebrity I had encountered at that point in my time in LA.
By the time we got Dennis in his "Dead" Earl makeup to set, the boss and I were getting a little goofy from lack of sleep. The portion of the video with "Dead" Earl did not require a lot of filming as he just needed to shuffle a bit as the ensemble danced and made merry all around.
In time, we got a copy of the video sent to the shop to see the fruits of our labor. It was a lot of work and two full days, but for a few moments, you can see our work in the video. The makeup was not bad, and in fact, we reused it for the zombie chef in the Bogus Witch Project, but we had to make it very quickly, and the boss had always wanted more from it. It was a fun time in the middle of a very crazy part of my life that I am happy to look back on and share with you. Let me know if you have any questions about this!
That is all for another exciting Monday on the blog. See you back here on Wednesday! Until then...