Sunday, April 23, 2006

MastersFX's Horror and Sci-Fi Creations

Fulfilling a Boyhood Dream of Making Gore for Fun and Profit - Los Angeles Times
With body parts, slimy creatures and ghoulish effects, Todd Masters leaves his mark on films and TV shows.
By Richard Verrier - Times Staff Writer
April 23, 2006

>>Inside his shop of horrors, not far from three naked, bloated bodies propped against the wall, Todd Masters proudly displays his latest creation: an impaled head.

For a scene in the upcoming horror flick "Snakes on a Plane," Masters and his colleagues have rigged the silicone head with a giant syringe that will pump a blood-like corn syrup mixture through the ear canal.
When it comes to creating gruesome physical effects — as opposed to those created on a computer screen — few have an edge on MastersFX, the company Masters founded two decades ago.
Their numbers have dwindled over the last 15 years, falling from about 30 companies to fewer than 10 as filmmakers have relied more and more on digital effects.
Masters' warehouse contains countless boxes of foam and silicone body parts. There are dismembered torsos, intestines, skulls, noses, leg stumps, human hair, even brains — leftovers from an operation scene in Stephen King's TV miniseries "Kingdom Hospital."<<

David W. S., if you're reading this, e-mail me. My e-mail address is at the end of my columns.

When I was a teenager, I really got in to all of this stuff along with my partner-in-crime, Francisco M. (Hey, Francisco, if you're reading this, I want you to e-mail me, too!) Francisco and I made stop-motion films in junior high school that featured comparitively crude versions of this kind of work - in clay. They were titled, descriptively enough, "Laserfight" and "Laserfight II". Todd helped us out on the sequel. We also did the annual Halloween thing of applying bloody make-up effects to ourselves to give the kids a show as they came to my house for trick-or-treating. We coined a term for our art, but I'm not publishing that here yet.

Alas, writing and theme park design had more of a hold over me especially in high school, where we didn't have filmmaking classes. My family home ended up being sold and Francisco went back to Chile with his family, so I had to find new places to help out on Halloween.

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