Local 706 - The Artisan

Fall 2016

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60 60 highly revered and get carte blanche as stunt coordinators/ second unit directors. So on any given day, we could have the any or all of our main characters working on our princi- pal unit, along with fully made up and suited stunt doubles on the second unit which were often shot in close-up. And to make matters even more complicated, these various make-ups could be working at different locations, at any hour of the day and would often travel to and from the two different units as they were needed by the two different directors. Given their autonomy and shoot-from-the-hip approach to fi lmmaking and stunt choreography, the stunt crew would go through our foam rubber body suits like a hot knife through butter. We were scrambling to rebuild these suits on a daily basis while rush ordering new suits from Los Angeles. This became a repetitive routine since we could not get any kind of estimates from either unit as to how many days each character would even- tually work. What started out as a build of three Monkey King suits turned into 10, after stunts literally tore through all of our suits in a matter of a few weeks. It was even worse for the Sand Monk. To accommodate this intense, ever-changing, massive erratic workload, we found ourselves sometimes working 20 to 30 days straight. There are no weekends in China. Every day was Wednesday. The biggest challenge and in many ways, the most origi- nal and innovative make-ups we did, were three full-body beautiful demon make-ups. One of the many challenges these make-ups presented was to keep them elegant despite being complicated full prosthetic demons from head to toe. We strove to preserve the natural beauty of our actresses while taking them far away from the human form and coloration. Each demon had a distinct character, a bat, a snake and a porcupine. We kept the overall color scheme in the ghostly pastel range with specifi c accent colors and patterns for each demon. The porcupine had hundreds of individual quills glued in her back and head prosthet- ics. For the snake and porcupine, we brought the actresses in days ahead of time, put the actresses in body stockings, pre-glued their prosthetic backs, legs and shoulder piec- es, blended them and then scissored out all extra body stocking. This gave us a form- fi tting pre-assembled and pre-painted large body prosthetic. On the days they worked, this full piece was completely glued onto their bodies. We did this to prevent the large piece/body stock- ings from buckling when they moved and also preserving as much of their underlying form to create an illusion of a smooth continuous demonic body with no trace of any kind of costume. The Bat had silicone arms, foam rubber breast and privacy prosthetics, along with a full back prosthetic. All three demons had full foam rubber prosthetic cowls and silicone facial pieces to blend the elaborate cowl designs into their faces. Once all the separate elements were glued on and blended, we tied everything together with airbrush coloring and an airbrushed beauty make-up that used the same colors and patterns as the full-body paint scheme. Scleral contact lenses, acrylic teeth and claws completed the look. Each demon make-up took about seven hours from start to fi nish. Everyone on the crew came together to take part in this dance under the leadership and direction of Dan Rebert. On our fi rst day, with all three demon girls working together, along with our piggy and Sand Monk, we did their make-ups for seven hours, shot for 22 hours. Then, ended the day with a four-hour make-up removal. One of our demon girls was so exhausted that she literally fell asleep, standing up and had to be caught before hitting the ground. Despite all of our obstacles, challenges and surprises, we managed to bring to the screen an epic movie with a wide array of epic make-ups. It took the best efforts of everyone involved to make it happen.• The Bat Demon, fi nished (left) and in make-up. Below left: body suits. Below right: The Sand Monk.

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