The art of creepy
There’s a lot more to bringing a supernatural beastie to life than meets the eye.
When talking about make-up, most people think of beauty and glitter. however, when it comes to sci-fi shows, make-up isn’t necessarily all about eyeliner and blusher. instead, it’s about scaly skin, yellow eyes and rotting flesh. welcome to the world of sci-fi make-up, a place where aliens and zombies are all too real. but special effects make-up (or sfx make-up) is a lot more complicated than just slapping on layers of latex and adding a few blood stains…
how’d they do that?
from the simple to the simply terrifying, it’s amazing to see what goes into bringing your favourite tv creatures to life. we dissect a few sfx masterpieces to see what it takes to make fantasy a reality…
doc yewll (trenna keating) in defiance (2013-current)
materials & tools: the actress wears a headpiece made of foam latex that’s covered in tiny geometric imprints that are usually done by hand. “it takes two to three hours to get into the mask,” trenna explains. “it slips on like a hood over your whole face.” once in place, the mask is painted with an airbrush. “it takes about an hour to paint it,” trenna adds. “i’d be lying if i said it was comfortable. it’s sort of like wearing a plastic bag over your head in the summer.”
scottscott mccallmccall (tyler posey) in teen wolf (2011-current)
materials & tools: instead of covering the actor’s entire face in silicone, only his forehead, nose and chin are covered. the creators try to give the actors a more square profile. the facial pieces are made of a very thin silicone that’s glued to the skin and then painted over to ensure it blends with the actor’s actual skin tone. “sometimes the glued bits pull at your skin a bit,” tyler reveals. sections of real human hair are then glued to the actor’s face. “the first couple of seasons we used yak hair, which was very coarse and itchy,” tyler says.
trenna gets a complete head
tyler’s ears and facial hair are glued on.