Creatures & Characters Seminar and Demonstration
Sunday, March 29, 1992, Studio 334, San Francisco


This second in a series of seminars and workshops sponsored by GBACG, designed to inspire and assist planning for the Faerie Tale Masquerade Ball (June 13, 1992), was held on March 29. Ed Kline and his assistant, Kishma Morales, film effects artists and prop makers, began with a detailed description of the process of making molded facial appliances from plaster casts, latex and foam. They brought several completed creature "heads" as well as examples of materials and techniques at each step in the process, and revealed many tricks of the trade in regard to material sources, preferred types of plaster and latex, and how to best achieve the desired effects with make-up, feathers, etc. Although actually making one of these appliances is a major under-taking, requiring lots of materials and weeks of effort, Ed and Kishma's demonstration provided much inspiration and many useful tips for doing smaller projects.

Next, Ben Camacho, well-known through numerous television commercials and science fiction fandom for his realistic furry animals, built on Ed and Kishma's presentation in his discussion of building foam and fur suits. Ben has mastered the warped art of using cheap and unusual materials and tools for his creations: electric carving knives are more useful for carving foam than for slicing up turkeys, and the leftover plastic framework from airplane or other model kits can be transformed into whiskers, using a candle flame. Ben covered which types of foams and furs to use (and not to use), appropriate glues, sources of teeth (including pot glue) and -- very important! -- how to construct tails.

Finally, Ginger and Mark Mascot, make-up artists for theatre groups and special effects projects, described how to change your features with make-up. Ginger listed her favorite brands of powder, foundation, eyelash glue, etc.; she emphasized that cheaper products may actually work better for long-lasting effects, as they will contain fewer moisturizing ingredients. Although there wasn't really enough time for them to create a full "fantasy" look, Mark and Ginger demonstrated some techniques on volunteers and answered questions. Among the more amazing bits of useful information was the fact that microwaved red gummy bears make great blood effects. (I knew there had to be something one could do with these things besides --- ugh! --- eat them.)

The seminar was very well-attended and participants got a full six hours of mind-boggling information.

~~Eleanor Farrell

Photo: copyright Ed Klein

Ed Kline as Eon and Kishma as Foxy Catnip at the Southern Renaissance Pleasure Faire.

Back to Past Events

Back to GBACG Home