LMC:How did you
catch your big break in the business?
There was never a
ďbig breakĒ. It was gradual. The day after I graduated high school a
friend of mine called from LA to say he landed a job on Critters 2
and if I came out there I might get hired. So I grabbed some
pictures of my work and caught a plane to La La Land. The Chiodo
Brothers put me on critterball duty for a few months. When that job
was over I had no idea how to find another job in the business so I
moved back to Jersey. Soon after, I met John Dods. I worked for him
occasionally and took odd jobs in between. In í95 dick Smith
recommended me for a job at Distortions, a mask company in Colorado.
From there it was a short trip to L.A. so I took it. I was
immediately hired by K.N.B. EFX Group on From Dusk Till Dawn and
Iíve been working freelance in Hollywood ever since.
Distortions? Any notable masks/props out there you made?
Thatís where I did
the electric chair guy. I also did a lifesize Creature From the
Black lagoon to be made as a latex costume. They molded the
sculpture but they never produced it. I did a giant alien head and
hands. The head can be identified by my name stamped into it. Also I
did a tombstone with a skeleton climbing out from the ground in
front of it. The tombstone has my name on it. Iíve seen it in some
halloween stores and noticed the mass production of it makes it look
like crap, as is with so many foam filled props.
LMC:A lot of mask
collectors know you as the one who sculpted the electric chair guy,
talk a little about that project?
They gave me three
days and a stick figure sketch for reference. I took polaroids of a
shop guy in that general position and made up the rest. I also had a
mirror around to do expressions for myself.
LMC:Wow! 3 days, you
must have had fire coming off your tools
for a lot of big names and studios. Do you have any favorites?
Rick Baker! I always
feel best about being in the biz when Iím working for him.
interesting stories about some of them?
Yes! So many! But
Iím having trouble thinking of one thatís perfectly innocent.
Hollywood draws a peculiar bunch and the monster-making biz attracts
the strangest of the whole club. Okay hereís one. I was hired to
sculpt a head for a company once. I did it. The supervisor had
different ideas and wanted me to make changes. But there was no time
as the client showed up and approved it. After the client left the
shop supervisor insisted I make the changes anyway. He said he knows
better than the client. Another shop boss overheard this and told
him to forget about it. But the guy sat down and started doing it
himself. So the other shop boss and a third one tried pulling him
away from the sculpture. They physically dragged him. Suddenly his
shirt ripped off and he fell down out of it. He jumped up and swung
his fist at the two guys and they took off. So the guy sat down and
made the changes. When he was finished he asked a moldmaker to help
him carry it to the mold department. As they carried this soft water
clay sculpture across the room it slipped from their hands and
landed face down on the floor. It was totalled. That particular shop
is quite successful despite these events.
LMC:Ouch, so who took
the fall for that one
I donít know. I