How did you manage to
land a job sculpting?
I must say I was lucky to land my first job as a sculptor.
From what I understand, it is very difficult to start out as a
sculptor. So I am very grateful for that.
I attended the Make-Up Artist Trade Show last year. During my time
visiting with Dick Smith I met Rob Hall of Almost Human. Lee Romaire
happened to already be over there working, so when I returned home I
E-mailed Rob. With many E-mails and help from Lee I was soon offered
a job. So, it was time to make that decision; Pack up and
leave everything behind or wait till I could move to L.A. I think
everyone knows this answer. With a couple phone calls I found myself
quitting my job and sleeping on my girlfriend’s brother's floor the
very next day.
LMC: Did it take a lot of convincing to get the job or did your past
work speak for itself?
JF: I would like to think my work speaks for itself. However, the
day I met with Rob at the trade show I drew quite a crowd, thanks
from the kind words from Dick Smith (Which to this day I keep to
myself). I think it was on the 3rd or 4th
E-mail I got the word.
Do you think Lee’s confidence in you helped to sway Rob’s decision.
Yes. I think it did help in some way. Having the talent Lee has and
having him put in a good word for me…Yes, I think that would sway
show did you start working on?
first show I started on was Angel, then Buffy and Miracles
Any favorites of the three?
I can’t say there was. I was just happy to be working in the biz.
When a cool design came around it made it exciting to interpret that
If there are other artists out of work, why do you think Almost
Human hired you with no professional experience?
They saw a new guy with promise, some potential . Maybe I was at the
right place at the right time. Plus I was cheap. Wow ! That sounded
other artists did you work with?
Since I was hired on a sculptor I will mention the other sculptors.
I had the pleasure of working with my friend Lee Romaire and Mark
Are there any other sculptors you would really like to work with?
Not to answer this question in a round about way. But, the easiest
way I could answer this would be to say. I look forward to working
with other sculptors that are better then me. It drives you to be
better and it is so inspiring to see what they can do. There are so
many out there that I admire. I would hate to miss anyone trying to
name them all.
they help you out? Give you any advice?
I have known Lee for a few years now and he has always been there to
answer any questions I had and offer advice. Being the new guy I was
made aware of my place in the work field.
How is the work environment between sculptors? Is there any sense
of competitiveness since jobs are more scarce?
Well, I hate to use the word competitiveness. I am not here to
compete with anyone. I do not receive a prize at the end of each
day. I do feel that the new guys are looked upon as threatening. We
are not jaded by the industry yet. We are still very excited about
this and we are a lot cheaper.
did you feel the first day on the job?
a fun day. I had to leave from San Diego and drive almost 3 hours
for my first day on the job. Needless to say I had a few hours to
ask myself, “What! In the hell are you doing”! With lack
of sleep and that wonderful feeling like I would puke at any minute
made for a very long drive. I get there and come to find out there
was a miscommunication on when I was supposed to be there. So, I was
over an hour late on my first day. As I walk in you get this odd
feeling that everyone is staring at the new guy. Yup! They are.
I make my way into the
“Sculpting Room “ to meet the other sculptors and get acquainted
with my sculpting table. Since I knew Lee and he was familiar with
my work I was o.k., but to sit next to Mark Alfrey on the first day
was enough to make one cry.
“ Here you go Jon. We need you to sculpt
full arm appliances by the end of the day”
Holy Crap! What !!!. So
I gathered myself, took a deep breath and started sculpting.
Two days later I was done ; )
Did you feel you really had to Wow them at the start? Was the
attitude from your boss “show me what you got”?
For me I had to Wow everyone. I wanted to show them that there is a
reason why I am here right now. I never did get a vibe that I was
being looked at to see if what I had in pictures is what they were
going to get. I knew what I could do. I gave it my best and they
about sculpting for a studio as opposed to sculpting for yourself.
Leave everything at the door. You need to remind yourself that you
are creating someone else’s design whether you like it or not. It is
not quite as gratifying as doing personal work, from an artist’s
point of view. As you can see with these pics I was the Hand and
pay what you expected?
I did not know what to expect. I really did not know what I was
worth or what I should be asking being new and not having
professional experience. Now, being in the industry I look at it
this way. We provide a service. We the artist, bring what the
Producers want to life. I think that is worth something, and
depending on your skill level could be worth A LOT. One other aspect
is how quickly one can be out of a job and needs some extra money to
get by till they land that next job. Trust me, living paycheck to
paycheck will not work out for you in this industry.
So, is there a large disparity between pay for the new guys as
opposed to the sculpting titans?
I have not been around long enough to know what the Big Boys make.
Plus I have only been at one shop. I do know
Steve Wang makes a lot more,
one has to keep in mind that no matter how much you make, you have
months off. The most money comes when you can go on set to puppeteer
or apply makeup and the hours go into overtime,
if you run the show and own your own shop.
Do you have any neat stories to tell in the short time you've been
working at it?
JF: No pun intended with this question? Short Time! Ha ha ha.
It was pretty neat to go to set for the first time (lead in to the
next question). Standing there with this Demon body I slapped
together with the help of some guys at the shop, and watching how it
was all done from behind the camera. There was this time at Band
During one week the
shop had News crews there doing some stuff with Rob. As they went
around the shop this one day to get candid shots of a work day, I
happened to be sculpting these Huge Boobies. A friend of Robs was
going to be the girl from 13 Ghosts. So I got to sculpt these
massive Cut-Up Boobies. One more time Boobies…o.k.
As they came around to
my table the only thing I could do was grab these (sorry) Boobies.
So here is a guy being
filmed holding onto these huge…..ha ha ha clay BOOBIES beat red
from embarrassment . That was neato…
high pressure situations?
Everyday seemed high-pressured. Getting a sculpture done in a day
and not having time to mess up or refine this wrinkle or make this
form just a bit better. That day on set, that was high-pressured.
Especially since it was my first time, and then to be left there
alone. I was a real (pardon me) Pussy! I even called the shop and
asked if anyone could come down there. I will regret saying this I
am sure. Laugh it up. Trial by fire I suppose. I did not burn too
bad, so I guess it was O.K.
Where you required to do anything on set to the makeup?
Nope. You need to be part of the union to do that kind of thing. I
just had to help get the body on set and dress it. Bloody it up and