You'd never guess the horrors that come out of a certain quiet, unassuming suburban neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley. Up against the rolling hills of Northern Los Angeles County is the home of Rob Pendergraft's studio: Aunt Dolly's Garage. It was here, with enough gore and body parts to make a soccer mom blush, that we took our next big step for Love in the Time of Monsters: We made a live cast of Kane Hodder.
A live cast is a process in which an actor is doused in some rapidly hardening goo to make an accurate copy of the person for Special Effects purposes. In the old days, actors were coated with a rigid, plaster-like mixture that was very unforgiving and not always reliable. You've probably seen pictures of actors sitting in an artist studio with straws up their nose to breath; that's what the process used to be like.
In recent years, breakthroughs have been made with Silicon that makes the process easier, faster, and requires no nose straws. I won't bore you with the specifics - also because I don't want to overly embarrass myself with a lack of knowlege on the subject - but suffice to say, the new process involves shellacking layer upon layer of silicon on the actor, letting it harden, and then pulling the whole thing off.
What was totally Greek to Rob O, Allison, Ben, and I, was completely routine for Rob and Kane on that fated Tuesday. After exchanging some pleasantries with his old friends, Kane was ready to begin. The first step, was the greatest shower cap ever.
Josh and Roxy (Rob's chosen team) took point stretching, cutting, gluing, and lubricating the mask to Kane's face. By the end of it, Kane looked like new born baby... Well, a baby with a killer look in his eyes, at least.
Then the fun began. Behind the action were two dozen tupperware containers full of brightly colored, highly viscous liquid; twelve a bright blue, and the other a bright pink.
Separately they were nothing, just something to stain your clothes, but when combined they became the basis for our live cast. The shellacking began in earnest.
For the next hour or so, Rob and his team attacked Kane with the freshly purpled goo. They smeared layer after layer all over his newborn-esque head, cracking jokes the entire time keeping the mood light and the work fun. By the end, Kane looked like something out of my nightmares. It was awesome.
After giving the silicon a minute to dry, it was time to create a storage cast for this monstrosity. Using strips of meshy plaster strips, Rob covered Kane's gooey, blue Clayface-esque visage.
Finally, after the cast cured enough, it was time for the removal. A quick, well-placed scissor slice later, Kane was free from his rubbery prison no worse for wear; ready for another round, I'm sure.
At the end of the day, the whole thing was an amazing experience. Hanging with Kane, watching Rob work, and seeing this movie, which has just been a nebulous vision in my head, finally start taking shape made that mundane Tuesday into a high watermark day for Love in the Time of Monsters. As we get closer to our shoot date, I'm sure there will be bigger and better days, but this one will always be special for being the first.
Stay tuned for more exciting news. Make sure to subscribe to our posts and our twitter so you can be the first to read about our adventures. This is only the start, it only gets more exciting from here and I can't wait to share it with you!