MAKING OF A GIFT | Prosthetics Makeup Effects | Real Fake Blood Films – Dec. 2019

MAKING OF A GIFT | Prosthetics Makeup Effects | Real Fake Blood Films – Dec. 2019

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Hello and welcome to Real Fake Blood Films where each month we make a short film using only DIY techniques and
practical effects. I’m Benjamin Martian and this is Bianca Lemaire. And we
co-wrote the short together and she was the producer of this one. A very good
producer, I might add. Thank you. We live together. You have to say that I was a very good producer. Yeah, I do have to say that. Writing this we were talking a lot about the holidays. Yeah, and on the one hand it’s very beautiful and on the other
hand is also, like, grotesquely decadent. This mixed bag of ugly consumerism and
gluttony, but at the same time togetherness and love. And then we landed on this
idea of a person who’s invited to this party. A person coming home for the
holidays, or a person from outside coming into this party. Everything seems normal
until they open up the door. And he’s the outcast because he’s an intellectual. And
quite poetic. Exactly. Then there was the creatures. Are
they evil in some sense? Or is it just really him receiving this gift. And we decided to go with that because it’s much more interesting. You think
something bad is gonna happen to him but the twist ending is that the
greatest thing happens to him. So it touches on these weird sort of almost
cult-like elements of the holidays but then at the end it is all wrapped up in
genuine sentiment. And skin. And skin. For the creature makeup effects I’m gonna
be making some prosthetics. And in order to do that I need to do some sculpting
and I need to make some molds. Okay we are at Nigel. It’s a beauty shop but it
also has an effect shop in the back. It’s like a candy store to me. I picked up a
big bag of wet clay. I also picked up some modeling clay. This stuff is
oil-based, so doesn’t dry. I also got Ultracal 30, which is gonna be the
plaster to make the molds out of. Also got my gallon of liquid latex. And I
picked up a foam head from an arts and crafts store, but I’ve never used a foam
head before so I’ll be curious to see how it works. The first step is making the positive
sculpture out of modeling clay onto the head. I’ve got my sculpture all finished
up here and I’m about to do the plaster mold. I’m a little concerned about this
because I’m not exactly sure if the plaster is gonna just stick to the
styrofoam and rip the face off. You’re gonna be okay, right? I had to put the
head in a box to make it more secure. And then I created a wall around the face
using wet clay. I sprayed a clear coat onto the face to prevent the plaster
from sticking to the sculpture. To create the plaster for the mold I mixed the
Ultracal 30 with some water to get a consistency that’s pretty soupy. Using a
brush I applied the plaster onto the sculpture, just to get it into all of the
nooks and crannies. And then filled it up with plaster. Okay, I got to admit I’m a
little bit nervous. Gonna pray to the movie gods tonight and tomorrow I’ll get
up and see if they answered my prayers. All right, so next day. Let’s see if my
prayers have been answered. I let it dry overnight, took off the wet
clay and…Oh no! It’s not coming off. That’s not good. All of the clay came off
of the face. So I had to scrape all of the modeling clay out of the mold. Well,
that actually it was not too painful. Only took me about 20 minutes to pop all
the clay pieces out of there. It seemed like a good way to cut some cost out of
process, but there’s a reason you use actual modeling heads. I applied the
first layer of liquid latex using a sponge to get it into all of the cracks
and crevices. Just using latex to fill these out would take forever. And so I
used some cotton balls to give them some support and to also make this process go
a lot quicker. So after the latex was dry I use some powder to pull the latex out
because it sticks to itself. And then I repeated this process five more times. So to apply all of these prosthetics to
our actors we have our friend Johnna Perez, who’s a very talented makeup
artists. As well as Jaxs Marr. First time working with her and she was incredible. So the two of them each took an actor and they were doing two actors at a time.
The whole process took about three hours to get all six actors done. They applied
the prosthetics with bondo, which is a type of adhesive. And you can kind of
sculpt it a little bit to smooth out edges. And then it was really all about
blending the prosthetics into the face, into the skin tone of the actor. And they
looked really awesome, especially once you got the hoods on in the low-light. It
was a very Twilight Zone sort of vibe. So yeah, we wanted to have this present made
out of flesh. And to do that we used liquid latex. We need all these sheets of
flesh to wrap presents in. We could use plastic wrap. Yeah would totally work. We actually laid
down plastic wrap so that gave it a little more texture. Okay let’s do it. So for the lead role
for the guest there was one actor that I knew would be perfect, John Freeland.He
was willing to take some time out of his schedule, being a teacher and actor and
doing so many other things, to come and work with us and get a little weird. And
then I read it I was like oh yeah this is creepy. I gotta do it. For the role of the host my
good friend Tim Hildebrand, who I’ve worked with on a numerous amount of
projects. Who was definitely on board and quite a enthusiastic. He was so into it. It was so great. When the host leans over and sets the present down,
it was Tim’s idea that he stand back up and then smile down at the guest. Which was not in the script and I was totally Tim. Such a great moment.
Rounding out the circle of guests at the party, our Christmas creatures, we’ve got
Erica Clevenger. She’s a director and a filmmaker, and she’s got super funny
videos. We also have Brian Sounalath, an incredible actor that I’ve known from
going to school. Jessica’s spots I also know from college, and is an incredible actress. Mark Johnson who we actually worked with on Homemade Movies. He was art department and also an actor in that. Then our friend Justin
Sands came to help out on set, and he had a few hours to spare us so he came and
set up the room. And he’s a filmmaker himself, so he understands the value of
people coming to help out even if just for a few hours. So thank you, Justin.
There’s no shots of you. The man behind the camera! So our very good friend Luis has wanted to work on a
short with us for a while. And so he offered to lend his services as a DP.
He’s a director and a filmmaker his own right–a very talented guy. But he is a trip
though because he is so happy to just be making stuff. He’s the guy you want on your team. Very infectious energy. I didn’t hear it while we were shooting, but I heard it in
the play back when I was editing, for some of the shots Luis is shooting, but he’s under his breath talking about how much he loves
the shot. Wow, look at the light. Look at that. Ooooo! Look at that light! Look at that! Oh my gosh, that was amazing! That shot was fu-ah-ha-ha-haa! So funny. Luis, you were amazing and I
can’t wait to work with you again on the next one. For the location we shot at our
friend Brian’s apartment. And he was very generous to allow us to tear his
apartment apart. But that’s how you save money is to find out who’s got a place
they don’t mind you ripping apart and then putting back together. For set
dressing we were definitely thinking that the interior of the room should
look like the inside of a Christmas present. The gift, if you will. See what we did there? For the Wardrobe we wanted all of these
creatures to be wearing hoods. So we went to the fabric district downtown LA, and
we found some really wonderful material that sort of looks like a crushed velvet
for a dollar ninety-nine a yard. Here you go. Enjoy. I’m normally a really good cook,
right? You made great food it just happen to be gross. I cooked some
pasta. I put the pasta in a plastic bag with some red, green, and blue food
coloring, and it looks absolutely gross. Then we were thinking something that
would be sort of like a like a dessert. We also used food coloring for that, and some
cool whip. Oh goodness. Very alien. The tofu. So we mixed red food
coloring in some ground-up tofu and it sort of looked like raw meat. But you
know what? I ate it all. That’s the mother of my children. That’s Talent No, oh my god. God I’m gonna throw up. I’m throwing up. That’s been sitting out for, like, six hours. That’s a wrap on Bianca! That’s a wrap! Okay, we’re doing some rewrites before we record the VO. And I’ve got Bianca down
here and my Mom is in town and they’re ganging up on me! They have one thought
and I have another, and I think they won cuz they’re right. We are right. This is the writers
room, right here. Mom’s trying to figure out the Roku. So it’s two days after the
shoot and I’m at John’s house about to record the voiceover. There’s also a few
pickup shots that we need to get of his face, some of the reactions. As well as
some inserts of the present that we need to get. And so the president remains
unopened, containing forever within the experience of that night and the
receiving of a gift. I love that so much, yes. For the music a friend of mine
online Alex O’Neil just so happened to reach
out to me randomly and said hey I want to do the score for the short. So we
talked a little bit and then I find out that he has released all of his music
for free. You can just download it and use it, as long as you give him credit, of
course. But how incredible is that? I ended up using a lot of stuff he’s
already scored. He did do an original score for us which
I did use in the party segment of the short. For that brief moment, I was home. He
is a filmmaker, he has a really funny series that he’s been working on. A space
series, Chan Walrus. And I’ll put a link below, I went to your
page and I was just like oh my god there is so much stuff in here, and it’s like
such a wide variety of things too. I did music is a bit of a hobby in the
background. I just kept making music for different people, and just thought
well if I’m doing it for you guys for free I might as well put up for everyone. What else am I supposed to do with it? I very much keep a list of
people that I keep working with, so you’re on that list now. So welcome to
the list. So make sure to visit his website Please check
out his Patreon and give him some support. So the other piece of music that
wasn’t Alex’s was one that I happened to just find on YouTube. I did a search for
Deck the Halls in a minor key, and the first thing that came up was this
version of Deck the Halls by an artist named BURG from Sweden. And it was just so perfect. I kept
listening to it and I felt like I had to use it. So I reached out to him. He got
back to me right away, and he was like absolutely go for it. And it couldn’t
have been better. Thank you so much BURG for letting me use your track. So make sure to check out his website
below as well as the link to his Patreon to show him some support as well. So that
was the making of A Gift. Thank you to all of our friends in the cast and on
the crew for coming out and lending us a hand. It was truly a gift working with
you. It was and find us on social @RealFakeBlood. Thanks for watching and Happy
Holidays! Happy Holidays!


  1. Yeah, I've had some experience working with molds and it can often be hit and miss. Especially when you're trying to save costs. I once pulled apart a mold and it hadn't dried yet and it just dripped all over! Live and learn right? Great behind the scenes Ben!

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