Battles With Bits of Rubber

Battles With Bits of Rubber

This podcast is a joint venture with Stuart Bray and Todd Debreceni. It's all about the making of stuff for makeup effects and prosthetics. Todd is author of 'Special Makeup Effects For Stage And Screen', what many consider to be the modern makeup FX bible. Stuart Bray is a working makeup FX artist with many years experienc. Credits include 'Saving Private Ryan', 'Shaun of the Dead', 'Dr Who' and more recently 'Game of Thrones'. If you have any FX questions you would like to see made into a featured blog post, then get in touch: stuartandtodd@gmail.com... Show More

Episodes

June 21, 2020 65 min

Closing moulds correctly is vital to get good casts out of them. There seems little point in making a good mould and then getting bad casts out of it.

In this episode we chat about things to consider when looking at ‘mould closure’. Essentially, a mould other than a flat or open mould will usually need to be attached or fitted to another component to produce a cast.

This could be another part of the mould if a ‘multi-piece’ mould ...

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June 11, 2020 71 min

Cutting edges are the point at which a core meets the mould, and is crucial in creating a fine edge for many appliances.

In flat moulds, there can be something similar even though a core isn’t involved, as it establishes where the appliance actually stops and the skin begins.

A cutting edge and overflow are critical in foam appliances, especially where a mould has foam latex added and a core is pushed into it. A gap between th...

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May 17, 2020 44 min

Blog Post for this episode here.

Tim Baggaley played the one-armed zombie in Shaun of the Dead. He's a damn nice fella, an actor, talented graphic designer and a fabulous dancer.

In this episode, we chat about his experience on set and his recollections of being among the undead.

As we chatted, he reminded me of a few other things we had worked on together and we get into the nitty-gritty of whether or not we should see t...

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May 17, 2020 30 min

Here is a little treat - an additional little episode that checks in with Mark Donovan who played The Hulking Zombie in Shaun Of The Dead.

We talked through the difficulties involved in getting ready to be attacked with records and cricket bats, shovels and the heat whilst caked in blood.

Also, as you'll hear, some very cool comic book related stuff which was an exciting discovery. You may recall in the bumper podcast epi...

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May 17, 2020 102 min

It was a great pleasure to chat with John face to face (before lockdown, I hasten to add) back in December of 2019.

John is a well known FX artist who has since gone on to work at Tussauds and is a freelance artist.

I think you will get a real kick out of hearing his take, a perfect attitude to how to feel when creating. We chat about what it means to sculpt, that internal dialogue we all have when creating something new,

...

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May 17, 2020 53 min

Air bubbles of one kind or another are inevitable if you deal with materials which start out life as a liquid and then later solidify such as plaster, latex, silicone and resin. Let’s take a look at what can happen, why, and what to do about it.

Blog post accompanying this post: https://battleswithbitsofrubber.com/58-airbubbles/

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April 28, 2020 50 min

This episode of the podcast, we catch up with some questions left on our answerphone, emails and comments.

Clay issues, alcohol colours, and a nice message from sculpting master Amelia Rowcroft. Cheers to those been in touch, and leaving messages. You can get in touch by email at stuartandtodd@gmail.com or leave a voicemail here.

I mentioned working at the BBC Visual FX department, and I was reminded that I have a book abo...

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The Shaun Of The Dead prosthetic team reunites and talk through the movie effects shots.

Blog post for this episode here

I thought it would be fun to chat with Stuart Conran and Dan Frye, two FX buddies who I have known and worked with for many years on many projects. I rewatched the movie to refresh my memory and listed the effects in chronological order.

Make sure to download the free booklet which accompanies this episode.

T...

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April 17, 2020 79 min

Blog Post link: https://battleswithbitsofrubber.com/54-approaching-workshops/ Folio under your arm, at some point you may wish to appeal to those who could give you a job.

It's nervewracking to be judged, but your folio is maybe pages of your heart and soul now made visible for others to assess and rate.

The main way anyone gets work is simply by having a portfolio of good work and then show that to someone who pays for p...

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April 12, 2020 96 min

There are often a number of questions about prosthetic makeup that get asked often. We put together the top 5 that keep cropping up and do a deep dive into our responses.

1. How do I match an appliance to a person's skin tone?

2. How do I ensure a good edge on an appliance?

3. How can I create good work without spending a fortune on materials?

4. How do I get work?

5. Will computers take over the work of makeup artists?

Check ...

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April 2, 2020 95 min

Todd talks with his good friends and fellow artists, Jacquie & Brandon Ryan.

This episode looks at how people teach, learn, and maybe don't learn. We all need a motivation to learn, and many of us will require different styles of learning such as visual, auditory, practical hands-on tasks or live demonstration to get started.

One simple rule to remember is this: Sucking is learning. Making mistakes is when you learn. ...

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March 19, 2020 125 min

I first met Neill with a folio tucked under my arm for my interview I had managed to arrange at Ealing Studios in 1995.

My first job with him was making oversized Casio watches, which were fibreglassed out of silicone moulds to make G-Shock watch display units.

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Check out our new website:
Battles With Bits Of Rubber Dot Com

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One thing I have always noticed a...

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January 16, 2020 67 min
At IMATS London 2019, I sat and had a great chat with Rick from Bolton University. For those that may not be aware, a breif Rick bio:

"Richard is a senior lecturer and Programme Leader of the Special Effects for Film and TV degree at the University of Bolton. He’s been teaching at the university for several years and specialises in character work, in both the prosthetic make-up effects and model-making fields. "

In the epi...

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December 18, 2019 98 min

In this episode, I got to chat with Matthew Mungle & visit his jail cell!

Matthew and his company, WM Creations have been responsible for makeup effects on scores of shows and racked up a lot of awards and nominations in the process - for a deep dive into that, check out Matthews IMDb profile.

The actual real-life holding cell in the studio, now decked out with suitably spooky decorations and effects! So much fun.

Todd and I ...

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December 12, 2019 58 min

In this episode, Neill Morrill joins me in the workshop as we hit up Todd in Colorado and chat about our collaborated efforts on the makeup we did for The Prosthetics Event 2019.

Neil is originally from the UK but moved to Toronto in the early 2000s and has worked on a number of high profile shows over the years such as 300, The Strain, Suicide Squad, Hereditary, It, Shazam! and the What We Do In The Shadows series.

It was an abso...

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November 18, 2019 62 min
In this episode, Todd and Stu talk about our week making moulds with epoxy, dropping sculpts and moulage effects for first responder training.

Earlier in 2019, Stu got to sit and chat with some fine folks at IMATS London and a chat with makeup designer Kate Benton kicks off the first of these finally edited up after a crazy industry year.

This is the sculpt I was detailing and then dropped. Doh!

As you may know, this podcast is a ...

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November 10, 2019 87 min

Starting Education In Makeup Effects & Prosthetics

This episode is prompted by seeing a few questions on forums about how best to learn about makeup FX and prosthetics. Where to go and what to learn?

Depending on what you want to be able to do, let's also draw a distinction between a makeup artist who sometimes will apply a prosthetic v someone who specialises in creating and applying more complex pieces.

Some people want ...

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September 10, 2019 77 min

Jordu Schell has been pushing clay around for a while and knows a thing or two about sculpting.

Creating concepts for characters and creatures, masks, makeups and beautifully crafted designs, he also teaches his craft all over the world and has recently released the first of a series of downloadable books The Professional Creature Design Handbook.

In this podcast we chat about:

  • The headspace of sculpting
  • The frustration of faili...
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    August 15, 2019 40 min
    It’s been a while since Todd & I have podcasted, so apologies for the slow return to form.

    It’s been a brutal few months, mainly as I have been on the new Netflix/BBC version of Dracula which has kept my hands red and my days long and busy. 

    Naturally, NDA’s prevent me from divulging what’s what but rest assured, fans of the Hammer style will enjoy the perfect casting of Danish actor Claes Bang in the lead role.

    Dave and Lou E...

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    April 23, 2019 116 min
    "Paul walked into a Lifeboat station on his 17th birthday and never left, initially volunteering at Poole and now at Tower Lifeboat in London. So far he has been a Search and Rescue Volunteer with the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) and HM Coastguard for 31 years."

    So reads the write-up for the honours listing of Pauls OBE, a high honour of recognition for sterling work which he continues to do within maritime m...

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