Makeup FX Artist

Interview by RipVanWinkle

Q. Born, location?

1972, in Minnesota

Q. What did your parents do for a living?

My dad, who's supposedly retired, was the CIO at Hennipenn county. He headed up the information systems dept. there. My mom is a nurse.

Q. Any brothers or sisters?

One brother, who works in IT at ADC.

Q. What schools did you attend?

I briefly went to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. That was advertised as an FX program with some Industrial Design, but was really an Industrial Design program with a few FX classes. After that, I went to the University of Pittsburgh and got my BA. I majored in philosophy.

Q. What did you do after school.

After college, I moved back to Minneapolis for lack of a plan on what the hell to do with myself. I figured that I'd get a job at the U of M and take classes for free. I'd wanted to get into some sort of graduate program. That whole Grad school pipedream. When I was at Pitt, I took a bunch of classes on evolutionary theory, and was really into that field. But I lacked a hard sciences background, so the plan was to take all the chem, math, etc. that I missed when getting my BA. Well, I soon learned that it just wasn't going to happen.I just didn't have the energy or passion to sit through a few more years of science classes for some nebulous
future in grad school. I slowly started to return to my first major career interest, makeup FX. After a couple of years, it pretty much took over and became my main focus once again.

Q. What's your favorite horror movie?

Night of the Living Dead. No comparison. It’s such a dark, honest film. Even Nihilistic. One of the great American films, regardless of genre.

Q. What's you favorite monster?

I’d have to say zombies are my favorite. They’re sort of the only monster that’s still scary to me.

Q. What does scare you?

Not too much. I’m pretty jaded when it comes to horror. I love it when a film is able to create that "creepy" feeling.

Q What movie can you remember seeing, and saying, those effects are no good?

Most every film that’s out these days qualifies. I just hate the way the Computer generated effects have been so damn overused. With the excepting of the Lord of the Rings films, I just can’t enjoy most fantasy, horror or sci fi films anymore because of the bad computer effects. Of course, there’s plenty of bad physical effects in movies and films too. I’m amazed at how, with the FX talent that’s out there now, some really bad makeups and effects make it to TV or Film.

Q. What was your first special effect project you were proud of?

It’s kind of the same with each project. I’m excited and proud at first, and soon after I’m almost embarrassed to show people. There’s always something lacking in whatever I do, at least to me. But that constant dissatisfaction is what’s forced me to keep going and improve my stuff.