Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!


As some of you may know, every year I do a christmas card based on a popular christmas movie or tv special.  The process allows me to flex my creativity and I get to collaborate with a lot of talented people.  I had the idea for doing the Grinch who stole Christmas when I first started doing the cards, I just didn’t have a way to go about doing it up to the level that I wanted.  Well, as luck would have it I collaborated with two very talented and creative people in their own right, Manny Lemus and Theresa Friel.  Both are special effects and make up artists who really turn out some amazing stuff.  I had done some work for this dynamic duo in the past and they were more than happy to return the favor once they heard my idea.

The process began with a lifecast mold of my face.  Picture covering your entire face in cold phlegm and you get the idea of what it felt like!  Once that was dry a mold was created from the cast of which Manny could begin sculpting the grinch features.  They also did a cast of my teeth which was probably the most bizarre sensation of my life.  The appliance ended up being a couple pieces so that it would facilitate movement and I could “emote” well enough for the picture.  Once the sculpting was finished, I believe Manny used latex to form the actual appliance that was heated and dryed and then applied to my face (I may ask him to clarify in a future post as my memory is horrible!)  We agreed on a day in the summer for the whole procedure and I began planning out the look of the whole picture.  We started early with the latex pieces being applied first and then blending, coloring, aging, etc.  Once all of that was done they started adding the hair to the sides of my head and the wicked looking eyebrows.  Theresa handled the look of the hair and it was so spot on it was scary!  After that it was more blending and painting and then on to the hands.  The hands were interesting in that a mold wasn’t used to create the look.  It was actually liquid latex that was poured over me and then allowed to dry, followed by you guessed it, more grinchy hair.  In order for the hair to look more like fingers it had to be sprayed judiciously with large amounts of hairspray and beeswax which seemed to do the trick.  All in all, the total makeup time took about 12 hours.  Once I saw myself in the mirror completed, I could tell it was totally worth it!

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We photographed the image in two portions.  The first was just me mimicking the pose over the bed and the second was my daughter photographed separately at a later date.  We were worried we might scar her for life if we tried to do the shot all at one time so we figured this was the next best thing!  One thing that I hadn’t anticipated was how hard it was going to be to emote through the makeup.  I really had to exaggerate every movement for it to show up well on film.  It was a tiring experience as I am sure Manny and Theresa can attest to, but I think everyone was very happy with the final images.

Merry Christmas everybody, I hope you enjoy the holidays!