Crater Lake Monster at Home with Mark Siegel

My long time, dear friend Mark Siegel, got one of our finished and signed Crater Lake Monsters figures. Mark actually played one of the characters in the film named Mitch. Mark has also had a brilliant career in the visual effects film industry for many years. This is Mark’s IMDB where you can see his list of many credits on films you love and may not have known he contributed to with his long stay at ILM.

We are honored to have Mark as a friend and a proud owner of our product!

Wednesday’s work

I didn’t get to run silicone in the molds but I did finish off all my Crater Lake Monster orders. Customers come first always.

The dental acrylic worked very well for the teeth. No white water this time just a wet look for the base.

I spent some time on our film project. There’s much work to do and in the film there’s a scene with the being from the famous book “Communion”. She appears briefly out of a dream like fog of soft focus and removes one of her black eye covers reveling she has actual eyes behind them.

It’s a quick shot. I considered making a practical puppet that I puppeteer. But the shot is so brief and soft focus I thought it might be more work than I needed to do. I quickly built up a wire frame mesh of her in Lightwave. Once this has a boned armature I’ll be able to animate her and get the shot.

We start shooting on the stage in less than 3 weeks and I’m happy to report I have much of what’s needed, and built for the production. She’s not exact to the book cover but once moving in animation and lighted correctly she will sell the shot.

I also worked on the dreamtime sets. These sets are all digital backgrounds. Our actors will be sitting on benches inside this place. In the background the spirits of the dead walk the halls and can be seen passing behind our actors. At points in the film some stop, materialize as passed loved ones to our main character. This is where the conversation happens between Mark and Hitler.

The building or place is also dream like, soft focus and surreal. Early tests I did have a camera move which shows the entire set. The walks will be slowed down but the test shows much promise.

I did all of this in Unreal Engine 4 by Epic Games. I did two passes. One with the BKG and the other with the spirits. This way I could control the blur, transparency, and other aspects of the shot in After Effects. There is still much to tweak but it’s getting close enough to what I had envisioned in my script to work well.

I’m very excited to make a new film. It’s been 3 years since “But Something is There” and about time. This is a sequel to the first and a very different film.

I’m writing a new script called “The Gateway”. This one is about a child that plays with rockets under much adversity growing up. Where it takes him in life is a lesson to every parent who raises there children to reach to the stars. Nothing is impossible! This will begin production soon after the finish of “The Dreamtime”

Work in the studio yesterday

Mostly I spent the day working on filling orders. A few Crater Lake Monsters. One nearly finished and another in the box as a kit to be shipped.

You can see with the kits I’m signing the bases. I couldn’t think of where else to do it. The painted one has yet to get his teeth and looks a bit like Cecil without them. I found a way to get the tiny teeth out of the silicone molds without bubbles. I used dental acrylic powder and placed it in the mold first and then dripped the liquid monomer to the powder. This worked and 90 % of them come out successfully and they are stronger than the two part resin.

I had time at the end of the day I prepped the molds for Robbs Hitler makeup. I’ll be running the first set of prosthetics today. Here you see what if takes materials wise to make and run the silicone prosthetics.

I also worked on the V-2 some more and the masters are ready to start making molds of.

It was a good day all around. I even took the car cover off my 1985 300zx, dusted her off and started her up. I need to drive the car more often. It is now officially a classic and runs like a top. She looks brand new still inside and out. I had it restored 3 years ago.

Rockets and Laser Blast

I got this poseable 1/6 figure yesterday in the mail. It comes with different hands in different poses perfect for locking off and sculpting me as the Laser Blast Alien. But first I have to rough out the gun to get the pose right. But at least I can finally start this project as promised.

You can see the bag of hand and body joints and parts in the BKG.

I also got more done on the V-2 rocket kit. Soon I’ll be able to mold these masters and get the kit on the market and flying!

More scribing to do but just about there.

Mixed Bag Day

It was yesterday. I opened the molds for the prosthetics. They came out very well. Cleaned them and they are ready to run next week.

Next I ran two orders I have for the Crater Lake Monster. One is a kit and the other is a pre-fab fully built and signed version.

Last I worked on the V-2 masters for our new V-2 kit. I used chart tap to make scale details, panel lines, and hatches. I then placed a lot of primer over the tape, nearly a half can if not more. This smooths out the surface and captures the tape. Once lightly sanded, the tape is removed. The surface is sanded again lightly which gives you crisp details without having to hand scribe. I also filled and primed the one tail fin. A mold will be made off the fin once detailed. 4 will be made from that mold and a new gang mold of all four I cast for a production mold.

It was a great day of fun and production.

Dreamtime Hitler Makeup

The actual name of the film is, But something is There: “The Dream time”. It’s the episode title.

In this episode Mark visits the dreamtime realm and has a conversation with one of the greatest monsters in all history. But it has a Twilight Zone twist to the story. That’s all I’ll say for now.

The sculptures came out well I think and today I make the molds. That will be part two of the in-depth video series. Part two shows you mold making and casting silicone prosthetics.

I also did a test hairpiece and mustache which came out so well I’m using them. A mix of yak hair and crape wool matches the actors hair color well. These are called Krylon hairpieces because they are made using Krylon clear coating as a super hair spray that holds the hair together, The hair is applied using old fashion spirit gum directly to the life mask. Once the hairpiece has Krylon applied it can be removed from the life mask using Acetone and a brush from the underside and you can then apply it to the actor with Telesis prosthetic adhesive.

More tomorrow.

Beginning Prosthetic Make up appliances

I started the sculptures yesterday for Robb Wolfords makeup for our new short film. Mostly I giving him a new nose and eye bags. At the beginning of the film when we first see Hitler he is worn and tired looking. He looks like a monster and as the film goes on he slowly becomes less tired and worn. I don’t want to give away the story so I’ll stop there.

Today I’ll finish the simple sculptures and begin prepping for Ultracal 30 molds. The prosthetics will be run out of Gel 10 silicone from Burman Industries. This entire process is being documented on video to be seen in our in-depth video series. This all takes me back to my early roots when I was in my early twenties. I still feel that excitement to do this work and it makes me feel young still.

In addition the I worked on the new V-2 rocket model kit. I got a fresh tube of Bondo Spot putty and filled all the ripples made by the 3D printing process. Today I’ll just lightly sand the surfaces smooth and add a can of primer over the air cure putty before I detail and scribe these masters.

Lastly in the day I put together Miss Riley. Some of you will remember that Miss Riley was the Rocket from “October Skies”. One of the truly great films that inspired so many about Rocketry and it’s importance to our future.

She flies this Saturday at our local section 855 launch.