In December 2010, I read a great little script for a short indie film called SPOILER, written, directed, shot and produced by Creature Buzz members Dan Thron and Karl Denham. I’ve worked on low budget films before but this production would be better defined as “no budget meets no time.” The story takes place in a time where zombie-ism is common and for the most part, relegated to a controllable disease. Apartment units are set up with special devices that detect the level of putrefaction and if the level spikes too high, all units are immediately quarantined until everyone is checked and cleared. If a unit is discovered to contain an individual that is beyond help… a controlled burn may be issued by the CDC.
Working on a head shot of Margret “Meg” Ryan, Dan Platt created a photoshop comp of the proposed make up. With ONLY one week to prepare for the zombification of Meg – the traditional ritual of life casting, sculpting, molding and casting were not possible. About a dozen generic zombified wounds were sculpted on a flat board in chavant clay and silicone molds made. The molds were filled with pros-aide, frozen and then dehydrated in preparation for zombie day weekend. We used brown tooth enamel to dirty Meg’s real teeth and used chocolate syrup with red and green food coloring to create the thick, dark saliva.
The make-up design was based on settling blood. When the body dies, blood flow ceases and gravity takes over causing the blood to settle and pool in the lowest parts of the body. So we designed our look with Meg’s head pinned to the floor and her body positioned as it will be in most of the shot. We then traced outlines of impact areas, specifically where her face touched the floor and where her husband hands and fingers would cause imprinting when he forcibly held her down. Impact areas where colored a deep indigo black and bruising colors were used to radiate color along vein routes to visually carry and connect the infected disease. This assymetric approach made the design very unique, absolutely natural and have a sense of history which played a vital role to its success.
In 2011, “Spoiler” won Best Make-up and Best Score at the LA New Wave Film Festival!
Kei Chong and Dan Platt apply the prosthetic make-up to Margret “Meg” Ryan for the horror indie “Spoiler”