Guest Article By Andrew Robertson.
With another round of “The Walking Dead” wrapping up, what better way to reflect back on six seasons of mangled flesh and dismembered bodies than to chat with one of the show’s original make up and FX artists?
A long time creature artist and eternal horror film devotee, Toby Sells has hacked and sliced out a nice little niche for his company Toby Sells Creature Make Up & FX Shop as a part of Georgia’s booming film industry. We caught up with him because we were just curious, shy of smashing a painted watermelon, how does one pull off a convincing looking head bashing with a baseball bat?
Watch the following headache-inducing clip from the film Refuge, then learn about what goes into a proper head bashing.
Anatomy of a Head Bashing
1. Make a mold of your actor’s head, then cast a positive with polyfoam over a fiberglass core.
2. Paint the face and match injuries to the actor in scene.
3. Fill a condom with blood and brains, and put it in the side of the mold.
4. Scuff up a wooden bat and drive some brutal-looking nails through it.
5. Play Ball!
6. Sub in your actor to match the angle and movement of the swing.
7. Edit and add sound design.
Toby Sells knew he wanted to go into FX, creature-building and makeup at age 10, after seeing Planet of the Apes on TV for the first time. His father took him to a hobby shop that week, where they picked up materials, came home and made his first gorilla mask. After a stint in LA, Sells moved back home to Georgia to open his own shop, under the tutelage of make up/FX legend Dick Smith (The Godfather, Amadeus).
You can check out Refuge on iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay and On Demand through any cable provider.