82 episodes

Stuart Bray and Todd Debreceni talk makeup effects and prosthetics.

If you like rubber monsters, prosthetics and gore then you can listen, learn and suggest new episode subjects.

Todd is author of 'Special Makeup Effects For Stage And Screen', what many consider to be the modern makeup FX bible.

Stuart Bray is a working makeup FX artist with many years experienc. Credits include 'Saving Private Ryan', 'Shaun of the Dead', 'Dr Who' and more recently 'Game of Thrones' and 'Dr Strange'.

Email us at stuartandtodd@gmail.com

Battles With Bits of Rubber Stuart Bray and Todd Debreceni

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 38 Ratings

Stuart Bray and Todd Debreceni talk makeup effects and prosthetics.

If you like rubber monsters, prosthetics and gore then you can listen, learn and suggest new episode subjects.

Todd is author of 'Special Makeup Effects For Stage And Screen', what many consider to be the modern makeup FX bible.

Stuart Bray is a working makeup FX artist with many years experienc. Credits include 'Saving Private Ryan', 'Shaun of the Dead', 'Dr Who' and more recently 'Game of Thrones' and 'Dr Strange'.

Email us at stuartandtodd@gmail.com

    Ian Morse & Cliff Wallace Part 1

    Ian Morse & Cliff Wallace Part 1

    This episode was recorded at Cliff's studio, with all four of us present and correct.
    Ian and Cliff have worked together and separately in the industry for a long time - Ian's credits include Little Shop Of Horrors, Alien 3, Saving Private Ryan, War Horse, Fury and Dr Who.

    Cliff racks up an impressive listing on IMDb with Hellraiser (1987), Lair of the White Worm, Black Hawk Down, World War Z and 28 Days Later.
    It was a hefty chat that we split into two parts as it was so long, but also they divided into two clear conversations which lent themselves to being broken in two. We had a great time recording and producing this one and we hope you get a kick out of it too. It's not often Todd and I get to be in the same room when we record so getting to do this was a dream.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Check out the website for more info and full show notes: https://battleswithbitsofrubber.com/
    Thanks as always for your time checking the stuff out. You can email us direct at stuartandtodd@gmail.com or leave us a voice message directly on our site.
    If you you enjoy this podcast and got something out of it, would you do us a solid and tell just one more person about us? Send them a link and help us grow!
    -Stuart & Todd

    • 1 hr 30 min
    #81 - Bolton Part 2

    #81 - Bolton Part 2

    Competence and comfort are the results of the repetition of activity over a significant period of time.
     
    In an age of endless self-promotion, this podcast has always championed the work involved in quiet competence. Being competent at something is what people will pay money for, so it is worth considering as an ambition. 
     
    But how do we keep ourselves on the right track?
     
    A great many working professionals have a very meagre following on social media precisely because their work is mostly protected and discrete because of NDAs (non-disclosure agreements), and they are not looking for mass appeal from as many people as possible.
     
    Check out this episode written post on the podcast website - it's hefty - https://battleswithbitsofrubber.com/
    ----------------------------------------
    Many thanks as always for your time checking the stuff out. You can email us direct at stuartandtodd@gmail.com or leave us a voice message directly on our site.
     
    If you enjoy this podcast and got something out of it, would you do us a solid and tell just one more person about us? Send them a link and help us grow!
     
    -Stuart & Todd

    • 1 hr 45 min
    #80 - Bolton Part 1

    #80 - Bolton Part 1

     
    What does digital sculpting have to do with battling with bits of rubber?
     
    Speaking in one of the VFX classrooms, a huge space with rows of monitors and Wacom Cintiqs, we gathered as a group to discuss training to work in film and TV.
     
    We looked particularly at the pipeline and workflow of VFX and how that has changed over the years with regards to practical work and why confidence matters and how it can be generated.
     
    One aspect of confidence is to know how and when to exercise what is your responsibility when you may feel like it is someone else's job. What can you do practically to accumulate confidence and where does that come from? What are the stepping stones?
     

     
    Many makeup schools do not know how or teach how practical effects may work with VFX. There isn't an extensive history yet of that combination, so fewer resources and gurus to call upon. If you want to make a nose or a wig, there already exists a long history of practitioners and techniques one can call upon to get that information. Some places are teaching this such as Bolton, Falmouth & the University of Wolverhampton (https://www.instagram.com/digital_prosthetics/?hl=en).
     
    Now if you want to take a head scan, clean it up and correct it, make cores so you can print out sections to be remoulded or sculpted on, there are ways it can be done but it is new enough that there isn't a standardised method easily accessed by everyone.
     
    It's a new thing so there isn't an extensive range of ways to do it or a plethora of experienced practitioners willing to share what may be for them hard-won knowledge or a new process they may have pioneered themselves recently. 
     
    VFX and practical were once very separate disciplines but the increased use of digital processes in the practical world (photography, scanning, machining, 3D printing and sculpting in ZBrush) are very much part of the VFX world and crossover is more common. A shared language will assist in departments blending their expertise rather than dividing them. 
     
    The VFX may be less willing to share their processes compared with practical, but this may be in part because pipelines and workflows are so unique that one may not align with another even though they are both under the umbrella term of VFX. 
     
    Larger commercial pipelines are often customised, so they will approach a process in a specific way that may not be the same way as another company doing the same kind of work. These make incredible efficiencies within that unit of work, and changing pipelines isn't always compatible. 
     
    The lowering cost of scanners will mean increased availability of information and tutorials. They will become commonplace and so being able to work with them will become important. 
     
     We imagine that in no time ZBrush will be even more ingrained in the educational workflow of fx programs teaching both practical and digital fx.  It will be the standard, no longer any differentiation as two disciplines; it will all be part of fx training and execution.
    -------------------------
    Many thanks as always for your time checking the stuff out. You can email us direct at stuartandtodd@gmail.com or leave us a voice message directly on our site.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    #79 - Jake Garber

    #79 - Jake Garber

    Our conversation recently with Jake Garber at The Prosthetics Event in Coventry was, we think, a very important chat worth listening to for anyone who is trying, or thinking about trying to get a foot in the door into the (oftentimes) wonderful and exciting world of movie and television makeup.
    Even for peeps already working in the industry, Jake’s extensive level of expertise and experience in a special and makeup effects career has seen him in many roles from straight beauty makeup and workshop lab work, as well as supervising workshops and sets, key makeup artist as well as being a personal artist to talent such as Samuel L. Jackson.

    His TV credits include over 100 episodes of The Walking Dead, The Orville and Westworld. Movies include Avengers: Endgame, Hateful Eight, Django Unchained, Inglorious Basterds, and Kill Bill 1&2. That broad range of experience was wonderfully displayed at the Prosthetics Event to a packed education room.
    We asked him about his work and how he broke into the industry, and then focussed on the specific skills and areas of attention someone looking to get into the field should be aware of. It was a fantastic discussion, and Jake dropped gold nuggets everywhere with his revealing and incredibly useful talk.
    It’s important to learn to create small in the beginning; a realistic nose has no fanfare, no pazzazz, but if you know, you know. It’s not about calling attention to the work, it’s being able to fool the viewer into believing it’s real by not calling attention to it.
    -----------------
    Many thanks as always for your time checking the stuff out. You can email us direct at stuartandtodd@gmail.com or leave us a voice message directly on the website.
    If you enjoy this podcast and got something out of it, would you do us a solid and tell just one more person about us? Send them a link and help us grow!
    -Stuart & Todd

    • 1 hr 9 min
    #78 - Amelia Rowcroft: Strong Foundations

    #78 - Amelia Rowcroft: Strong Foundations

    Figurative sculptor Amelia Rowcroft lives in the lovely Sussex town of Lewes on the South East Coast of England, which dates back to 961AD.
    She was kind enough to invite us into her studio in a building that once housed a brewery in the 1600s, and that’s where we recorded this episode of BWBoR.
    Amelia has been sculpting practically, working in clay for over 20 years, creating primarily fine art portraits and figurative sculptures, though she has also worked within the film industry, and for the world’s leading wax figure museums including Madame Tussaud’s, and we talked about it all.

    She studied at Central St Martins, and the Florence Academy in Florence, Italy, and interestingly enough, was also a student at Wimbledon School of Art where Stuart attended, though a few years behind him.
    As fate would have it, another of our upcoming podcast guest artists, ZBrush Master Madeleine Scott Spencer, also studied at the Florence Academy and remembers Amelia, but we’ll save that for later.

    We chatted for a good hour and a half and covered a variety of sculpture-related topics, such as why isn’t there a Museum of Crap Renaissance Sculpture so we can see the failures of the Masters – because there had to be some - and creating a likeness sculpture vs. creating a caricature of a subject. We also chatted about sculpting digitally vs. pushing actual clay around.

    Amelia was kind enough – incredibly generous is more like it – to allow us to explore her online sculpture course, and it is jaw-dropping in content and ‘lightbulb’ moments.
    We urge you to at least look at the sample video lessons on Amelia’s website www.sculptingmasterclass.com/collections. We suspect you’ll want to enrol to take advantage of the instruction offered by this incredible sculptor.
    Whether you sculpt practically or digitally, this information is invaluable and transferable between mediums.
    --------------------------------------
    Many thanks as always for your time checking the stuff out. You can email us direct at stuartandtodd@gmail.com or leave us a voice message directly on our site.
    If you enjoy this podcast and got something out of it, would you do us a solid and tell just one more person about us? Send them a link and help us grow!
    -Stuart & Todd

    • 1 hr 5 min
    #77 - Truth Is Grosser Than Fiction

    #77 - Truth Is Grosser Than Fiction

    Click Here For Blog Post Of This Episode

    Paul Savage is a returning guest on the show. We caught up with him at the Prosthetics Event in Coventry. Merging medical knowledge with movie makeup, he aims to bring more realism to training scenarios.  Raising the bar in simulation can help to save actual lives.
    It is quite often that makeup students will work with a local emergency service and offer up their skills to make up casualties for training first responders and combat medics.
    As makeup artists, we often let the dramatic effect take the reins, however, it is easy to inadvertently misdirect a clinical field assessment with incorrectly applied makeup that has been applied for dramatic effect rather than clinical accuracy.
    It is important to use primary references of genuine trauma rather than copying trauma makeup that isn't necessarily accurate. By copying even good makeup, we can also reproduce their errors unintentionally.
    We talk about the merits of using the right material, the right amount of blood and setting the scene. Even though it is a simulation, seasoned first responders will take their cues from what they see rather than what they have been told. So it better look right!
    Regarding the mastectomy makeup mentioned in the episode, it was for the ITV Drama 'The Walk' (2005). The makeup designer was Caroline Noble and made for Millennium FX. It was applied on location by Rob Trenton.
    Click Here For Blog Post Of This Episode
     

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
38 Ratings

38 Ratings

rmcmua ,

Another brilliant discussion getting me through a long drive home after a long day on set

Packed with info, set life and workshop stories. Love this podcast chilled discussions with two makeup men that aren’t up there own ar$e. What more do you want?

Bcw_Jester ,

Love it !!!

Great way to lose your self for a few hours amazing to listen to at any spare moment truly great work and dedication guys love them all

Gahheeesxjkgssch ,

Amazing

As a second year uni student in special effects make up design and prosthetics this podcast not only helps with my uni research but constantly gives me new and interesting approaches to things! I love listening to the podcast as I work! Thanks guys!

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