Saturday, September 24, 2016

Podcast is up

Hey! I was on the Camp Blood Podcast a while back, talking about how the part 3 mask was painted by the FX crew and my plans for my 1:1 Pam Sculpt. Check it out here...

Thanks to the guys at Camp Blood for having me on, this was really fun.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016

How the part 3 masks were (probably) painted

As I mentioned in a previous post, the hero mask created for part 3 has been one of the toughest for hock painters to nail down and the color has caused some controversy over the years, mostly due to the fact that it looks different in different photos and screen shots.

Was it white?


Or yellow?

How could it look so drastically different from image to image? None of the masks in later installments seem to have this apparent disparity.

Back in December 2009, I contacted Robb Wilson King, the set designer from part 3, who gave me some very important clues. He said the mask was painted an "off white" that was enhanced with what he described as a "slight aged patina" that gave it a "cream color" (all his words).

The original shooting script called for Jason to wear a white mask, so that was the starting point for the effects team. To make the white mask look creepier and fit with the rustic setting of the film, it was evidently sent to King to make it look older and weather-beaten.

Set designers will often use antiquing media found in art supply stores in order to make things on set look old and creepy. You can see the obvious crackling paint used in The Walking Dead in the Season 3 prison interiors, for example.

Robb Wilson King said he used an "aged patina" to make the mask look old. There are two main types of patinas: those used to age metal and those used to age oil paintings.

King probably use the same methods that oil painters have been using for decades to give their paintings an antique look: a combination of an amber patina varnish and a paint cracking medium, such as those made by Maimeri.

Patina varnishes come in several varieties and can give any paint work a subtle golden tone while maintaining the clarity of the underlying artwork. The tone can be deepened with additional coats, which can be applied with a sprayer.

There is evidence on the original mask that the white basecoat, the yellowish tone and the cracking were three separate layers. You can see it under the forehead and cheek chevrons. In the lower photo, there are still yellow varnished spots but with no cracks.

More evidence of a separate translucent layer: On the part 3 stunt mask, there's a bunch of "skid marks" likely made with a dremel on the cheek you can see in the shower scene. Today that area on the mask is whited out, and some painters interpret this as an alteration to the mask that sanded them away, revealing the white basecoat on the back. Not so. The skid marks are still there in the white area, indicating the white color is actually on the front of the mask where they sanded the varnish away. See for yourself...
 This is pretty solid proof that the yellowish layer was a transparent amber varnish, not a flat spray paint.

So for anyone who has been confused... remember watching part 3 back in the day and concluding Jason wore a white mask? Your childhood eyes weren't deceiving you. The mask was white.

So can a mask be painted just like the originals and come out the same? May as well try it. So I bought the Maimeri patina varnish and repainted a Crash project82v4 with Krylon Dover White. I then did all the weathering right on the basecoat.
Six coats of varnish later, the mask took on the perfect caramel-beige color you see in the movie mask. I ended up with runs and color inconsistencies for lack of a decent sprayer, but you get the picture... 
Once you sand off the nose and some other scuff marks it really starts to look authentic.

After evening out the runs and adding weathering... the final result:
Like painters and fans have been saying for years, you can't get the original mask's peculiar amber color in a spray paint. That's because it's not paint at all-- its an antiquing varnish. In direct sunlight it looks very yellow, but in dimmer room lighting it looks very beige due to the way the varnish refracts light.

In warm light...

Compare with the real thing...

It seems that Robb Wilson King experimented with different styles. For the hero mask, he went with a paint-cracking medium over the varnish, but the stunt mask is hand-scratched right into the basecoat. Ironically its almost impossible to tell the difference in the film. All that work for nothing!

So why does the part 3 hock appear white? It could be that they started shooting before it had properly yellowed, which takes about 3 days. It seems more likely, however, that the bright stage lights they used for night-time shooting washed out the transparent yellow layer and reflected off the white paint beneath.

So there you have it. This is most likely how the movie masks were painted: a basecoat of white paint, followed by an amber patina varnish. If you want to paint one of these, You may want to add a cracking medium on top of that if you're doing the hero mask. Be forewarned: varnish is tough to work with on a hockey mask, which is probably why David Miller and all later hockey mask painters just used acrylics and oil paints. Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Legit "Camp Crystal Lake" sign from F13 P2

I can say as the owner of the original prop, this is easily the most authentic replica of the sign Marta Kober picked up in the beginning of Friday the 13th part 2 I've ever seen. Its being offered by artist Nathan Barker for only $35. Look him up on Facebook!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

These are on ebay...

Find them on Ebay here and here.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

"Aladdin Sane" copies getting produced soon...

This mold is in the possession of a guy named James Power and he's going to be producing these at some point this summer. Look him up on Facebook if you want one!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

"Pamela's Curse II" progress shot.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the screen-used Mrs. Voorhees head from Friday the 13th part 2 is too fragile to recast; the 35-year-old foam latex is only about 1 mm thick in some spots and there is evidence of air bubbles that could lead to tears even if something gentle like alginate was used.

So I've decided on a 1:1 resculpt, getting as close as humanly possible to the way the real thing looks. I'm probably 75% done with the forming, so detailing is not far off. Have to finish out her neck, add her ears and shave down the cranium a bit. Here's a progress shot (don't mind the fish-eye lens distortion on the right).

 I expect to have this done and copies pulled before summer.

Here's a shot of my original Pam sculpt, done mostly from screen caps, with the real thing. As you can see, it can be very difficult to get an accurate sense of the dimensions from just a few screen grabs. So its nice to have an opportunity to correct all of my earlier mistakes.

UPDATE: April 17. After weeks of frustration, finally got the eyes to sit right in the head. Love the way the shadows fall now, although still lots of refining to do.
Update, May 3. She's almost done! Filled out the neck and reshaped the cranium. She just needs ears and texturing, couple of tiny tweaks here and there.

May 10 update, just another angle:

July 31 update: the eyes are done. Added the forehead wrinkles and did some further refining. Next come the ears and finer detailing.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Pam comparison shot

Today, and onset back in 1980...

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Recognize this?

There aren't many props that survive from Friday the 13th part 2. As far as I know the two I just bought are the only two remaining... and probably the best two pieces you could possibly want.

Back in April 2011, I came across a piece by Bob Deakin (via this post on the Fridaythe13thFranchise site), who wrote about a Connecticut man named Lloyd Albin, owner of the Pamela Voorhees head from Friday the 13th part 2. Back in 1980 Lloyd was the owner of Camp Kenmont in Kent, CT, where the filming had taken place. Following a wrap-up party, Lloyd found the crew had left Mrs. Voorhees' mummified head hanging from a tree on his property. For more than 30 years, he had kept it in a closet wrapped in a towel, taking it out occasionally to scare his campers.

I found Lloyd phone number on the web and called him to inquire about the head. At the time I was sure I couldn't afford such a thing but wanted to see it and make a lowball offer anyway. Lloyd was affable and loved talking about his experiences on the set of Friday the 13th, inviting me to come see the prop. He also had the original "Camp Crystal Lake" sign held by Marta Kober in the opening scenes, which I was able to screen match.

Lloyd didn't sell me the pieces but I mentioned his props to Daniel Farrands, who included Lloyd in his Crystal Lake Memories documentary in 2013. After the documentary came out, I wrote a blog post with a few stories and anecdotes Lloyd told me that didn't make it into the documentary. A couple of years went by and I basically forgot about it.

Then a friend of mine pointed me to a eBay auction. Lloyd's props were finally for sale! I managed to buy both pieces and OH MY GOD I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE IT.

You might have seen Tom Spina's photos... the head was in rough shape and Tom did a great job restoring it. Even in person, you can hardly tell where the damage was... and it was extensive. The thing literally lost chunks of foam latex every time you touched it.

I can't describe how exciting it is to own a piece of film history. In a way, this head is more central to the Friday the 13th story than the hockey mask: this desiccated head was the object of Jason's cultish devotion, the only thing that mattered in the world to him, and the reason he committed all his murders. The fact that the prop still exists is remarkable considering the poor treatment B movie film props got back then.

Honestly, she doesn't look like much in daylight. But once you get her properly lit, it's like being onset back in 1980...

One of the things I considered in buying this is screen use. I have no doubt that it was made by Carl Fullerton on set. But was it the only one, and is this the one that actually saw screen time? That would affect the value considerably. I asked Fullerton back in 2011 if more than one was made, but he couldn't remember.

Fortunately, blue ray screen shots (thanks Auz) might provide some clues.

Establishing screen-matching with a piece like this requires more than identifying sculpt features, but characteristics that could only exist on one version of the piece. The face was hastily sculpted, cast in foam latex and affixed to a plaster life cast (probably of Connie Hogan). There are tiny bubble patterns in the forehead in some of the recesses where the foam was popping during the curing process. If you look very closely at screen shots, you can see evidence of the same bubble patterns. Since it seems unlikely the bubbles would have formed in exactly the same places from casting to casting, this indicates a high probability that my head is the only one made for the film. The head also has pieces of double-sided tape used to hold the wig on still affixed, suggesting it's the screen-used piece.

So there you have it. I don't think this will be the beginning of a huge screen-used prop collection for me because honestly, I'm probably never going to top this. Sometimes you just get lucky!

So this piece is far too fragile to cast directly... but I've been thinking about doing a very limited edition re-sculpt. 20 copies at the most. Its a nebulous plan right now, but keep it in mind and comment below if you might be interested. Until then, enjoy these photos of the real deal and thank the horror gods she made it 35 years!