In the world of creature and makeup effects, there’s one name to rule them all: Rick Baker. In addition to films like King Kong, Star Wars, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Planet of the Apes, Hellboy and The Ring Baker has won seven Best Makeup Oscars for the films Harry and the Hendersons, Ed Wood, The Nutty Professor, Men in Black, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Wolfman and An American Werewolf in London. His creature and makeup effects on the 1982 An American Werewolf in London were so impressive, it finally pushed the Academy to recognize the category, which is why it’s sometimes referred to in the industry as “The Rick Baker Award.” That film is also why Baker made his first ever trip to Austin for Fantastic Fest 2011. He did a special Q&A after a screening of American Werewolf, which also included a print by Olly Moss.

Before the movie, I had the chance to sit down with Baker to pick his brain about the effects business as it stands today, his career, his latest work on Men in Black III and more. Read the full interview as well as see some exclusive images from the event after the jump. Read More »

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VOTD: Movie Magic TV Specials


When I was a kid, I use to love watching the “Movie Magic” television specials. It was like finding out how a magician created all his wonderful tricks. And this was in the good ol’ days when the tricks were accomplished using mostly practical means, not like today when computer generated imagery is employed to make the impossible possible. The documentary series was broadcast on the Discovery Channel from 1994-1997, and consisted of seventy episodes divided over five seasons. /Film reader Mark L sent me a e-mail letting me know that Tyler Haslett has put the first twelve episodes online for all to enjoy. As far as I can tell, most of these television episodes were never released on VHS or DVD (a couple episodes were once released on VHS), so I’m glad to see they have found a place online. I wish Discovery would release the entire series on DVD, but I’m sure the rights to all the great behind the scenes footage was not secured for a home video release. Watch the first 12 episodes embedded after the jump.
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Cool Stuff: Rick Baker’s Real Life Popeye

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What would Popeye look like if he were a real life human? Probably nothing like Robin Williams… Six time Academy Award-winning special effects makeup artist Rick Baker (An American Werewolf in London, Men in Black) apparently decided to sculpt a real-life version of the famous cartoon sailor man. However, I am unable to find the original source for the photo. I would love to see a horror movie trailer of Popeye using this design, kinda like how FunnyOrDie did with Gobstopper. Click on the iamge after the jump to enlarge.

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I reported back in May that a new action scene was being filmed for Joe Johnston‘s The Wolfman. According to new information from Baz Bamigboye at The Daily Mail, there have been six weeks of reshoots in total, and part of the purpose in the fix-up was the present a new design of Wolfman. Bamigboye quotes an ‘actor’ working on the film as saying “the Wolf was on its heels and it looked daft” and describes the new-look lycanthrope as tougher and fiercer.

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Rick Baker’s The Wolf Man Concept Art

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Academy Award-winning special effects makeup artist Rick Baker has posted some concept art of Benicio Del Toro‘s transformation in Joe Johnson’s The Wolf Man on zbrushcentral.com (found via Shock).

First Look: Benecio Del Toro as The Wolfman

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If you see Rick Baker, given him a high five! The genius of movie make-up behind American Werewolf in London has once again created one helluva Wolfman! Yes, that is Benecio Del Toro fully transformed into the full moon-friendly title beast in director Joe Johnston‘s The Wolfman. EW got first dibbs on these two images from the 2009 horror flick co-starring Anthony Hopkins and Emily Blunt along with a pretty cool interview with Baker. Here’s an excerpt…

How much did you update the makeup from the [1941] original?
Rick Baker: It’s actually more frightening. But I still wanted to be true to the original and show respect for it. What’s interesting about those two pictures is that there’s one that he’s kind of facing forward and you see a little more of his body – that’s very much more of a classic Wolfman shot; it looks more like the Chaney version. The close-up one is a more frightening and dynamic version. Even though it’s the same makeup [as the first picture], he can do a lot more than Lon Chaney could do with the makeup. It’s cool that there’s something for the old-school guys, and the other picture is more for the guys who don’t even know what the Wolfman is but can see that picture and still go, ”Oh, that’s cool!”

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Discuss: On a scale of 1-10 howls, how sweet are these images?  

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