By Nikki Hedrick
Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween without the opportunity to slip into another character. It’s a chance to buck our day-to-day norms, celebrate characters we love, and invite some silliness into our lives.
We won’t judge whether you take 10 minutes to throw something together, spend a lot of money at the pop-up Halloween store, or gruel over your costume until it’s just right. But local special effects and make-up artist Eric Dupré might raise an eyebrow or commend you on your creativity.
Dupré owns and runs Underground FX Lab based out of Navarre, offering classes, advice and a newly released line of supplies to help others create one-of-a-kind effects.
“Going on seven years, I’ve been known more locally as a special effects and makeup artist,” says Dupré. “It has grown so much, but I kind of fell into it.”
He was working as a television producer in Atlanta when an opportunity naturally unfolded. “I was helping with a project, and we needed to ‘shoot’ somebody. So that was my first project. I made blood and a squib.”
That first taste, a simple on-camera gunshot, was enough for Dupré to jump at the next project. And the next project. “I really got into it, the behind the scenes of how to make things look real.”
FX is more than horror and gore. One of Dupré’s current projects is to create a realistic and well-fitting shell top for a mermaid performer. He has also donated his talents to area events like Navarre High School’s production of The Little Mermaid, down to creating tentacles for Ursula to help the Disney villain come to life.
Dupré has a soft spot for molds to create unique prosthetics that range from full life casts to gaping, realistic wounds. So when we asked about affordable Halloween FX ideas, he recommended an inexpensive process to create a prosthetic of your own.
Using a small sheet of foam board, make a rough indentation the size that you want your cut, or wound.
Fill it with a mixture of one part wood glue to two parts Plaster of Paris.
Let that set, clear coat it, and you now have a new negative mold to create a flexible prosthetic.
Mix together gelatin, glycerin, and sorbitol in a small microwavable bowl. These are all items that can be bought at a grocery or drug store.
Microwave at five-second intervals. The mixture needs to be clear, but you want to avoid bubbling.
Blend in foundation makeup that matches your skin tone.
Pour into the plaster mold and let it set.
Slowly and carefully remove it from the mold with the help of baby powder.
Use a skin-safe adhesive like Pros-Aide to apply the prosthetic.
To create well-blended edges, use witch hazel, which will naturally break down the gelatin to create a professional look.
Finally, complete the look by using make-up to create any bruising, blood or rotten infection.
Dupré has a line of professional grade materials available for purchase at Marsha’s Menagerie in Pensacola. He also welcomes questions and enjoys helping others hone their craft. Contact him through his official Facebook page.
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