Monday, October 31, 2011

The Zombies are Coming

Contributed by Guest Blogger of the Week, Stephanie Cox-Williams.

First off, thank you all of the Innovative Theater Foundation for asking me to come over to their sandbox and contribute.  It’s a real honor!

Second, I have not really written or blogged since about April of this year.  I have had a lot of great projects overt the summer Blood Brother’s Presents… and remounting one of my favorite Nosedive shows Infectious Opportunity while also getting to work with a lot of great new people as well.  Artist’s over at the newly formed Anit-matter Collective, a few brief meetings with Ars Nova and then two Fringe Shows.   Needless to say, I had a very busy summer.

Almost all of these shows had one thing in common – gore.  Some semblance of the use of blood and a little bit of gory bits thrown in for good measure. 

With the growing popularity of zombies in pop culture (I should say comeback as they have been very popular on and off for years), a request for services beyond just the use of a blood squib in theater has risen.  Also, with technology being like it is, a horror theatrical piece is now being asked to look like more of what we see in the movies. 

And, by the luck of draw (or may I say a huge thank you to Patrick Shearer and Pete Boisvert for the birth of their horror series), I started to turn my attention to gore effects design.  And, on a budget. 

Wait, I didn’t really mention that did I?

These pieces that are coming out constantly, the majority of them you will not find on Broadway, or even Off-Broadway, but the independent theater side of things.  And, they are expected to look at least as good as some of the first independent features of horror.  And with little to no money. 

As I tell many a collaborator, theater gore is live and has to work every single time it is performed, not just for that one perfect take.  It’s going to cost some money.  And, there are a lot of variables one needs to consider before going down this path of add gore to a show.

Now, I could go into the origins of this type of theater, but I would rather give the audience here what a lot of my collaborators have been asking for-how does one do this trick?   A few solutions to your blood problems….or I mean, theatrical, fake blood problems.   I am going to take the most asked questions I have gotten – starting out with “what is a squib” and deliver it to you. Also, a checklist of things to consider when producing a show with gore. I know, Halloween is soon over.  But, maybe there might be something in here to bring holiday cheer to your next passion play?  

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