Friday, November 4, 2011

There Will Be Blood…Now, How Do We Do It?

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

I love my job when emails, text messages or phone calls go back and forth with the words “stabbing”, “disemboweling”, “massing blood flow”, “gun wounds”.  

Over the years I have had my fair share of – “Help” communications.  I have been fortunate to help solve these sort of problems with a great amount of people – sometimes purely online – to make their show gory.

So, first one:
The character has to rip flesh off of a severed head and eat it on stage.

This one actually came from one of the pieces of “Blood Brother’s Present…New Guingol”, where a man who had ‘lost it” decapitated his fellow passenger on a bus, hold some of the bus passengers hostage and then begin to cut pieces off the decapitated head and eat it.  Here was the solution:
  1. Go to any Halloween type store and buy a head.  One with hair is always better - more realistic.
  2. Apply patches of thin “muscle" using fruit rollups.   The tie-dyed ones that are orange and red or red and dark red work really well or just use red.  Cut them in square pieces or strips and add to the rounded edges of the face.  (They are already sticky, so you shouldn't need any adhesive).  Add a thin layer of red gel food coloring, then another layer of fruit rollup.  Do this for 3 or less layers. 
  3. Add your skin coloring - get some icing.  Carmel, butterscotch, chocolate or mix the flavors to get the desired color of your head.  There is also some recipes for edible foundation that you can Google online.  Spread the icing over your last layer of roll up and blend into the fake latex skin.

Next Question:
Someone needs to be disemboweled onstage.

This one I get quite a bit, hence I have come up with a super cheap rig to use!
  1. Either buy some fake intestines/organs or you can make your own – cheap and not too time consuming.
- Get some panty hose/stockings and stuff them with paper towels, or plastic grocery bags or paper (the towels and/or the plastic bags seem to hold up longer).
- Take rubber bands and add them at varying places on the stuffed stocking –given it that intestine/sausage look.
- Paint all the intestines with red liquid latex.
- Then, using a mirror or a piece of glass paint strips of the liquid latex –about one to two layers per strip.
- Once the strips have dried, peel them off the glass and begin to wrap them tightly around the intestines – trying to make the roll as slender as you can.  Over lap strips as necessary.
- For an added effect, you can dribble lines of the liquid latex along the piece and give it a veining effect.
  1. Buy a pair of stockings/panty hose.
  2. Stuff one of the stockings with the organs.
  3. Using scissors or a knife, cut/slash some holes/runs in the stocking.
  4. Fit the stocking around the actor and tie it off in the back tucking the knot into the waist band of the pants.
  5. Using some blood squibs, zombies can tear at the “stomach” piece and take out the “organs” or someone can “stab” someone with a fake knife, release a squib and then “organs” can come out.

And last question for now:
Someone needs to pee on someone/wet their pants.

I am about to give away a big trade secret for me…are you ready?  Go out and buy a squirting flower…remove the flower.  Now, you have a device that has a tube and a hand pump to release liquid when it is needed.  This is a substitute for the CO2 cartridge used a lot in film and in some stage.  I find it more reliable.

And, quick and easy zombie or as I like to say – messed up skin:
Flesh colored liquid latex with toilet paper and some lentils all mixed together.  Paint on skin.  Gives the skin that beginning to wear away look.

I have so many more questions (like how do I make an edible finger and stigmata and an easy applicable burn), but must keep this short for now.  If you would like to come out and see some of my blood effects in action, please stop by Under St. Mark’s from now until November 19, Thursday (pay what you can), Friday and Saturday at 8pm for Dysfunctional Theater Company’s “Brew of the Dead II – October Flesh”.

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