Late last week Universal Studios Hollywood unveiled the artistry that transforms mere mortals into some of the most frightening creatures imaginable as horror make-up masterminds offered a sneak peek at what guests can soon expect during Halloween Horror Nights 2012. On hand were extreme Hollywood horror make-up artist Larry Bones whose special effects team partnered with Halloween Horror Nights creative director John Murdy to demonstrate the creation of many of the disturbing creatures that will come to life during the event.
Using concepts that begin in the minds of Murdy and his Horror Nights team, Bones and many talented artists draw, sketch, paint, sculpt, mold, bake, and sew thousands of masks, wigs, costumes, and prosthetic pieces for use throughout the event, beginning September 21 and continuing on select nights through Halloween.
Adding illusions of severed heads, oozing wounds and slashed throats to “scare-actors” are all just part of a day’s work, recently shown off during a special preview, offering a greater appreciation for the huge amount hard work and pride that is poured into every tiny detail that will ultimately achieve the maximum scares for excited visitors.
AMC’s “The Walking Dead” is a leading theme for this year’s Halloween Horror Nights, inspiring a haunted maze featuring hordes of “walkers” a.k.a. zombies. In preparing for the event, Murdy and Bones have worked closely with the effects team from the hugely successful TV show to duplicate the particular aesthetic used to create the undead, explained and demonstrated in the video below.
Video: Bringing the look of “The Walking Dead” zombies to Halloween Horror Nights 2012
But there is so much more to Halloween Horror Nights than just “The Walking Dead,” with other haunted house experiences including Silent Hill, Alice Cooper Goes to Hell, and La Llorona, each requiring its actors to don their own unique looks. From creepy costumes to fright-filled facial prosthetics and masks, Universal Studios Hollywood offered a behind-the-screams look at what goes into morphing ordinary actors into ghastly ghouls.
Video: Creating the creatures step-by-step for Halloween Horror Nights 2012
Hundreds of makeup artists contribute to shaping the countless looks that, along with elaborately-themed environments, create the eerie ambiance and scare-rich environments of Halloween Horror Nights. Whether creating concepts on a virtual canvas, sculpting and molding custom prosthetics out of clay, hand-threading individual hairs into a finished mask, or applying makeup to an actor, some of Hollywood’s best are always at work for this annual Universal event.
Larry Bones has been working in Hollywood for nearly twenty years in the field, finding his way to the Universal event after learning his craft in art school and perfecting it through years of experience. Today he, along with Murdy and the rest of the Horror Nights team, welcome back many of the same talented professionals year after year to harness their creative power all in the name of scaring the pants off of willing participants. While it’s certainly not a thankless job, with much pleasure to be derived from seeing the sheer looks of terror on guests’ faces, it’s also important to spotlight those who work behind the scenes to make it happen each night.
Halloween Horror Nights 2012 kicks off on September 21 at Universal Studios Hollywood.