Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!

The weeks leading up to Halloween 2014 have been utterly crazy over at the Shaune Harrison Academy.
I think the last time I actively got involved in Halloween was 20 years ago when I was working out in Toronto, Canada. I usually feel that it’s a ‘busman’s holiday’ for me. But this year it’s different.
Since this is our first Halloween with the Academy I wanted to embrace the festivities!…Oh boy did we!!!

It all started 3 weeks before Halloween when I made and applied my Zombie character for Grimmfest in Manchester. This is my 3rd time over at this awesome horror festival, I love going there and just talking about horror films with some great people, a few days after this event I was contacted by a Music Company called VEVO (check out their name on most music videos on Youtube) to see if I could supply them with a few zombie characters to give out vouchers for a music event happening over Halloween…

The following 2 weeks became absolutely crazy, (Sunday 26th October)I was asked by a good friend, Carl Whiteley to do some zombie demo’s over at the Manchester Zombie Walk, My academy supplied 2 zombie character and we were interviewed by the local press. (Tuesday 28th October) I did a Zombie prosthetic demonstration over at the Manchester Metropolitan University in front of a captured audience. The next day Wednesday I was asked to go over to the Liverpool Echo for a Halloween special and talk about my career and my Academy, (Thursday 30th October) I fulfilled a childhood dream by going onto a classic British children’s show, BLUE PETER (to get a blue peter badge is such an iconic thing to own) I did a zombie make up on Radzi, one of the presenters on the show then I did a live make up demonstration which was fun but scary!

The actual day of Halloween I came back to Media City in Manchester to do a radio interview on BBC Radio Manchester and whilst I was being interviewed I applied a Zombie bite on the DJ Andy Crane…Doing a make up on the radio was very odd but I suppose with the whole Social Media thing that happens nowadays, nothing is a surprise anymore…

Then on Saturday 1st November came the main event, The Academy had to bring in over 18 prosthetic artists who would be capable of applying multi piece Zombie make ups for the Vevo Halloween Event which was staged in Manchester in front of 5,000 people. We had to do 18 full on zombie make ups, numerous wounds and killings as well as making up some of the special guests that were at the event, we did make ups on the singer Labrinth and his band, we also did Ella Eyre’s band which we made them look like skeleton faces. In the end we did 32 make ups which was great fun but hard work.

All I can say is roll on Halloween 2015!
Til next time…:-)


Zombie at IMATS London 2014

For this years London Imats show I decided to do a Zombie character but put my own spin on it and make it different to what’s been done far too many times in the past…

Once I had cast my model Ben Ross’s head, I started straight away with the sculpting process, I only had 2 and a half weeks to do everything myself so I had to come up with a way of speeding up the process.

To make the skin look all decayed and old I used tissue and latex and stippled it onto a board, when I was happy with the shapes I took a quick Moulding Silicone off it (PS28 silicone from PS Composites) Then I melted down some Plastilene which I scrapped very thinly into the silicone so I’d gotten these really cool & organic shapes which would of taken a long time to sculpt free hand.

The head sculpt was pretty much finished sculpted in less than a week (I was also teaching on a few occasions with my Academy classes) I broke the make up down into 3 pieces; a full cowl piece, full face piece and a small bottom lip. I’d also made a set of decayed looking hands.

Due to the fast turnaround of this make up I decided to mould all my prosthetics in fibreglass which cuts out making silicone jacket moulds. With only a week left I moulded the pieces and ran the pieces in Pro Gel 10 softened to 80% for the face and bottom lip, the cowl piece was softened to 60% as I didn’t want it to become too ‘baggy’ on the head which would stretch out of shape a little. The other important thing I did with the neck section is that I cored it out to make it slightly tighter on Ben’s real neck, otherwise It again may have become a little too baggy.

I pre-painted the pieces with a mixture of RS silicone fluid, Diluent and Oil Paints, this method is great and bonds to the silicone and Cap Plastic extremely well.

While I was busy making all the pieces I was on a few occasions driving around the Yorkshire dales. Bradford was the location for Darren Grassby who made me some fab rotting old teeth for the character, and we also headed up to the picturesque village of Glossop to get Ben’s lenses fitted by the lovely Vicki Warrington of EyeWorks For Film. (Cantor & Nissels worked with EyeWorks For Film on the look of the ‘dead’ eyes for my Zombie)

As I was thinking of the character I decided to give him a severed hand that he’s handcuffed too. (who knows what happened to the rest of him?!)

The wig was actually a old wig I had from a previous make up that I carefully cut up and retro fitted it to my character and It worked out really well.

I picked one of my Academy students, Brogan Sharp to assist me in the make up process as she impressed me with her application and painting whilst on my course.

The application day took a little over 4 hours which seems like quite a long time but as we had so many people wanting to see the Zombie being created and lots of questions being asked, I tried to answer as many as I could during the time.

I just wanted to thank everyone for all their lovely comments about the make up, I couldn’t have wishes for anything better, it went down a storm at IMATS. I also wanted to thank David Power & Kristyan Mallett at PS Composites and there awesome staff for making me feel so welcome on their stand and to the show’s organiser Michael Key for putting the whole thing together at London’s Olympia. (I think there was over 4,000 on the Sunday!)

Until the next make up event…