For our new comedy web series, “Voyage Trekkers”, we went all out for our “Space Lizard Man” (aka the Draudis Alien Captain). We scoured the internet, looking to buy a mask, but just couldn’t find what we were looking for. Nothing looked right, having both the mix of coolness and camp that we were looking for. We kept putting the decision off until we finally decided to make it ourselves. That meants doubling the budget for the mask, however, and effectively making it our single most expensive prop in any of our recent movies (just under two hundred dollars). But … we’d be making a Space Lizard Man!!! YES!
We started by making a clay model of the head. We went with modeling clay instead of wet clay. That cost more but gave us much more control. After all, wet clay is basically just wet mud. We built the head just slightly larger than the size we wanted, since the latex would shrink some.
We built this over a make-shift armature of newspaper with (I know this is lame) three stacked plastic flower pots making the base. It worked well, since we didn’t want to buy an eighty dollar armature. The downside, however, was once we were done, the weight of the clay head began to slowly crush the armature.
My brother Brian got swept up into the project and took over crafting the overall look of the head, doing a much better job than what I had come up with.
Can you find the gorn in this picture?
Brian worked so hard both of his hands were completely bruised. I did the detail and texture work.
Nathan Stipes then created the plaster mold from the head which would then be used to make the latex mask. We put papers everywhere but we still got plaster EVERYWHERE … This is going to make a big mess.
With the latex mask done (well mostly done, it was still a bit squishy), we painted it late into the night … the night before shooting!
My mom even pitched in and helped me paint the mask.
Finished, the next morning.
Gabrielle Van Buren’s (our lead actress) mom made the outfit, in addition to building the outfits for our heroes as well.
James Hoenscheidt, a veteran of many a Squishy Studios production, was inside the outfit. For his hands we went the cheap-o route of just painting them green.
Every time the mask came on or off, the paint on the neck would flake off and would have to be retouched.
When he was in the outfit, James was completely blind (and he could barely breathe!). He had to be led around everyone. James was a real sport about it.
Despite all the work we’re really happy with the results. Yay for making movies! 🙂
Screen capture from "Voyage Trekkers - Episode 1: Rescue From The Lizard Men."
To see the Lizard Man head in action watch the “Voyage Trekkers” Teaser Trailer right here!