One of the greatest honors for us as a studio is being invited to the White House, and we have been given this honor, not one, but three times. On this third visit, we are extremely excited to have been included in the Bring Hollywood To Washington event, arranged by mega producer, Harvey Weinstein. This event is held for high school students from the surrounding D.C. areas who are interested in the craft of film making. For this symposium, several rooms of the White House are dedicated to the different disciplines of Hollywood movie making, from directing and producing, to special effects and wardrobe. Guess where Legacy fit in!
This event is a full hands-on experience for the kids. The purpose of this experience is to submerge them in the different film making trades, and get them excited about a possible future in the industry. The Legacy Effects set up is in the legendary Blue Room, where we have make-up stations, prop displays and a 3D scanning station. In our presentation, we explain to the participants how life casting and scanning is accomplished. We even scan each kid, and let him or her see their 3D-self built on screen in real time. The kids are then able to assist in make-up applications, creating effects such as cuts, scars and burns on some of the White House’s own staff and interns. Michelle Obama, the First Lady herself, even stopped by to observe the gruesome transformation of her staff! We offered to transform her too, but Secret Service wasn’t having it.
Scott Stoddard, our make-up artist, is on hand for all the physical demos, and recounts a funny story of one of Mrs. Obama’s security advisers. “He wanted to get a split nose with stitches in it, and we had a couple appliances that had stitches.” Stoddard recalls, “So I did one up on him, and he went down to where her [Michelle Obama] office was and pretended that he had fallen down the marble stairs and broke his nose and had to get it stitched together. It freaked her [Michelle Obama] out, and she actually brought it up later to us and a panel of reporters and stuff.”
Mrs. Obama was truly in awe of the level of detail in the make-up process. Stoddard recalls, “[Mrs. Obama said] she knew there was make-up being done here, but [she] didn’t know to what extent and how good it was going to be. It was a nice pat on the back to us.”
Obama said when she took the podium, “And just so that the press understands, you maybe see some of our staff people with big gashes and cuts on their heads, it’s just Hollywood happening here,” In particular, she called out her Social Secretary Jeremy Bernard.
“I was shocked that his nose was cut up,” Obama said. “This stuff is pretty good — very realistic.”
Without a doubt, this trip has been a momentous one, for us and for the kids who participated in the event. We’re glad we could be a part of this event, and share what we do and love with children from all walks of life. It is truly inspiring for us!
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