Imagine driving around with your friends in your brand new Honda, your freshly manicured claws tapping along to the rhythm of your favorite song, the wind blowing through your fur. Hey, girls just wanna have fun… even monster girls. Meet the Honda Monster!
This Honda spot and the beast we created for it is a lot of fun. Like the Zicam Monster, we made a complete monster with full fur suit and animatronic eyes, ears and mouth. As you see in the images below, there is a lot that went into this suit to transform our little actress, Misty Rosas, into a complete furry co-ed, headed out for an afternoon on the town. The under suit is made of foam, shaped to fill out the monster’s body and the fur applications over it.
The hands and feet are foam “gloves” made to fit over the Misty’s own appendages. The head is similar to a fiberglass helmet, with built in animatronics for the eyes, mouth and ears. The animatronics are then remote operated by a puppeteer off camera. Great care is taken with the placement and operation of the motors and servos for the mechanics, as they are literally centimeters from the Misty’s face. The hair and fur for the suit is hand dyed and is hand punched with colored spots to give the monster her unique coloring.
And there you have it, another creature courtesy of Legacy Effects! View the spot below in its entirety to see how cute our little monsteress turned out. She was a lot of fun, and not a bad driver if you ask us. We’ll see you on the next monster of a post, from the team here at Legacy! Thanks for stomping by.
Continuing our Halloween themed posts, meet the AT&T Monster!
“The brief called for a big, furry monster-in-the-closet-type thing, but friendly,” lead artist, Vance Hartwell, explains. The monster’s proportions were very top-heavy. “The clients wanted a monster similar to that big, red monster with the tennis shoes in Warner Brothers cartoons; that kind of body proportion”. A fur suit was built around Ted Haines’ upper body, and positioned in front of him from the chest down as the dimensions slimmed. Haines’ green-suited body was then removed in postproduction. Hartwell adds, “The face was a straightforward sculpt, and we used white National Fiber Tech hair and airbrushed it. On set, the little actress loved the monster in real life and wouldn’t stop hugging it!”
This monster posed some pretty fun challenges, and all in all came out looking pretty slick. Reminiscent of a skinny abominable snow man with a heart of gold, don’t you think? Only in the FX biz! Check the spot below for the monster in action. Thanks for stopping by, and check back all this month for more monstrous posts!!
It’s Halloween time, boys and ghouls, and what better way to celebrate than a whole month of blog posts packed with the spooky effects you have come to know and love from Legacy Effects? Sure, a costume party with scantily clad ‘nurses’ and ‘kittens’ could be better, but this is right up there. So let’s kick off this awesome month with one of the most notable movie creatures of all time, Frankenstein’s Monster!
A face only everyone can love!
Bet you thought the above photo was a colorized image of Karloff the Uncanny himself. It’s actually a spitting image sculpture of the amazing Boris, but the finish is all from Legacy Effects. We put this together as a charity auction piece for the “It’s Alive” project, supporting St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. One of the greatest movie monsters of all time, Frankenstein’s monster is a huge influence, and the reason many of us are in the business today. Naturally, we jumped at the chance to recreate this silver screen legend in an immortal medium, especially for such a great cause.
The criteria for this project are to use an existing unfinished Frankenstein’s monster bust, and from it create an art piece. Being the movie geeks we are, we want to stay true to the image of the monster as he would appear in real life. We tried to deliver the most accurate representation of Franky as we could, adding realistic skin, scaring and hair to make this beast come alive.
Eye See You
Chicks Dig Scars ….And Staples.
This has been an unbelievable opportunity to work on a memorable piece and raise money for an amazing charity. Please visit the “It’s Alive” site to see all of the other creative pieces, and even a few with the option to purchase and add to the donation. Check back often, because this month will be chock full of creepy goodness!
UPDATE! Check out this awesome behind the scenes video we threw together for the loveable, yet unruly Zicam Cold Monster, and continue on to the post below.
Zicam… Sounds like a cold medication, not a creature effect, right? Well, strangely enough, it is a cold medication and a creature effect. The Zicam Cold Monster, represents the person feeling a cold creeping up on them. But how do you accurately represent that “pre-cold” feeling in physical form? Well, you go to Legacy Effects.
I seeeeeeee yoooooou…
A while back, AD Agency Grok!, Production Company MJZ and director Rocky Morton came to us with the grand idea to create a creature that embodies a pre-cold. The sneezing, aching, runny nose, red itchy watery eyes… all the symptoms that make you feel like a “monster” would become an actual monster. Although this particular monster had to be big, intimidating, and sick, he needed to be a somewhat sympathetic character.
That’s where Zicam comes in. The basic moral of the story is: “You can run, but you can’t hide”. However, you can fight back, and that is exactly what Zicam does. When you take Zicam in the early stages of an oncoming cold, it essentially shortens the cold and lessens the symptoms, as illustrated in the moment when the Cold Monster is hit by the Zicam truck.
Both the director and the agency decided that the character needed to feel more real and alive when interacting with actors on set, and they wanted a real physical presence for their character. Most of the creature effects were achieved in camera, with some CG enhancement of facial expressions . We created the character designs digitally, because this allows us to create many different designs visible in a 360˚ rotational format. Our Lead Designer, Scott Patton, is a wizard with 3D design and was able to conceptualize 30-40 different character designs along with numerous variations for review within a few days time. After several tiers of approvals, a design is finalized and the fabrication can begin.
Me, Myself and I
No wonder he caught a cold.
To keep the translation of the character as true as possible, Legacy rapid prototyped Scott’s design of the character head, hands and feet. While the body and limbs were fabricated by hand to match the body proportions. The Zicam Cold Monster needed to be larger than life, and twice as hairy. At over 7 feet tall and operated by a 6’ 3” performer, he is one of the larger creatures we worked on this year. Bruce Mitchell is the operating performer, Bruce not only controlled the internal working of the Cold Monster, but he also led the fabrication of the suit along with Ted Haines and Mark Maitre, while Pete Clarke watched over the mechanical head. One of the biggest challenges in making a suit like this, is making sure it doesn’t look like just some guy in a suit. Exaggerated proportions, extreme height, and facial mechanics are a great way to offset this feeling.
Let me give you a hand.
Upon completion, the suit weighed over 80 pounds, and the head carried over 30 servos for expressions operating just inches from Mitchell’s face. You can imagine that his vision was limited at best. Mitchell used special goggles that allowed him to see the camera’s view, along with vocal cues and directions piped into the suit. It took a four man crew to operate and maintain the character on set. 1 suit performer, 2 facial puppeteers, and a 1 dresser. Not a bad group of assistants for a cold riddled monster.
Creating creatures and monsters can be a lot of fun. Especially when they are kind of endearing and kid-friendly–even if they are dripping with snot (the monster, not the kids). A great design and an intriguing hook are essential to advertising, and Zicam’s character is a great example of that. We stepped up to that challenge, and this creature remains very close to our heart. We look forward to helping Zicam on future projects with this character. See the official commercial below, and be sure to protect yourself from lurking Cold Monsters. Thanks for checking in!