In need of help putting together an interesting costume with an amazingly spook-tacular look? Well horror fans rejoice for renowned makeup effects artist Rick Baker has collaborated with MAC makeup to bring you a small kit to transform your face this Halloween.
This isn’t an ordinary gunky Halloween store kit. The combination of Baker and MAC equips you with a quality makeup palette to bring out the monster in you. Bride of Frankenstein? Dia de los Muertos? Zombie? They’ve got you covered!
GEEK got the chance to sit down with horror and Makeup FX legend, Rick Baker, to talk about what inspired him to create this line with MAC makeup.
How did the collaboration start?
Baker: It started actually years ago, the head of artists relations asked me to actually do a master class with MAC. I said, “I like doing things like that but the type of make-up I use takes so long. There’s so much prep work, I just don’t see how that could work with masks that take 3-5 hours. Thanks but no thanks.” So she kept after me. I’d get sent new products to try and give feedback. Normally I wouldn’t use MAC with what I do cause they wouldn’t work with the rubber but the more I thought about it the more I realized I would like to do a master class and I love doing these paint make-ups. Maybe I could do one with the paint makeup and that way utilize their products. Problem was too, even with paint makeup I’d still spend 3 hours on it. They said “We have an hour basically”
The first thing I actually started doing on myself was actually some sort of zombie makeup not unlike what I have here. MAC has so many colors it kinda doesn’t do it justice. I said to them the way I can do it in an hour is if I do it on myself. They didn’t like that at first, I said it’d work. I think it’d be really cool. We can do a 50% mirror put a camera behind it. I’ll be looking in the mirror making myself up and you’ll be seeing what my eyes are seeing. And I had scored it with these horror movie soundtracks and timed it. So I did this makeup on myself and people flipped out! They were totally captivated. So that really cemented my relationship with MAC.
When I was in NY working on Men in Black 3 she (head of artist relations) was coming into New York to do something MAC related we met for dinner around Halloween and I was talking about how I had to prepare stuff for my daughters and how I always wanted to do a Halloween Makeup kit. I wanted to have something, a kit that would have specific makeup and would have a good product. I asked her, “Do you think MAC would ever be interested in making the make-up?” She said “yeah” and that’s how this whole thing kind of evolved. Mind you this isn’t exactly the vision we had in mind and I’d hoped to design a whole bunch of new colors and have everything have a more containable smaller size and available to more of the general public than just the pro stores but it’s a start. It was a great excuse to do some fun Halloween makeup.
Halloween has become so much more prevalent as a form of horror geekdom because of how accessible other people who celebrate it 365 days a year have become on the internet. What are some of the effects you’ve seen of this?
I just did a master class with this collection in Paris. Halloween isn’t the same all around the world and it’s becoming more now where other people in other countries are aware of it. It’s not like it is in America or [just] in California. From the time I was a kid, Halloween was my favorite holiday because free candy, but also because you got to dress up as monsters and stuff. I know the first time I worked in England and was there for Halloween people didn’t see it the same. It’s different all around the world. The internet is making it more – it’s amazing the information is so out there. There are so many internet videos and you can get anything now through it. So it’s nice that it’s opened all that up.
And you got to do a video tutorial yourself for this.
I definitely wanted a video. More than anything I wanted to do a ‘from start to finish’ so you could see the makeup, but I think they turned out really fine. I’m glad there is a record of it and I think that it’s getting a good response with people who are inspired to try these looks which is what I really wanted to have happen. People to have fun with makeup and try something not necessarily in their comfort zone. One of the things MAC makeup said to me was if these makeup were too complex we’d have to dumb ‘em down. I said “No, I’m not going to. First of all it’s me and we should give them something to strive for, try something new and try something that isn’t in their comfort zone.”
How did the selection of Monsters come about?
It’s Halloween! At first they pretty much left it up to me. First thing I said is well we gotta do zombies. Zombies are popular now, probably now more than ever, and I also did like a skull basically – something that looked really skull like. A very realistic looking skull, which is important for the two (zombie/day of dead) in their skull theme. Then they pointed out that most MAC costumers are women and they wanna look pretty.
It’s HALLOWEEN THOUGH!
That’s what I said “It’s f**kin’ Halloween” but I said “Okay, I understand that”. I thought Day of the Dead is pretty. They said we need another female look and I had just finished 13 paintings of classical monsters for an art show one of them being the Bride of Frankenstein, and a woman bought one of my paintings and put a picture of herself with me on the Internet. Last minute I decided I’d do Bride of Frankenstein, that’s pretty, I could update it and do something cool. Who am I gonna do it on? And I see this picture posted with this woman and one of my paintings and I say ‘She’s got the perfect face for this, she’d be a great model and she’s a monster fan so we could communicate on that level’. Talked to the people at the gallery and asked, ‘Do you know who this person is? How we can find her?’ then we tracked her down. The model turned out to be a total Rick Baker fan and monster geek, got monster tattoos all over her body and she’s beautiful and she made that part of it easy. It was so meant to be, she was so perfect for the makeup in costume.
What do you think attracts people to being so fascinated by monsters and wanting to make monsters?
For me it’s just so much growing up in front of a TV in the ’50s, seeing monster movies every weekend, reading Famous Monsters of Filmland. In the monster movies that I like, you have sympathy for the monsters. I was never really frightened by any of them and I always felt sorry for them. Frankenstein’s monster, Quasimodo. That part of it attracted me and I was always just fascinated by how they looked. That’s so cool, that’s not real but it looks real and it looks cool. For me it was that sympathy thing, I still can relate to Frankenstein’s monster.
What is your next project?
Not one at the moment, so busy getting ready for Halloween. So we’ll see what’s gonna happen. The next film that’s gonna come out that I worked on is Maleficent. Where I did a makeup on it just for Angelina Jolie.
Wow! Maleficent one of the most famous villains in animation, Mistress of all Evil. How was it to bring her to life from the animated icon we all have grown up with?
It’s funny I’ve had that task on a number of films, like The Grinch, there are things that you can do in a drawing that you can’t necessarily do in the real world in a movie and this is a really kind of different take on Maleficent too. They didn’t particularly want that. I actually would have loved to have duplicated the Maleficent that we all know and love. But also when you have Angelina Jolie you don’t really wanna cover up that much or do that much. Frankly, I said I don’t think we should do too much of anything to her except for the horns. Angie had some very specific ideas that she wanted and my job was to try and interpret her ideas and put my aesthetic into it and make it work. The makeup that we did I think is cool. Is it what I would have done if I was totally left alone? I don’t think so but every movie is like that. I think the movie is gonna be great!
And finally what are your Halloween costume plans?
My wife wanted to be the Bride of Frankenstein, I’d done her as the bride before but she liked how cool MAC’s Bride looked in her costume. Said we gotta do some kind of bride, steampunk bride. That means I gotta do a steampunk monster which I thought would be cool actually cause I’ve got this beard and didn’t really wanna shave this beard, it kinda works with the steampunk theme. Victorian – so yeah I’d worked two months preparing for Halloween for the stuff for my kids and myself. A lot of work on that mask I made for myself, gears and all the ornamental stuff. It was complex, but I had blast doing it. Spent most of the time on my costume which I made myself. Managed to completely tear up my hands. My hands were black from the leather but it was all worth it.
Image credits: MAC/Wireimage, Sabina Ibarra, Disney