Some recent footage of makeup effects’ artists Margaret Prentice and Tony Gardner making up Doug Jones on the set of Hocus Pocus has just surfaced. The footage features the two famed artists turning Jones into “Billy Butcherson” in a tiny wood-paneled trailer on the lot at Walt Disney Studios. You can check out the footage below, which shows off a candor and ease to which these pros are still known for. This is a great find for fans of the movie:
#fbf to "Hocus Pocus" behind the scenes: Margaret Prentice and I turning Doug Jones into "Billy Butcherson" in our little wood-paneled makeup trailer on the lot at Walt Disney Studios.
Hocus Pocus centers on a villainous trio of witches, who are inadvertently resurrected by a teenage male virgin in Salem, Massachusetts. The film failed to stir up the box office but has since grown its cult status to an almost frenzied pitch, it’s easily one of the most watched Halloween films for millennials.
One such role that stood out for many was the clumsy and very undead Billy Butcherson, played by Star Trek: Discovery actor and longtime Guillermo del Toro collaborator, Doug Jones. Hocus Pocus was the first big role for Jones, whose previous acting experience was as a henchman for the Penguin in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns where he is credited as “Thin Clown”.
As for Hocus Pocus, Jones says “the movie came out in theaters…in July of 1993, and it was marketed as a Bette Midler comedy, and not in October as a Halloween family movie,” Jones said. “So it came out and didn’t do well at the box office, but we didn’t realize how often it would air on TV. It became kind of The Wizard of Oz of Halloween, because of airings on TV and people owning it on VHS and DVD. So it has become a holiday classic that families are sharing with their kids now. I had no idea that it would take on that kind of a life. And getting to play a goofy zombie in that story, how fun was that for me? I’m glad it got the recognition that it deserved eventually.”
The Disney fantasy-comedy was released in 1993 and directed by Kenny Ortega. Hocus Pocus starred Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker, and was written by Neil Cuthbert and Mick Garris. If you’re interested in learning more about Tony Gardner, and his work, hop over to his official website and take a look at just how many things this guy has worked on.
Images: Disney, Warner Bros., Alterian Inc.