Reminiscing Silence

Back in the early '90's I had the fantastic opportunity to work with Carl Fullerton and Neal Martz (actually Neal's an old childhood friend) on several films. Both Carl and Neal apprenticed with the one and only make-up master Dick Smith before venturing out on their own. Probably the most memorable of the films was Jonathan Demme's "Silence of the Lambs". Carl had asked me to visualize in sketches some of the special make-up concepts for the film. Kristi Zea, the films production designer had images of Sir Francis Bacon's paintings in mind for what was called the "Shot from Hell".

I apologize for the graphic nature of most of these...even Demme thought they were too brutal! In fact, from what I've heard, when the sketches were being archived at The Museum of Moving Image an employee admitted to becoming physically ill.

After the visual for the "Shot from Hell" was agreed on a full life cast was done of Chuck Napier who played Lt. Boyle. Actually only his head and hands were done. The weight of the alginate and plaster and the heat it generates was really too much for Chuck so a younger actor was brought in for the body. Two full body's were created in Carl's shop and Neal applied make-up and paint on set for the shot.

It was unfortunate that Carl and Neal's work wasn't recognized for an Academy Award since film won just about all the awards that year...they did win the 1991 Saturn Award though!!

This was also a quick caricature I did of Demme that is in one of my old sketchbooks.


Christopher said...

Who's the guy with all that hair standing behind the corpse? That's the scariest picture of them all...

Vincenzo said...

Dear Nephew it's in the genes and what's under your baseball cap will someday be gathering in clumps on the shower drain...just a little something to look forward to.

Now don't forget to say your prayers before you go to bed

Love you,

Elliot said...

That's you in the apron?!!!

Vincenzo said...

...it's amazing what Father Time can do to some of us...although I would probably be detained and interrogated at airports if I still looked like that :)

Tel said...

Time and gravity don't take prisoners mate !!
You've done some interesting stuff Vin - never saw the movie though, I like to be entertained not terrified. Couldn't sit through the whole show with a newspaper over my head ...... Tel

Vincenzo said...

Terry You must rent this movie...I promise you will be entertained. Contrary to the images I've posted this is not a "slasher" film in fact the shot from hell only lasts about 3 seconds (so much for a month's worth of work). Demme made sure the gore was kept to a minimum and really presented it as a psychological thriller...and I think you would find it interesting considering you're ex-pd.