Excerpt from "THE MAKING OF THE MOVIE: BATMAN & ROBIN" by Michael Singer.
Along with Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mr. Freeze, Jeep Swenson's fearsome Bane receives the most complete makeover of any Batman & Robin character. "I called Brian Penikas many months before we started shooting," notes Neill, "and asked him to design an airbrush makeup that would make Bane look like he's been infused with Venom, which was very colorful and fun rather than gruesome. 'Just do what you want,' I told Brian.
Well, he sure did.
Brian Penikas and colleague Rick Stratton embarked upon an airbrush makeup requiring up to three hours a day, painstakingly applied to Swenson's formidable body in a specially built ventilated tent. "We wanted Bane's makeup to be real comic book," continues Neill, "with the colors bright and vibrant so they would show up well against the darker sets."
Standing outside of their tent on the Warner Bros. backlot during a rainy day near the end of production, Penikas and Stratton took a moment to reflect, rather lightheartedly on their work. "The entire Bane makeup is done with Fred Blau's great tattoo ink, which we airbrush in many layers over Jeep's body," notes Stratton. "The first makeup tests took five hours to apply," adds Penikas, "but once the wardrobe was incorporated into the design, and Rick came in to help as a partner, we got it down to about two-and-a-half."
Penikas and Stratton paint freehand rather than with stencils, working from memory and full-body mannequins. "We don't usually refer to them," Stratton mock-haughtily sniffs. "But if Brian or I got hit by a truck, then the next guy coming in would know what to go for. "
Stratton both knows and respects the Bane of the DC comics, "and it's fun to elaborate on the character and make him the movie's own. The idea was to flush Bane of any healthy-looking skin tone, and then bring out clusters of veins in all the extremities. As if he's about to explode at any moment from the Venom being pumped through his body"
And how did Swenson take it? "Well," says Penikas, "it's extremely cold having your body airbrushed at four in the morning. We can heat the tent, but we can't heat the air coming through the gun." Swenson nonetheless waxes enthusiastic about his makeup artists: "I'd love to take Brian and Rick with me wherever I go."
These fat makeups were done on actor William Wellman Jr..
I had to do a series of "fat" makeups on actor William Wellman Jr., who gets progressively healthier throughout the film. Here's Bill in the unpainted piece.
During a break from Batman & Robin, I had the chance to do this Cyclops for a theme park media company. Traditional product placement shot. Makeup in progress (before tusks and body makeup). Body Makeup in progress. Tusks now in place. The nearly finished makeup.
These cute little critters were made with the theory; "What would life have been like if man had evolved from dinosaurs and reptiles?"
Here are the Frazetta copies that I painted in junior high. I've enclosed Frazetta's original Death Dealer for reference. My version of Frazetta's DEATH DEALER July 1978, 14 hours. I had just turned 15 years old. BIRDMAN, April 1979. A woman that I would babysit for asked if I could paint something for her apartment with yellow as the dominant color. MOON MAIDEN April 1979. My fourth and final completed Frazetta counterfeit.
Test makeup on actor John Astin as "Judge" ghost for the 1996 release "The Frighteners"
ZG2 This sculpture as well as numerous busts and production drawings, were part of a design package for a film project that never happened. ZG3 This, the "skeletal" paint scheme, was my favorite and first choice for the final look of the creature. ZG4 This paint scheme for the creature was designed with hippopotamus coloration as reference.
Here are the Trunchbull makeups. TB1 The wonderful Pam Ferris played the evil school principal "Trunchbull" in Danny Devito's film "MATILDA". TB2 Another angle of the first test-makeup and dress rehearsal day. TBCU Here's a closeup of Pam's nose tip without mottled color.
Kevin Bacon makeups. KB1 After a month and a half of testing different materials for the Kevin's scars, it was a unanimous decision to go with gelatin for his eyebrow/lid piece. KB2 Kevin also wore one of two contact lenses that I specially designed for different phases of his character's condition. KB3 Another trick I used on Kevin's makeup was a wash of dental enamels to gunk out his teeth everyday. K-mask This is one of several reference masks that I had made as 3-D guides to the different looks of Kevin's character. Always a good idea to have something like this on a show in case of a freak accident or natural disaster. Beating-1 Kevin three days after severe beating, minus moustache and mud. Beating-2 Again, gelatin appliances were used to create the trauma effect. Beating-3 The prosthetics consisted of the main eye area piece, a nose bump, and a lip-split.
Here's another plug for gelatin. The producers called me to see if I could make a burn-scar makeup that would work for a few days of filming.
(Warner Bros.) 1996-97
Designed and applied Bane character airbrush body makeup. Prototyped early makeup concepts for Mr. Freeze.
Makeup technician. Piercing prosthetic applications for thugs. Full body tattoos and tribal facepainting for gang members.
Cosmetics and puppeteer supervisor on stage for penguin puppets built by Stan Winston Studios.
(Warner Bros./ Tim Burton)
Designed and constructed prosthetic noses for Jack Nicholson, applications by Ve Neill.
THE EIGHTH DAY / GATTACA
(Jersey Films/Danny DeVito)
Designed and constructed prosthetics and prosthetic effects for Ethan Hawke.
(Hollywood Pictures/ Francis Ford Coppola)
Assisted with old age stipple and prosthetics on Robin Williams. Ken Diaz key.
THE CROW 2: CITY OF ANGELS
(Pressman Film Corp.)
Airbrush Character makeups.
Prosthetic makeup application on John Astin for Judge character. Makeup designed by Rick Baker.
MURDER IN THE FIRST
(Warner Bros./3 Marks Prod.)
Assistant Makeup department head, Prosthetic makeup artist for Kevin Bacon. Prosthetic supervisor for makeup trauma effects prosthetic sculpture, molds, and related makeup effects.
(Tri Star/ Danny Devito)
Designed and manufactured prosthetic makeups for Trunchbull character.
THE NUTTY PROFESSOR
Assisted with application of prosthetic makeups on Eddie Murphy and photo doubles. (Makeups designed by Rick Baker)
(UA / Stan Winston Studios)
Prosthetic makeup artist, puppeteer, and wrangler for kangaroo-men Ripper characters.
(Warner Bros./ Patrick Tatopoulos)
Creature, puppet, armor, and hand prop effects painter under Michael Spatola and makeup effects department.
(Warner Bros./Cinovation-Rick Baker Studio)
Gremlin cosmetic technician and painter, 9 mos..
(20th Century Fox/ Stan Winston Studios Inc.)
Alien effects crew, principal prosthetics painter.
(20th Century Fox/ Stan Winston / Doug Beswick Productions)
Creature effects crew, Queen alien and Powerloader miniatures.
(20th Century Fox/ Cannon Creations)
Prosthetic and Alien effects crew.
(Universal/ Michael Westmore Ltd.) 1984
Conceptual sculptures and test prosthetic sculptures of Rocky Dennis.
Weapons painter under Bart Mixom.
ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES
(Paramount / Alterian Studios inc.)
Makeup effects department supervisor (Alterian Studios) and Puppeteer. Orchids, Dexter and Donald.
THE ADDAMS FAMILY
Creature and Cosmetics supervisor for Alterian Studios Inc. Prosthetics lab, Bear rug, House-clock, "Fingers" the 8 fingered clarinet player, Snake saxophone, etc.
STEPHEN KING'S TOMMYKNOCKERS
(ABC / Alterian Studios Inc.)
Designer, Key Creature Supervisor, Story boards, 2 1/2 weeks first unit director of alien sequences in New Zealand.
STEPHEN KING'S SLEEPWALKERS
(Columbia Pictures / Alterian Studios Inc.)
Cosmetics supervisor. Prosthetics, Paint schemes for prosthetics and creature suits, on stage suit tech and puppeteer.
(VERY SPECIAL PEOPLE) (20th Century Fox / Alterian Studios Inc.)
Creature and Makeup designer. Lifecasting, Prosthetic Sculpting, Paint, Foam fabrication, Moldmaking, Puppeteer. (Dog boy, Worm, Cowboy.)
ARMY OF DARKNESS
(Universal / Alterian Studios Inc.)
Prosthetics lab for Evil Ash & Evil Sheila, Cosmetics, paint, and artificial eyes for Evil Ash effects.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET III, THE DREAM WARRIORS
(New Line Cinema)
Kevin Yagher Creature and makeup effects crew.
(HBO / Alterian Studios Inc.)
Prosthetic effects for werewolf creatures and wolf suit wrangler.
THE JOURNEY INSIDE
(IMAX / Intel / Alterian Studios Inc.)
Alien makeup designer for IMAX's first feature length film.
NATHANIEL THE CABIN BOY
(Warner Bros./Alterian Studios Inc.)
Makeup effects designer for "Choki the Sharkman", a mer-man suit/makeup for actor Russ Tamblin.
MOM AND DAD SAVE THE WORLD
(Warner Bros. / Alterian Studios Inc.)
Key paint and cosmetics for Bulldogs, and Lub-Lubs. Key design and sculpture for Space Rat. On stage puppeteer and creature wrangler.
(Universal / Alterian Studios Inc.)
Lifecasting and prosthetic lab.
GHOST IN THE MACHINE
(20th Century Fox / Alterian Studios Inc.)
Electrocution prosthetics and acid dissolving arm and head effects.
CAST A DEADLY SPELL
(HBO Pictures/ Alterian Studios Inc.)
Cosmetics supervisor and on stage suit wrangler for Gargoyle creature suit, Key cosmetics and sculptor for Oatmeal Monster, Assistant sculptor Gargoyle suit. Crew jacket design.
(Warner Bros. / Burman Studios)
Makeup effects on location.
(Hollywood Pictures/Alterian Studios Inc.)
Designed and constructed nude woman style nutcracker hand props (chromed aluminum).
PSYCHO IV, THE BEGINNING
(Universal/Alterian Studios Inc.)
Prosthetic lab tech.
(Tri Star / Alterian Studios Inc.)
Assisted with Jim Morrison Memorial.
(MGM / DEG / Stan Winston Studios Inc.)
Special creature effects crew, cosmetics, and painter.
(Smoking Gun Prod./TWE)
Special Makeup Effects Designer/Key. Vampire transformations.
MUTANT ON THE BOUNTY
Special prosthetic makeup designer for title character and effects.
I'M GUNNA GIT YOU SUCKA!
Special gag effects designer/consultant.
LOBSTERMAN FROM MARS
Special creature effects designer, crew key.
FAR OUT MAN
(Tommy Chong Prod)
Second unit straights and hair.
INVADERS FROM MARS
(Cannon Films/ Stan Winston Studios Inc.)
Creature effects crew. Puppeteer.
CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR
(Warner Bros./ Michael Westmore Ltd.)
Prosthetic lab tech for Michael Westmore and Michele Burke.
Creature effects sculptor for background aliens.
JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH (1987)
Creature effects designer, sculptor earthworms.
TRICK OR TREAT
(DEG/Kevin Yagher Productions)
Creature effects crew.
(Virgin/ Wind River Prod)
Prosthetic makeup and effects for Lyle Alzado and Clayton Rohner.
RADIO ACTIVE DREAMS
TELEVISION, COMMERCIALS, CABLE, Etc.
CARLSBERG BIGFOOT AND ALIENS
(CARLSBERG BEER /TOYTOWN FILMS)
Designed and built 8, tall Bigfoot suits and alien greys for an Unsolved Mysteries type commercial spoof.
STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE&VOYAGER
(PARAMOUNT / MICHAEL WESTMORE)
Prosthetic applications for VOYAGER pilot and DEEP SPACE NINE season premiere.
WEIRD SCIENCE- YOU'LL NEVER EAT BRAINS IN THIS TOWN AGAIN
(UNIVERSAL TELEVISION/ KEVIN WESTMORE)
Prosthetic Zombie applications.
THE OSIRIS CHRONICLES
(PARAMOUNT PICTURES TELEVISION/ JUNE WESTMORE)
STAR TREK SCREEN-TEST THEATER
(Universal Studios Tour/ Michael Burnett Prod)
Prosthetic Alien effects designer.
ALIEN NATION-FILM PROMO
(20th Century Fox/Kaleidoscope)
Keyed and crewed prosthetic makeup crew for TV commercial / print ad.
Character makeups for Halloween party and Comic Book convention episodes.
Assistant Makeup Dept. Head, prosthetic makeups and related effects for cable television pilot.
SCI-FI CHANNEL ALIEN INVASION
(CHUCK KLIEN PROD)
Designed and constructed 60 encounter-style aliens for celebrity abductions for cable channel promotions.
DURACELL'S MEET THE PUTTERMANS
(Duracell / XFX)
Prosthetic makeup applications: Art Museum and Miniature Golf spots.
Sculpture, Cosmetics and Paint department key for Alterian Studios Inc..
Construction of Street Shark walk around type costume for TV spot.
ELVIRA BREAKS A NAIL
(GLG / COORS)
Fabrication of Freddy Kruger-style chrome finger nail for TV spot.
(KNOTT'S BERRY FARM)
Dinosaur walk-around suits for theme park. Sculpture, foam- fabrication, paint and cosmetics. 1993-94
(KNOTT'S BERRY FARM)
"INSECT STILT CREATURE" Foam constructed stilt-creature suit for Calico Hanging show. 1994
"ALIENSUIT" Foam constructed Giger-esque alien suit for theme park Halloween show. 1992
CALL FROM SPACE
Key makeup in charge of twelve assistants for straight and character makeups. Cavemen, French revolutionary soldiers, ancient Greek philosophers and warriors, etc..
SKELETOR- - -MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE
Designed and constructed Skeletor's makeup and costume for TV commercials.
Designed and foam constructed Gigeresque Alien suit for holiday TV ad campaign.
Designed and applied two-headed dragon tattoo to two martial artists for toy commercial.
OZARKA SWAMP CREATURE
(Eureka Water Co.)
Designed and built swamp creature suit. Performer and puppeteer.
SEE AND SAY STORYBOOK
Built and puppeteered frog puppet, through Alterian Studios Inc.
MONSTERS- - -IF LOOKS COULD KILL
Creature effects crew for Amalgamated Dynamics.