So since we’re on the thread of California, since I’m spending the end of the week out there, I figured I’d throw something else out there.
I used to work in Hollywood.
Nope, you’re not going to find me in a movie or a TV show. You’re not going to see my name on IMDB or in any credits, but I DID spend some time working for an FX Studio.
Now, if I had any credit, it would have been as “The Guy Who Does All The Stuff That No One Else Wants To Do.” Now, to be fair, I had no training. I just had experience building garage kits, fairly poorly I might add. However, a gentleman from the Replica Prop Forum decided to give me a chance.
I started working in their archives, which is a fancy way of saying “Storage Unit,” helping clean pieces, organize molds, and build display stands for an upcoming display/auction. I worked mainly with pieces from Bicentennial Man while I was in there, but I was also surrounded by dead bodies from The Stand, pieces from the Ghost Riders sequence of Blues Brothers 2000, parts from Virus, and spec pieces from Superman Returns, The Hulk and Fantastic Four.
After a few weeks, they pulled me out of the storage unit and moved me up to the main studio to help out in the Foam Room. I learned about foam latex over there; how to prep the stone molds to inject the foam, how to clean the equipment, how to assist in injecting the foam latex into the molds, and how to demold the pieces and get them ready for the next run.
We were running pretty large pieces over spandex suits that were to be used on “The Tick” live-action series. It was while running these pieces that I also learned about the concept of “Back Pressure” when injecting a mold. When you’re injecting the foam latex into a mold, you use a foam gun, which looks like a big hypodermic needle. Well, when you’re done injecting the foam into the mold, you need to pull the handle back a bit to help relieve the pressure. If you don’t, you will have a geyser of blue foam latex erupting out of the mold.
Into the face of the poor assistant who is standing over the injection hole, ready to plug it so the foam doesn’t leak out.
I’ll just leave that there, and pick up on this later.