From Freddy Krueger’s four-hour makeup application to Tarantino’s make-up, makeup legend Howard Berger shares his story.

By | October 27, 2022

From “American Werewolf in London,” “A Dream on Elm Street” to the new AMC series, “Interview with the Vampire,” makeup artist Howard Berger has more than 800 credits and is the mastermind behind some of the most dramatic makeovers in film and TV. .

Earlier this year, longtime friends Marshall Julius and Berger Berger released a book called “Masters of Make-Up Effects: A Century of Practical Magic” in which he shares never-before-seen photos, detailing the magic of practical makeup and sharing the process.

Difference He asked Berger to share some of his favorite stories about bleeding Hollywood’s beautiful faces below.

The Orville Alien Sausage Factory

“Organized aliens, there are hundreds of species. [on this show]. Seth MacFarlane (writer, creator and star) is very creative and we have a conversation about alien ideas. He sometimes makes a little sketch – and I put it all down – and I get it. Over the years we’ve worked together, I understand his language and can pick things out of what he says. So I take that and refine it and make it real.

“On a television show like this, there’s a lot of work to be done. There will be times when we do 100 makeups a day. So, I’ll have huge makeup artists on set, tons of makeup trailers, and we’re doing all these makeups. Since I design everything, we don’t spend more than an hour and a half on makeup just because we have to. I call it the ‘sausage factory’ because we have to destroy them, but we don’t sacrifice quality. We have to be smart about how things go together.

The Walking Dead and more.

Samantha Morton as Alpha – The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 11 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC
Jace Downs / AMC

“Greg Nicotero is the king of zombies. He controls all of that. We are constantly designing and designing zombies.

“[‘Walking Dead’] It has anywhere from 12 to two hundred different shapes and we divide them into different groups. In hero makeup there is ‘A group’, ‘B group’ mid-ground makeup and ‘C group’ rear and [they’re] All about making masks.

“With the ‘A team,’ they’re all in prosthetics and it takes an hour and a half to two hours.” Atlanta is known as ‘Hotlanta’ so Greg has to take on shooting situations.

“Greg quickly learned that when they went to set in make-up in the pilot room, the set was so hot and humid that it started to rub off on the actors, and the actors were sweating. So he had to rethink his approach because you couldn’t keep the makeup nice, and it melts when you get ready.”

Tarantino’s Blood

“Blood is important. Dick Smith is the godfather of make-up and he created his own formula for film blood. Before that, it was 3M blood, which was also called Kensington Gore blood. If you look at 60s movies like Hammer Horror, it looked good physically, but Dick didn’t like it and how it looked. So, he created a formula made from carob syrup with powdered food coloring and preservatives. I wrote to him when I was 12 years old and he sent me the formula and I still have it. We still use it at the KNB EFX team, although we’ve changed it a bit.

“We have many different blood types. There is human blood, vampire blood, and zombie blood. There’s even ‘Tarantino Blood’, Quentin’s favorite color for certain things. When we were on ‘Kill Bill,’ he said, ‘I need Japanese sword blood.’ I went up and mixed some stuff up and brought it down to him and said, ‘I know you’re like that.’

“Zombie blood is very dark, almost black. Greg uses a blood combination. There is human blood when people are bitten and torn apart. Then there is light blood. Sometimes, if you’re shooting in a dark setting, and the clothing is dark, that light blood will show up better on black clothing or black clothing as opposed to human blood.”

Freddy Krueger

Howard Berger and Robert Englud. ‘By Howard Berger Collection’

“I was working for Kevin Yager at the time, and Kevin came up to me and said, ‘Hey, we’re going to do ‘Nightmare on Elm Street: Part Four,’ do you want to apply for Robert’s? [Englund] make up”

“I had to make Freddy, and a foam rubber multi-piece make-up with a neck, chin and nose. The first day I did it, it took me four and a half hours. I used to respect Robert Englund. He likes to talk. Every time Robert spoke I would pause and wait and when he finished I would go back in and Kevin said ‘Ignore Robert and just bulldoze through him’.

“Kevin designed and created that makeup, now I take it and make sure it always looks good on Kevin and Robert.”

Vampire Manicures

Handmade nails. Courtesy of Howard Berger.

“We shot that in New Orleans, and we had to figure out what was going to be different about our vampires. I didn’t want them to be cruel and cruel. These people had to be like real life and they had to go and deceive their victims. I threw an idea to showrunner Rollin Jones and he said, ‘Why is everyone else scary and vampires are amazing? Don’t we make them look like that?’ Their hair, skin and eyes are beautiful and beautiful because their attention is always on them. Rollin was very impressed with this idea. So, we started to try things.

“[The actors] Sam Reed was in Australia and Bailey Bass was in New York, so we were doing things in preparation and sending things out into the world via FedEx. Australia was completely shut down, so Sam would hopefully zoom in, and I’d get the teeth to fit.

“The nails were very heavy and painful in the background because they were burning. We sent the guys out every weekend to make a manicure for us to get the most unique acrylic nails for the design. Sam and Jacob and Bailey were going crazy because we were always stuck on the nails.

“There’s also a lot of blood and guts and it’s going to be pretty heavy and pretty in episode seven. It will be chaos.”

The pencil drawing gets weekly crafts for vampire nails. Courtesy of Howard Berger.

“Masters of Makeup Effects: A Century of Practical Magic” can be purchased here.

Category: tv

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *