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By midlandsmovies, May 13 2017 09:51AM

Father Phantom Studio’s special effect on Birmingham’s film scene.

When you enter the Father Phantom Studio, the first thing you notice isn’t the 8 foot tall Predator that towers over you; it isn’t the eerily realistic yet bald bust of Heath Ledger’s Joker; it’s the passion of founders Ben Fallaize and Laura Viale Durand. They’re the kind of people you could listen to for hours.

From the hair-raising details of how wigs often originate from humans (before it’s painstakingly and individually hand-threaded over 40 hours) to tales of blood work special effects that literally blows the mind, they’re a whole other level of film aficionado. But it’s not all about gore and guts. Ben and Laura’s acute attention to detail and backstory creates characters rather than monsters and this approach has seen them work on the long-running Thriller musical as well as a string of films, including docu-horror Cain Hill and Director John Adams’ upcoming Aux

In addition to their film and theatre work, Father Phantom Studio’s line of collectibles is the embodiment of their obsessive eye for subtleties. Creating bespoke collectibles to order, each item’s uniqueness is ensured, with the cast thrown away once completed. As self-proclaimed perfectionists, their most popular sculptures are often taken from the actor’s death mask itself or from the original Hollywood mould which include original imperfections. To see for yourself, Father Phantom Studio will be exhibiting at Birmingham Horror Con on the weekend of the 28th and 29th of October.

Taking inspiration for the studio name from Father Death and the Phantom of the Opera, Ben and Laura recognised Birmingham as a city on the up for film production and as a result, relocated to the Jewellery Quarter. They are actively looking to engage with makers of both independent and mainstream films and can be contacted via the link below. We at Midlands Movies can’t wait to see what they do next.

Do you have a passion for props, special effects an make up? Have you finished studying & have experience in film/theatre hair or make up? If so, Father Phantom Studio are looking to expand their team and can be contacted directly through their website here

Robb Sheppard

By midlandsmovies, Dec 10 2014 07:48PM

Midlands Movies Mike interviews freelance maker and special makeup effects artist Jayne Hyman who is based in Nottingham.

With a background in Film, Theatre and Live Events dating back to 2004 when she undertook a Media Make-up course at Shepperton Studios, Jayne Hyman has branched out from makeup into prop-making and art department work. Growing up in South Wales, Jayne wanted to be a special effects artist ever since watching horror films as a child but having lived in Nottingham since 2007, Jayne feels the Midlands city has now developed a good creative vibe which is why she has stayed here for as long as she has.

Jayne's story began a few years back after being trained in makeup in 2004 but she did not work full time in the industry straight away and did factory work and retail whilst practising makeup and volunteering for unpaid projects before finally became fully freelance at the start of 2011.

Although worried about the transition into freelance work, especially the financial implications, when the recession hit, Jayne’s admin role became redundant and she figured that that was as good a time as any to make a go of it. So after getting work experience at a theatre which led onto paid work, Jayne finally took the plunge and what a success it has proven.

Being a special effects artist and given the current trend for low budget filmmaking, Jayne often gets offered a lot of work in horror but has recently had more work in sci-fi and fantasy too.

“I was dangerously close to giving up on the pursuit of my career a few years after my course”, remembers Jayne. “I had pretty much put it to one side at one point as I just felt clueless as to how to progress. That's when I decided my life needed a shake up and I moved from South Wales to Nottingham. It was the best decision I have made in terms of my career and I've built up a strong network both in the Midlands and further afield”, she adds.

Typically, because she often work with people she now consider friends, Jayne develops projects together and her opinions are taken on board from the planning stage, which she feels is a great position to be in and one that people in her area of work often don't get to do.

However, as with most makeup artists, Jayne's typical day involves an early morning start and although breakfast is served on set upon arrival, she often has to get straight on with work as the application process can take anything from 30 minutes to several hours. Later once on set, Jayne will stand by the monitor and keep a close eye for any touch-ups that may be needed and at the end of the day will take the actor back to the makeup area for removal. “If this is a prosthetic removal then this can take up to an hour on its own”, says Jayne acknowledging this part of the job may not sound too glamorous.

Citing Robert Englund as one of her idols, since it was the 'Nightmare on Elm Street' films that made her realise FX makeup existed as a job, Jayne also likes the work of Dick Smith for his massive contributions to the world of FX makeup, as well as his encouragement of the notion that special effects techniques should be shared between people in the industry and not hidden away as a "trade secret". Also a big fan of Eli Roth Jayne mentions “his enthusiastic interview on the 'Cabin Fever' DVD during which his love for filmmaking and 80s horror was infectious, inspired me during a time when I felt like giving up on pursuing the dream”.

Jayne’s currently excited about a new film she worked on called “Devil’s Tower” which stars Jason Mewes (Jay from Jay & Silent Bob) which is set in the UK as well as heading out to LA at the start of October to support a short film called 'Cannibals and Carpet Fitters’ which will be screened in Hollywood!

Jayne says her influences range from Hollywood horrors like 'A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors', 'The Thing' and 'The People Under The Stairs' to British thrillers like 'Tyrannosaur', 'Twin Town' and 'Dead Man's Shoes' but in the end suggests that aspiring filmmakers and crew should just do it.

“If you're just starting out and don't have the funds, the concept will need to be one that can be realistically executed”, says Jayne, “But it's better to deliver a strong execution of a simple concept than to come up with a complex idea without the means and skills to deliver it.”

For more about Jayne Hyman and her work please visit her website http://www.jaynehyman.co.uk

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