David Leroy Anderson was the Department Head for this show, responsible for the character design and fabrication through his company AFX Studios, as well as the on set work. Brian was hired by David to be a part of the fabrication team in the shop doing lab work and some sculpting. Brian was later asked to be a part of the on set team.
David Anderson, with Mary Mastro came up with the initial makeup and hair design for Benedict Cumberbatch to play Khan. This was near the end of my time of the fabrication build at AFX, and David asked if I would be interested in doing Benedict’s makeup. Much of my career has been specialty makeup, so doing a “character straight makeup” would be a new challenge. There were a lot of subtle color and design aspects to his makeup that I had never done before. This was such a great learning opportunity, and I am grateful to this day that David offered it to me.
My partner in crime for the duration of the shoot was Janine Thompson who did Benedicts hair.
These aliens were designed by David Leroy Anderson. The director, JJ Abrams was looking for something very specific for these full body, clay crackled and aged look but not looking like crackled clay. David and Jamie Kelman ended up doing hours of R&D and multiple tests. I was teamed with Eryn Krueger Mekash for our “adult” alien, and we each got a “child” alien.
“Hollywood Glamorous Moment”
The “White Aliens” in the opening scenes of the film were quite an ordeal to achieve.
I mentioned earlier about arduous R&D time that David and Jamie went through. But it didn’t end there. The on set AFX team were responsible to supply up to 12 adult, and 2 child aliens, to create a tribe.
The team that David Anderson put together was a great mix of new guard and old timers. These makeups would take 6 to 8 hours to complete. So for the tribe to be on set at 8am to be ready to shoot, we had to start “our” work at midnight. MIDNIGHT!!!! Such is our life, our world … our job.
These makeups were a combo of heaps of latex, clay and more of the same. Because of the “heat wicking” nature of the clay within the mix production needed to set up an enclosed room for us to apply the makeups, and brought in a ton of room heaters. It must have reached up to 100 degrees in the room. I would look around, the artists were all dressed in shorts and tank tops, sweating our asses off, and the performers were wearing short shorts shivering cold.