Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Birth of a Goblin

Shiloh and I need a dead goblin.

We wrote it there in the script, and in order for this short to work, it's got to look good.

Thank God for Rob Prior.

Rob is a great artist, a comic book legend, and a good friend.

We got together with him with a list of the various art elements we'll need. But mostly we were there to talk about the goblin. Over bagels and coffee, right onto the list, he sketched this:

A perfect little, beady-eyed goblin.
Now we just needed him dead, lying on the ground, with a giant cut in his head.

And a few days later, Rob sent us this:

For me, this is the best part of being a writer-director: when you have an abstract idea for something, and you get to watch it become a reality in the hands of someone so talented.

I had an interesting moment when I was getting my head cast for some make-up effects on Borderland. They were coating my entire head with that white, gooey crap, and for some reason, rather than being claustrophobic or uncomfortable - I was downright giddy. Then it occurred to me why: there was a whole segment in The Making of Thriller where they do this to Michael Jackson.

When Shiloh and I were kids, we watched The Making Of more than we watched the actual music video. So in a weird way, by getting my head cast, I was living out a Behind the Scenes childhood dream.

I love all practical FX. Blood, guts, fake limbs, prosthetic ear pieces. You name it (which is probably why I've done so many horror movies). Artistically, this is a world I myself am terrible at - I can't draw, sculpt or paint to save my life - but I love being around it.

In order to make our goblin come alive, we'd have to take Rob's sketch and make a sculpture that could be cast.

So we got the stuff Rob needed and went to his house. Here's a video of him making our little goblin we came to name, Nigel.

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