Thursday, May 24, 2012

Rick Baker...Makeup Wizard...

Rick Baker did the makeup for Vincent's role as 'Edgar' in 'Men In Black'

Legendary Creature Creator Rick Baker Talks Aliens and Men in Black 3
By Tim Newcomb | @tdnewcomb |

What excited you about Men in Black 3?

The whole time travel element in the movie. We go back to Men in Black headquarters in 1969. I was born in 1950 and watched science fiction and horror movies on TV and was always really fascinated by them. I always wanted to make aliens that looked like ’60s aliens. I wanted the ’69 aliens in the film to have fishbowl space helmets, bug eyes and fish brains. It was really exciting to make both contemporary and retro aliens. That is the great thing about Men in Black movies—I get to do a little bit of what I do in different films all rolled into one.

How have the MIB creatures evolved since the first movie?

The hard thing is to come up with something audiences haven’t seen before. In Star Wars we made the cantina scene. Then every space movie after Stars Wars had a cantina scene. For the first MIB movie, I came up with retro aliens, but they didn’t go for it. At the time, none of us knew what Men in Black was—what the tone of the movie was. It wasn’t until three-fourths of the way through we realized what we were making. The designs still evolve, and we’ve revisited some of the aliens we’ve made. The worm guys are back and a few others that were in Men in Black II.

How many different creatures did you make?

We made 127 different aliens for Men in Black 3. We started a number of aliens for scenes that they decided not to film, so you see three-fourths of the ones we made in the movie. Some you don’t see at all, which is fairly common in movie making. It is an ever-mutating beast.

Who gives input on the creatures?

I do have a team of great creative people working for me. I have fun doing the design, so I do as much of it as I can. Barry [Sonnenfeld, the director] and Walter [Parkes, the producer] have input and help refine the designs. But it slows things down so eventually I have to lock Barry in the studio and not let him go until we have a decision.

Where do you get your inspiration and does it ever scare you?

My own creatures don’t scare me (laughs). I get inspirations from everyone. A lot from films I grew up with, the retro stuff. I look at bugs, birds, mammals, sea creatures, rocks and strange-looking people. I’m always looking and filing stuff away. On the first film, Barry said you can walk through the streets of New York, looking at people, and say, ‘alien… alien….’ You can spot them. How do you use color? We always play with color, but in this film especially, I wanted the retro aliens to be nice fun, bright colors. Bright greens, bright oranges. One thing about aliens, you do what you want.

How have you embraced new technology?

I have always tried to stay current. I used to design with pencil and paper or brush and paint. In the early ’80s I started designing on a computer with Photoshop 1.0 and loved it—unless I forgot to save it and it crashed. Then came digital modeling. I can give data to Ken Ralston at Sony Digital Imageworks and have a model made with a 3D printer. You can make a real-world version and they both match. I normally build too much on an alien. I learned from the last two movies that many of them are just seen in the far background. I said to Ken, ‘How about most of these things we don’t bother with mechanics, just make them cool looking? If we need an eye blink, do a digital eye blink.’

How many different mediums did you use?

It’s crazy how much we use. We’ll still use foam latex, which used to be state of the art. We use a lot of silicon because of its translucently. We use plastics, acrylics, metals, cotton and latex. We use strange things like a plastic tubing that we buy at a hardware store—you can heat it up with heat gun and stretch it into veiny ‘tentrically’ things.

Do you start with a human as the base of your creations, then design from there?

Sometimes we think of a creature like a person in a suit, but then you have limitations of two eyes and two legs—they have to see and breathe. I got more into puppetry because it offered more possibilities. I could make eyes wider and the creatures don’t have to have two arms and two legs. Digitally you can do pretty much anything. It’s an ongoing conversation between Barry and myself. Barry says, ‘Make it look like a sea creature without looking like a sea creature,” and then says ‘I don’t know where to look, it has no eyes.’ So a lot of the aliens still have eyes and a mouth.

What was most fun about working on MIB3?

What I really like about the Men in Black films is that Barry considers me a collaborator. I’ve been able to change the course of Men in Black films. Sometimes characters in the script were not as cool as I wanted them to be. I had a lot of questions about the Boris character that Jemaine [Clement] plays, the main villain. So I did a bunch of artwork of what he should be and why. Boris has these goggles shoved into his skull and I thought it would be really cool if we never saw his eyes—just two black holes—and you could never tell where he was looking. I knew the studio would want to see eyes. I knew the actor, he wasn’t cast at the time, would want his eyes to be seen. But I thought it would be cool to never know what was inside there. It was a real battle, but I ended up winning and made him a character.

How do you choose the movies you work on?

Now that I’m older, I try and be more selective. I took a couple of years off and had a sabbatical and reevaluated. Now I only want to work on movies I want to work on. It has to be interesting since it’s such a commitment day and night. It’s exhausting. I don’t know how many I have left in me, so I’m making sure I am doing ones I want. When Barry first emailed me about this, he said ‘I can’t imagine doing this movie without you. Please come out of retirement.’ First off, I’m not retired. And you don’t have to beg me.

Tell us about your next project.

I was actually in the middle of working on a book about my career and was going to finish that before I considered doing another movie. But Angelina Jolie actually requested me for Maleficent. That is hard to turn down. I usually get short, fat people. She’s pretty. I can stop my book for a while. I can’t say too much, but she plays Maleficent, the villain in the Sleeping Beauty story and I am doing her makeup.

Above are photos leaked to the internet in what is believed to be Jemaine Clement's character in 'MIB3'.  Early reactions to the films reviewed by critics has been lukewarm for this character as compared to Vincent's character of 'Edgar' in the first 'MIB'.  I would offer that sometimes it's more than the makeup in developing a character  because we remember the research and ingenuity Vincent used for his.  'MIB3' opens tomorrow night in theatres.

Vincent D'Onofrio Presents Award In The Rose Garden At The White House

Copley trustees accept safety vests donation for fire department

5/24/2012 - West Side Leader
By Emily Chesnic

Officer Ben Campbell receives national TOP COPS Award

Copley officials said they hope the township is never faced with another mass shooting, but regardless, they continue to prepare for an incident similar to that of Aug. 7, 2011, when a lone gunman shot eight people, killing seven, at homes on Goodenough Avenue and Schocalog Road.

At the May 16 Copley Board of Trustees meeting, trustees accepted a donation of 13 Pro-Tech body armor vests for the fire department from the Copley Fire and Rescue Association. One of the vests was on display at the meeting.

“We thought it was a good idea to have the vests after the Aug. 7 shooting,” said Fire Chief Michael Benson.

If department personnel know they are responding to a violent or potentially violent scene, they will wear the vests, he explained.

Benson said the vests, which the police department currently uses, will handle bullets and edged weapons.

The total amount of the donation is about $5,341, he said.

During the meeting, Police Chief Michael Mier also discussed this past summer’s shooting with the board.

Mier said he was in Washington, D.C., May 12 to see Officer Ben Campbell receive the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) TOP COPS 2012 award.

Campbell was the first officer on the scene when residents started notifying police that a gunman was running around their neighborhood, he said. Without waiting for backup, he took off on foot after the shooter and followed the sound of more gunshots. According to the NAPO, the suspect stepped out from behind a house and pointed an automatic pistol directly at Campbell. He commanded the shooter to drop his weapon, and when the man refused, Campbell had no choice but to shoot and kill the suspect, the NAPO reported.

The investigation found more than 200 rounds of ammunition in the suspect’s car, and other information indicated he was planning to drive to his girlfriend’s family reunion, where he could have murdered many more people, according to the NAPO.

Campbell’s performance that day earned him the honor that only was bestowed on 33 other individuals this year, Mier said.

“He was the only one from Ohio to receive the award and was able to go inside the White House to meet President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden,” he said.

According to Mier, Broadway star and “Law and Order” actor Vincent D’Onofrio presented Campbell with the award during a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House.

“Every morning, our law enforcement officers — like Officer Campbell — suit up and head off to work, unaware of what that day might bring. They put their lives on the line to address robberies, patrol dangerous neighborhoods and investigate violent crimes. They do so because of a strong commitment to their communities, and it is clear that Officer Campbell is truly dedicated to the Copley community,” said U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) in a press release. “Officer Campbell’s quick thinking and sharp instincts helped stop a killer and saved the lives of countless Ohioans. I am proud to hear of his recognition from the NAPO and the White House.”

Trustee Helen Humphrys said other Copley safety forces members received honors recently for their actions Aug. 7, 2011, as well, and soon the board will honor all of the award recipients during an upcoming regular meeting.

She additionally applauded Copley EMS workers for saving the lives of one of the shooting victims.

“We are just so proud of them all,” Humphrys said.

Video: Vincent D'Onofrio accepting birthday cards in Utah

Chris giving collected birthday cards to Vincent whose birthday is on June 30TH... CAROL DOCHERTY YOUTUBE