Prosthetics: The use of form-changing materials, applied, blended, and colored on a performer's skin. Can be foam latex, rubber, plastic, gelatine, or other materials.

In the medical field, "prosthetics" refers to synthetic replacements or enhancements for defective body parts. The talents of sculpting, moldmaking, laboratory work, painting, and hair application come into play when creating prosthetic appliances to create a character. First, a mold is made of the performer's face or appropriate body part. Then, a rigid duplicate, usually made out of plaster, is cast from this mold. The sculpture is done in a non-drying oil-based clay, so that it can be worked over a number of days and blended thin without cracking. A second mold is made of the sculpture. The clay is then thrown away, and the void between the mold filled with your favorite "fake skin": foam latex, gelatine, silicone, etc.

The resulting piece is called an "appliance." The appliance is sometimes prepainted, then glued to the actor's face with medical adhesives. All exposed edges are blended imperceptibly onto the actor's own skin, taking care to match skin textures. More color is usually applied and, if hair is to be added, it is laid on and a final touch-ups made. Some complex prosthetic makeups can take up to 6 hours or more to apply!

Need to turn someone into an ape, a ghoul, or an abominable snowman? Call TCS; we'll bring out the beast in anybody!

Select any photo to view a larger version.

2 kb (Full size 18 kb) Actor Carl Struyken ("Lurch" from "The Addams Family" movie) in a three-piece foam latex appliance with punched hair in pieces, also lace hair pieces. Colored with PAX paints. For CBS' Journey to the Center of the Earth remake.

2 kb (Full size 7 kb) A face cast, sculpture, and screen capture of a "Planet of the Apes" homage as seen in the feature film Spaceballs. A one piece appliance, created and worn by Rick Lazzarini (who also played "Pizza the Hutt" in the same film!)

2 kb (Full size 5 kb) Actor Emilio Estevez in an old-age makeup test for Young Guns II. On the strength of this test, the prosthetic approach to an aged Billy the Kid was chosen over using an aged actor.
Makeup created and applied by David Anderson and Rick Lazzarini.

3 kb (Full size 12 kb) Mischievous gnomes who steal golf balls for a Japanese golf association spot. The happy gnome on the right is played by female actor Debbie Carrington, best known for her mini-prostitute role in Total Recall. Multi-piece prosthetics, hair, and custom costume were created by TCS as well.

3 kb (Full size 16 kb) TCS created 13 Albert Einstein makeups for this Olympic Stain commercial. It took only three weeks to create all the prosthetics and hair pieces (and a team of twenty makeup and hair artists on the shoot!)

2 kb (Full size 5 kb) Funny, but Robert De Niro just couldn't seem to find the time to slip back into makeup for the CD-ROM version of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. So we created a look-alike makeup that was put on a look-alike actor. Here's a test of the 4-piece appliance.

3 kb (Full size 15 kb) Makeup tests for Disney TV's remake of The Shaggy Dog. (Hey now, the transformation was supposed to be a throwback to the original film!) Hand-laid hair, foam latex prosthetics, false teeth and hair pieces made from Icelandic sheep wool!


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