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Interview: Special Effect Artist: Christopher Nelson (Halloween (2018)

I had the honor of speaking with one of the most talented human beings ever. Christopher Nelson. Christopher was the makeup effects designer and helped create Michael Myers new mask in “Halloween” (2018) – “Halloween” (2018) was released in theaters last year in October. The horror world saw a slightly more brutal and intense Michael Myers.

We were also lucky to see the legendary Nick Castle wearing Christopher’s mask and also our newly talented and equally terrifying James Jude Courtney.

Christopher is a legend among legends in the special effects and makeup world. This man has worked on everything from “Kill Bill” to “Sin City”, “Captain Marvel”, “American Horror Story”, “True Blood”, “Masters of Horror”, “Constantine” and so many more films. His work is awe-inspiring. Christopher is an Academy Award winner and a two time Emmy winner. We talked “Halloween” (2018) and so much more for Horrornews.net

(I was on the road – not driving. But, it was beyond an honor to talk with this man. He is so enthusiastic and so kind. He has a genuine love for films and what he does. It comes through completely speaking with him.)

HALLOWEEN WILL BE AVAILABLE ON 4K ULTRA HD, BLU-RAY, AND DVD NEXT WEEK ON JANUARY 15TH! BRING MICHAEL MYERS HOME.

Chris- Hello

Hi Chris, How are you?

Chris- Hi Janel! How are you?

I am doing good. Thank you. I saw “Halloween” (2018) in the theater and it was incredible.

Chris- Oh good, I am glad you liked it.

 I think this mask is my favorite since the 1978 mask from “Halloween” (1978) how did you come up with the idea for this mask and what was the process?

Chris- The idea was just, again to give the fans what they want and me being a huge, huge “Halloween” fan and most of my friends being huge “Halloween” fans. That was the goal to get as close as we can to get as close as we can to the original Michael Myers which is virtually impossible. But we tried to get close and that was the goal. I just wanted to see that character up onscreen again doing what he does best and that is how we approached it. We tried to get close to the same kind of look, the feeling and that mask that you project what you want to see onto it but then yet again creating a character that lives within the context of a forty year old story. We wanted to give it some age without going too far and taking away of what we all know and love and want to see. That was the goal.

Chris, what did you think when you saw Nick Castle wearing the mask again and our very talented new Michael Myers, James Jude Courtney?

Chris- Oh well I got goosebumps both times.

Me too!!!

Chris – Meeting Nick Castle is just a huge thrill and we hit it off and talked, laughed and it was great. Trying the mask on him made me so nervous. It gave me butterflies, it gave me goosebumps. I remember the first time we did a mask fitting with James and David Gordon Green and everybody and he put it on and we all just kind of got goosebumps. The jump suit and the mask… I am pretty sure I welled up and got tears in my eyes because I am a huge nerd for this. It was just such a thrill and so surreal and couldn’t believe it was happening. Also incredibly nervous, hoping that we got it right or at least close to getting it right. We wanted to make Blumhouse happy, everybody Universal, and everybody on-set. We wanted everyone to get behind it. Know that we were on the right track.

I had goosebumps just watching the trailer and then actually seeing Nick Castle wear the mask again in the theater… He is wear the mask you created. There are truly no words and James did such an amazing job but you working with Nick was legendary. It felt like this Halloween holiday truly belonged to the fans because we got to experience “Halloween” in theaters.

Chris- I agree. “Halloween” did belong to the fans and also generational. I feel like it crossed generations. People that grew up on it and their children and even grandchildren. It felt like it really became a generational passion and love that brought people together and brought happiness to a lot of people. That is the biggest thrill I took away from this.

I was reading a few of the articles and some of the things John Carpenter had to say. Did you get to talk with him about the process of the mask or did he kind of let you do what you do?

Chris- John, I talked to him a little bit. I’ve worked with John in the past on a couple projects. He is such a great, cool legend. He was on-set a couple of days. I talked to him a little bit. He let us do what we do. It was mostly the direction came from David Gordon Green and Danny McBride and Blumhouse. It was great and it was a thrill to have John, Nick Castle, Jamie Lee Curtis and the mask. It was just so thrilling and so surreal and dreamlike. I didn’t know if I was dreaming or not? John was complimentary about the mask and about everything. It was great.

What did you think when Jamie Lee Curtis first saw the mask in the movie? What type of feelings did you experience?

Chris- It was great and I don’t know. It is hard to describe. There are not a lot of words for it. It was thrilling and the filmmaking process doesn’t play out in reality the way it does onscreen. But that being said when you are shooting it you think about the context the way this is going to play out in the movie. You get excited and you can’t wait to see how it’s going to end up. Then when I saw how that scene ended up, it was just great, it played out exactly the way I wanted it to.

This mask has been a favorite of the fans and one of my favorite mask as I said since the 1978 “Halloween.”

Chris- Thank you.

So many of the fans have gotten the mask or are paying tribute to the mask. How does that feel to see people of all generations, all ages wearing the mask you created and what would you like to say to the fans?

Chris- Wow, It’s an emotional thing. I love it if people like it. I said everyday still I wonder did we pull it off. Did we give the fans what they wanted? Do they really love it? You know there are all those insecurities that flow through your mind as an artist. Did we really pull it off? I hope that we did. I think we did the best we could. I can’t take all the credit for it. I had an amazing team of artists that helped me get to where that mask is. I think collectively we’re all very happy the way it turned out and if the fans love it, then mission accomplished and that is why we do what we do.

When we started getting feedback about it when the movie came out, the good feedback, I ignored the bad feedback. But, when we started getting feedback about it and people really liked it, you get very emotional about it because ultimately the reason we do what we do is to bring people happiness and hopefully that transcends time and if that is what is happening then I’m thrilled and I just want to tell the fans thank you for embracing it and accepting all the passion that we put into.

I think you did such an amazing job. Do you have a favorite project since you have done so much or do they all mean something different to you?

Chris- They definitely all mean something different. They all have their place in my heart and in my artistic mind. They are all very different. Do I have my favorite? Sure…. But, I don’t want to point any of them out but “Halloween” is definitely at the top of my career. I’ve been really fortunate to work on some really amazing projects and really lucky and I don’t take that for granted and I never will. I’ve accomplished more than I ever thought I would going into this business. I hope I can continue to work on really cool stuff because first and foremost I am just a really huge fan of film period and I hope that I can continue to do so.

If they do a sequel to “Halloween” (2018) will you be involved or are you working on a different project?

Chris- I am starting a different project right now that will take me through most of this year I think? If they do a second one, oh god I would love to do it. I’m there a hundred percent if they’ll have me. You never know how things go. I am hoping that if they do another one that my phone will ring and they’ll have me because I will give the same passion and a hundred and ten percent that I did on this one for sure.

I hope you get to do it again. You rocked the mask.

Chris- Thank you

My mom is here with me and she is usually right and she says she knows you will do it again.

Chris (laughter) Thanks Mom! I appreciate it.

It has been such an honor to talk with you. You are amazingly talented. This mask was so thrilling and seeing Nick Castle wear the mask again. There are no words. Leaving the theater, we all checked the backseats of our cars. This will be forever!!! I cannot even tell you. I might have been in tears.

Chris- (laughter) that’s awesome. Thank you. The honor is all mine.

You took Michael Myers to the next level.

Chris- It is a lot of people involved. James gets a lot of credit. Nick, David Gordon Green gets a lot of that credit. I cannot take all of the credit. It is collaborative but thank you. I am so thrilled to hear that.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me for Horrornews.net

Chris- Thank you.

www.imdb.com/title/tt1502407/?ref_=nm_flmg_mkp_7

www.imdb.com/name/nm0625247/

www.trickortreatstudios.com/chris-nelson

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