Chris Bridges is currently working on “Star Trek: Discovery.” He is doing the special makeup effects. He worked as the prosthetics designer on the new Eli Roth produced film, HAUNT, written and directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods. Chris took time do an interview with Horrornews.net
Hi Chris, Thank you for taking the time to do this interview for Horrornews.net
Chris- Hi Janel, my pleasure.
Please tell us how you got involved with the movie “Haunt?”
Chris- At the time I was on Star Trek Discovery with Hugo (Villasenor) and season one was just wrapping up. Hugo got a call from one of the Haunt producers, Jon Wagner, who he had worked with in the past. Hugo chats a bit, come over and says, Chris, wanna do this movie? I reply, let’s do it! It all happened very fast! Lol
What is the most challenging aspect of doing the prosthetics?
Chris- There were a couple challenges with the Haunt prosthetics. Of course we had a set budget to design and build the monster prosthetics. Also, my studio was based in Toronto and Hugo’s studio was in LA which meant we had to split up the characters and work on them separately and that was challenging. Hugo and I spent a lot of time on the phone bouncing designs off each other. I also worried about getting feedback in a timely fashion, but Scott, Bryan and the producers were fast to get back to us and always accessible which made the everything super easy. In retrospect it went pretty smoothly.
The Devil’s mask is incredible alone. Take off the mask and WOW! That was crazy. Who came up with that and how did you decide that would be the look?
Chris- I designed the Devil prosthetic and I thought Damian Maffei did an amazing job bringing the character to life. Scott and Bryan set the parameters early on with what they wanted for the killer’s looks which helped a lot. Plus, it’s kind of daunting to think, ok – let’s come up with a fresh look that’s fierce and holds up. Body modification was the driving theme and so we did a lot of research on surgical modifications and how we might alter the human face. The design evolved quite a bit but I really like where it landed. Originally the design had the Devils face tattooed red. I remember the first day Hugo and I were doing the makeup. We applied the prosthetics and Hugo stops and says “I think I like it without the red”. We took Damian out to show the guys and that was the consensus. We just finished the tattoos and all were happy.
What was is like to see the actors in the prosthetics in the finish product?
Chris- It’s so rewarding to see the final effect. Much of the process has you looking at a mold, a hard cold form of an actor’s face. As you sculpt you try to visualize the final product, its form and its movement, you really try to do your best to make it work. When the day comes to glue on the prosthetic and see how the actor changes into character, you know you’ve done your job right. I’ll never get tired of experiencing that.
Do you have a favorite project that you worked on, or do they all kind of mean something different to you?
Chris- My favourite projects are those that I have a familiarity with. I was a fan on the 300 graphic novel for years before working on the film that was so much fun. Also being a fan of George Romero and then doing Diary of the dead was thrilling for me. I think the winner has to be working on Star Trek. I’m a lifelong fan of Trek and often have to give my head a shake when I walk onto the bridge of a Starship. Another highlight of course was making up Spock for Discovery.
Why did you decide to get into special effects?
Chris- I’m not sure I ever decided to get into effects. It’s a trajectory it seems I’ve always been on. From a very early age I was creative, making masks in school, building costumes. I even did my first blood rig for a high school play. They say when you ride a bike you move in the direction you focus on, I grew up watching movies so that must have been what happened. Movies like Star Wars, the Thing, Nightmare on Elm Street, American Werewolf in London and so many others inspired me, if I wasn’t doing this I really don’t know what I would be doing.
What are you working on next?
Chris- Currently I’m working on the third season of Star Trek Discovery. I’m also doing the prosthetics for the Titans TV series. That will put me into next year and then who know what might come my way.
What was it like working with Scott Beck and Bryan Woods?
Chris- Oh man, they were great to work with. They were very supportive during the design phase and super excited about the makeups during the shoot. For myself, I want the makeups to be the last thing a director worries about, and that clears the way for a fun atmosphere which is what we got with Scott and Bryan. Their heart and soul was in this film and that made you want to put your heart and soul in as well.
Did you and Hugo collaborate on anything specific that you can talk about in “Haunt?”
Chris- I can say everything Hugo and I did was a collaboration. Even though Hugo and myself divided up the work load we each brought something to the table that complimented the others work. I think that teamwork showed in the final product.
Did you get to see the film and did you see how menacing and incredible Damian Maffei looked in his full-on DEVIL outfit and mask?
Chris- No I haven’t been able to see it yet but I’m very excited to. I’m hoping there’s a theatre release here in Toronto.
What do you want to say to the audiences that will watching “Haunt?”
Chris- Well, just that I hope everyone enjoys the film as much as we did working on it.
I thank you so much Chris for taking the time to do this interview.
Chris- Thank you, it was a pleasure.