Monday, November 7, 2011

THE DEAD WALK!: 2011 Amherst Zombie Walk

The 1st Lorain County Food Drive & Zombie Walk was held September 10th and I've been sitting on some fabulous photos of my volunteering with the event. This event was the first time this event was organized and there was some fear that the weather would keep people from turning out. I myself was a bit apprehensive about what to expect, but all of the organizers and fellow artists were top notch professionals, ready to flex their craft for the sake of a good cause. They had medical technicians on hand for blood donations and you could even sign up for organ donation.

I could never anticipate the amount of love and support that poured out from the community.All in all, there was 1,243 lbs of food donated and $1,336.25. The donations and funds total equalled over 8,000 lbs of food, making the 2011 Lorain County Food Drive and Zombie Walk the 3rd highest "One Day" food drive of 2011! It was great to volunteer my time for such a worthy cause.

Here's a letter thanking the volunteers for their efforts:

Many people showed up in their own costumes, flexing a variety of creativity when it comes to the Walking Dead. Door prizes and raffles were held and you could get your make-up done for only $5! This included airbrushing, latex appliances, straight make-up and all the fake blood you could drown yourself in.

Here's some photos of the event which represent a sliver of folks that turned out and the creativity that flowed like blood:

Here FX Artist Megan Milovich begins the process of deciding with her Zombie-to-be what style and colors she wants to accent her bloodied Prom Dress.

Here I did a quick Blistered-looking latex appliance to our ladies chest since she wanted her face to still remain somewhat recognizable. I used some light reds and soft purples to blend out what looked like a spreading virus. A little Romero-style black around the eyes and a bit of blood to top it all off.

This Bartender had to be able to move with the hordes inside at Church Street Bar, which helped sponsor the event. She wanted to look more like a survivor, so just some quick browns for "dirt" and some strategically placed blood to ensure the tips kept on rolling.

This lovely lady actually had this $200 dress for the sole purpose of covering in blood and gore. She wanted plenty of attention in the chair and that's what she got.

Here a latex appliance was placed on the shoulder to simulate a bite mark. I blackened in the grooves and gave ample bruising around the shoulder. I topped it with a tad bit of fake blood which helped my "maggots" - just uncooked instant rice - to our Zombie. This is a great little bit of texture that adds to the gross-out factor, which is what we're all after.

With her hair color, I knew that any blood on her face would immediately stand out, so I went a bit lighter than I normally would and tried to utilize the contours of her face instead.

This young lady was a champ to sit in the chair, but you could instantly recognize that the event or the people or whatever was making her a bit shy. Being an effective make-up artist is knowing that these are real people, not just a canvas that eats. Talk to them, joke with them, find out something about them. This will put you both at ease and help speed along the process.

She didn't really know what she wanted, but I could tell she wanted to dive into the fun in her own way. She definitely wanted something that would clean up quickly. We decided on using the blistered appliance piece (the same as the first lady) and adding it to her cheek. She wanted a cool, cold blue, which I thought worked quite nicely when the blood was added.

Some torn flesh (peeled latex) and she was good to go. Look out fellas, she's a man eater.

This gal here was one of my faves. Initially she wanted a huge appliance across her face. It was 4 scratched claw marks, but they were far too big for the face, instead being meant for the torso or back. But far be it for me to deny anyone a good time, so we compromised on 2 scratch marks and off to work I went.

I used deep reds and purples around the eyes to draw out that EVIL DEAD Deadite look. This would serve as a nice counterbalance to the blood and latex of the applied wound which turned out a lot like AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.

For this wound to work the two pieces had to line up just right, with one starting at her temple and going to the corner of her mouth and the other along her jawline, ending at her chin. Truth be told the weather was a serious factor as the humidity would change and the temperature would literally jump plus/minus 10 degrees, which is a big deal with trying to get latex to dry. Ideally I would've used a little Pros-Aide for the size and weight of the appliance, but the latex came together and it was all about painting in the wound, matching the skin tone and adding just the right amount of blood as to not distract from the effect.

Ultimately this was the longest effect I did the whole day, which took about 20-25 minutes total. I think the effect turned out great, she was happy with the compromise, especially since this still gave her enough movement to drink at the bar!

I seemed to get a lot of ladies in my chair this day and this one decided the 80s were the decade to be resurrected. She had bloodied her dress and left little flesh to really play with. As a matter of fact she just seemed kinda too cute to be a proper zombie. But I racked my brain and remembered that beauty can be scary and vice versa. Case in point: PROM NIGHT II: HELLO MARY LOU.

I went with a dark beige and brown to darken her temples and under her cheek bones. I went with a bright green cream base for eye shadow that really made the look pop, especially with just a trace amount of blood. She isn't oozing life, but she's definitely not alright. I particularly like the bit of blood behind her ear and down her neck, subtle yet effective.

Here's here look with a nice slash of  blood. My idea was she could play it as as slack jaw or a survivor. Who am I to pigeon hole anyone and their celebration of the walking dead? I think the combo of red and green against her black outfit make it really stand out. I think I even saw her back in line later on getting an appliance piece. Go big or go home, I guess.

At this point of the day I was starting to drag ass. We were cranking people in and out of our chairs as quickly as we could do them up. This really was a testament to the folks that volunteered their services. And just when the going got tough, Church Street came out with about 12 dozen different wings and cheese fries for all us hardworking folks. But now back to this reanimated corpse.

I decided I wanted to do something different from everything I had been doing. I wanted to make a red zombie, and I thought, "Why the hell not?" I proposed my idea to my man in the chair and he said as long as it was gnarly, go balls out.

I affixed the same bubbled up latex appliance from my first lady onto his forehead. I made sure he wrinkled his brow so I wasn't adhering it to any parts that would pull or tug away the piece.

My color palette for this was red, black and yellow. I wanted him to look like he walked out of a nuclear reactor. I used black to accent the eyes, red around that, black for shadow and yellow for highlights. I made sure to blend these colors to his ears and neck as well, which is always important in tricking the eye into believing any make-up illusion. I gave him some black dots and stipple as well to bring the colors closer together.

I strategically placed a fair amount of blood along the blisters and allowed it to flow safely down his face - away from his eyes. I blended my colors and he was definitely a stand out among the sea of green, blue, and dark purple zombies.

This little lady just wanted plain make-up. She had come with family and friends, but wanted something she could wash off in the bathroom at a moment's notice.

Her features reminded me of the little girl suffering in the basement from NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. I went strictly old school with black around the eyes, the forehead, temples and cheeks, and took what was left of my dwindling green make-up to the rest of her face.

She did want to be a little gory, but nothing that would drip or be too scary. Here a slight bash to the forehead and a fresh feeding make her super creepy, especially with that bow in her hair.

Now not everyone was tickled pink to be at the Zombie Walk. This lady was forced into my chair by her parents who had paid to support their community and publicly embarrass her. She was nice enough to sit, but made it positively clear not to get anything on her new shirt (who wears a new shirt to a Zombie Walk?) and that she didn't want to look all crazy, just cool.

I decided an appliance was probably the best bet for the both of us - affix it on, paint it up, and off ya go. We decided on a pock-marked latex piece.

Here I stuck to most pinks and lighter pinks, allowing for the blood I dabbed on to stand out on its own. I blended the pink into the rest of her face and it looked as if this infection was spreading.

The final look was pretty seamless, with her and her parents happy and me one step closer to actually being able to join in the festivities.

Here's our work station with plenty of make-up supplied by the Zombie Walk organizers. These guys & gals were definitely on top of their game. This is a table that I shared with THREE other artists (myself included). They were some rad fellows and I hope to cross paths with them again soon.

This man had never done make-up before, but by the end of the day he was whipping 'em up like Tom Savini Jr.

Here's the aftermath of the blood spraying area.

Being one of the artists entitled me to judge the entries of the folks that did their own make-up and entered for Best Costume.

This Woman took the crown, and dragged it all the way back to her crypt from the looks of her.

This fellow was a personal favorite taking the zombie motif into this weird Backwoods-Bubbles kinda look. He even had a military ammo box he carried with him which he placed a real car horn inside. If you weren't scared by his costume, he definitely got your attention with a thunderous blaring!

The Nun is always a Halloween favorite but the angle of the screwdriver is what threw me off my vote. Great effort, but I guess I just took too many geometry classes as a kid.

This fellow got the works the whole day over; airbrushing, make-up, appliances, blood. And hot damn if he didn't creep some folks out.

One of my particular favorites was this little tyke who truly made the Zombie Walk a family affair in my opinion. The whole community came out in support of raising money and awareness for those that go without food and doing it in one of the most fun & creative ways I could possibly think of doing. 

Many thanks go to Tracee Wesolowski for organizing the event and  this especially couldn't have been accomplished without all the tremendous support from sponsors and vendors alike.  

Click here for more info about Second Harvest Food Bank.

Be sure to check out more photos from the 2011 Zombie Walk FaceBook Page

I hope I'm invited back next year and I hope to see you there too!

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