View Full Version : Mask or Makeup?

08-20-2009, 04:17 PM
My new short will include a dream sequence. Now keep in mind this will be an atmospheric horror film, so I want it a bit crazy since it will be in a dream, but it also needs to be a bit creepy. I am unsure on whether or not I should purchase a mask or use makeup on my actor. Some benefits of masks are the craziness that you can find, but also none of them look realistic at all. If I go that mask route, I would have to make it work by making it obvious that person is wearing a mask instead of hiding that fact and trying to fool the audience into believing the mask is actually part of that person. Now the actor will have no lines who is wearing this mask/makeup. Monsters or villains are much creepier when they don't talk. I would think this factor would work in the masks favor. Or the makeup route which will look real. Of course I can't think of any makeup to put on my actor that will be crazy enough to be dream worthy while also being creepy. This is an extremely low budget production, around $200-300, so I don't have professional grade stuff. Any suggestions?

08-20-2009, 05:10 PM
Well it's difficult to give very detailed advice without more information on the character. Do you have any concept images?
If you buy a mask thats someone else's design and not unique and as you said won't look real.
You should look up tips on prosthic make up. Normally it invloves layering latex on the face. Using clay you can make a model of what you want the moster's face to look like. Then if you can put it in plaster to make a mould. Using that you can pour in latex to make up the face elements.
You can apply this with laxtex make up glue.

Look up Tom Savini, he's the master of prosthetic make up effects.

Alcove Audio
08-20-2009, 09:17 PM
Not that I know anything about it - I'm an audio guy - half mask, half makeup could be creepier, or even morphing from one to the other might heighten the unreality.

08-20-2009, 09:22 PM
An unpainted mask would be creepy:

Uranium City
08-20-2009, 09:24 PM
The secret to great dream sequences is how they are shot. Dreams aren't anything like reality, even "realistic" ones. I agree with both, and sell it by the way you shoot it. If the audience wonders if it was a mask or makeup or both or neither, you haven't shot it correctly!

08-20-2009, 09:32 PM
Things change for no reason in dreams, you could alter the face with each take.

08-20-2009, 10:28 PM
Well the thing is, I don't want the audience to know its a dream right away. There will be some very strange things happening, but nothing that will make you say oh this is a dream. So while I plan on shooting it differently, I by no means want to give away the fact that this is a dream right away.

08-27-2009, 04:49 PM
An unpainted mask would be creepy:

My film has a ritual sacrifice scene in it, all the participants are dressed the same, women are unmasked, but the men have on a female version of that mask. Very creepy.