The Scarehouse, a new movie you have worked on - first of
all what is it about?
Well, it's about two sorority sisters plotting and executing their
revenge on their former sisters in a haunted house. It's sick and twisted
in a really awesome women revenge type of way.
How did you
get involved with the project, actually?
I've known the
director Gavin Michael Booth [Gavin
Michael Booth interview - click here]
for quite some time now. We first worked together just when I had started
off in my makeup career. I was 18 and it was 2010. I worked on two of
Gavin's music videos (one specifically for SPFX makeup) that spring and summer and we've stayed friends ever since. I had heard of the project
from other people in the industry in Windsor after moving home from
Toronto and then got in touch with Gavin only to find out he hadn't put
together a makeup team just yet. I basically stood there with a big sign
saying “Pick me! Pick me!” We talked and then I got Taylor Vigneux on board
and we started production I think like 10 days later.
of your favourite effects in the film, and how were they achieved?
Hmmmm … Well I love them all, but my one of my favourites was the rib
being broken and pulled out of the Emily's dead body by Shelby. There was
so much gelatin involved because I really wanted Teagan Vincze's (Shelby) [Teagan
Vincze interview - click here]
reactions to be authentic as though she was actually putting her hands
into a dead body's open wound. It was very squishy and very bloody which
I'm sure she very much appreciated.
Another one of my favourites which is just so simple, but highly
effective (and hilarious) is the blood on Corey's hands. She just never
even cares to wipe them off throughout the whole story, so they just stay
bloody and dry. It was so funny each day for continuity doing the blood on
her hands. By day 10 she had it down pat. Even how we got the marks to
look the exact same each time. Never underestimate a bloody thumb print.
There was also that one time I had to make a fake breast in less than 5
minutes … we were also in the basement of the building with the makeup
room on the very top floor. I don't think I've moved that fast in my life.
I also just went into the makeup room looked around and thought to myself
hm... what could act as a fake breast? I opted for gelatin and ceiling wrap
from the kitchen which was next to us. Hurried, back downstairs and Gavin
looks at me, looks at the breast and says “Looks like a fake breast to
me.” I then bloodied the hell out of it and it worked fantastic.
can you tell us about your director Gavin Michael Booth [Gavin
Michael Booth interview - click here], what was your collaboration like, and how much
freedom did he give you when creating your effects?
Taylor Vigneux and Carly touching up the
Gavin is such a pleasure to work with. He and Sarah [Sarah
Booth interview - click here] both were just
awesome collaborators as writers and director. I really had an
understanding for the characters and how far they were going to go with
each killing, so the effects were easy to do and to kind of go over the
top with them. I didn't just want it to be another cheesy horror film.
Taylor and I wanted it to look so real that the audience would never
question it being fake. Gavin really let us take it there too, he never
questioned us or told us no. He trusted us. Sometimes I look back and
think “wow I'm sick” (ie. bone being ripped out of body), but then
just laugh because it's like as much as all that grosses me out a lot, I
love replicating it and making up my own scenarios.
Another great part of a collaboration was with Taylor Vigneux. She is so
talented at making things look so gross and real. Her special effects work
is fantastic. One of the biggest compliments we keep getting is that the
blood looked so “real”. She is partially to blame for that. I remember
making the blood and her telling me her SPFX secret on how you really get
it to look real. That trick helped make a lot of the film look authentic.
far as I know, The Scarehouse
gets quite violent at times - so was
there ever a line you refused to or weren't allowed to cross (for other than
Honestly? No. We went there. I went there. I'm just gonna throw this
out there … I get sick from horror films. The Saw movies? Ya,
me years after they were made to watch them. I literally had to force
myself to go out and buy them and then sit there and watch them. I watched
the first four in one night. I can't handle the sadistic plots and blood
together, but I like SPFX makeup.
Weird that I worked on this film …
I never really put the sadistic part and then actually killing (SPFX
part) together, so I was able to push the limits on some things. It was
just work for me, part of the job. The rib breaking and tearing out scene?
I was all for making it more gross and more bloody. I did it as close to
the real thing I think possible. I even used a real pig bone, that I
boiled three times over, then bleached two times and then once overnight,
painted it with nail polish (bone colour on point), and then cut it to
look as though the break was the most real it could be. I remember
standing at my Father's work bench with a hammer and knife making the ends
serrated just as the break would have happened. PROPS 101.
There were never any lines to cross really. Each killing was plotted
out so well that the makeup enhanced it and put it all together. I never
really felt that any of it was going too far … we let the writing and
acting do that part.
What can you tell us about the shoot
as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
Well, every indie film has it's stories. This film? Has about one for
each shooting hour. I really enjoyed the shoot and the people that were
all part of the project. On one of the main floors of the building where
each department's gear was being held the crew made fun with it. We had
Propville, Grip Land, Spark City, and Pretty County (the key grip made us
a nice work bench for a satellite makeup area because our room was on the
top floor), which was so kind. The hours were long and we worked our asses
off. There were some moments of tension, but there were so many other
moments of laughter that completely override everything else. My favourite
parts of being on-set included: black licorice and Red Bulls … how else
do you expect me to make it through the night? (Don't ask how many times I
ate licorice with bloody hands).
This shoot tested me like no other. Being in a key position there is a
lot you have to handle and it taught me a lot about the management of the
makeup room and people. We had a couple big things happen that totally
threw me for a loop, but I am always one to say “don't come to me with a
problem, come to me with a solution”, and solutions are what I did. We had
a pretty major hiccup in the makeup department for one of the scenes that
we contracted out the SPFX for. It was a bigger prosthetic piece that
Taylor and I, in the time frame of pre-production to shooting, didn't have
time to handle ourselves. What we thought was going to be a breezy and
easy three days turned into the exactly opposite. It really put us on the
spot and with our team work together and with the talent behind both of
our hands and brains we really held it together. The final product of that
particular scene (a.k.a the boob scene) really came out quite great
considering what the conditions we had to do it under were.
At the end of the day Taylor, who is my partner in crime, was fantastic
to have as my partner on the SPFX makeup. Along with the many other
volunteers we had come out and help in the makeup room, the team did an
amazing job. I appreciate everyone so much.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
Vigneux and I just recently wrapped up another feature shot in Windsor called
The Performance. I am continually working on commercial work, music videos,
couture and fashion photography, and other creative projects. I also am an
entrepreneur and have a couple business adventures on the go. This past
Summer I launched a second product line of makeup called ESVIE. You can
check us out at esviecosmetics.com
and on social media @esviecosmetics. You actually will see the You Makeup
Kits (our first product line) in the flashback scenes in the movies as
got you into makeup and subsequently special effects makeup in the first
place, and what can you tell us about your education on the subject?
was always a creative child. I loved creating. Painting, drawing,
colouring, sculpting, etc. were always things I loved doing, so it makes
sense that makeup ended up being a creative outlet for me. I didn't gain
interest in the subject until senior year of high school. The summer after
I graduated I became obsessed, watching the now YouTube gurus start their
channels. I was one of the earliest fans of people like Michelle Phan.
Traditionally I went to study at the University of Windsor where I
immediately knew it wasn't for me. I then talked my parents into letting
me take a makeup course at night at the local college St. Clair. From
there it all sort of just fell into place. I was 18 and I started working
on short films and music videos (one for Gavin) doing SPFX makeup that I
self taught. I kept googling how to do everything and one day came across
a school called Complections International Makeup Academy. I looked that
school over and over for about an entire year before making the commitment
to go. This was also after a makeup certification, a diploma in Esthetics,
a year of University, and a semester of Business School. It took a
producer at the Windsor International Film Fest who I didn't know tell me
to go to Complections, and a week later I was enrolled, a month later moved
and started a new education path. Complections is a top notch school for
makeup artistry. I learned from the professionals, the people working
behind major films, theatre productions, fashion magazines, and huge
projects. I was true pupil, almost like sponge. I soaked up everything I
could and when I finished I was ready to take on the makeup world in a
completely different way. The SPFX makeup I learned was out of kit SPFX
and prosthetics. My three teachers in those subjects were absolutely
incredible and extremely talented, both in their makeup work and their
teaching. I learned a lot of what the fundamentals are, so I could handle
anything out in the film world (ie. the boobs).
talk about your filmwork prior to The Scarehouse
for a bit!
filmwork prior to The Scarehouse
included music videos, commercials, short
films, and feature films such as Beyond the Deep and The
of your favourite techniques?
Flecking. Using a fleck brush
to fleck blood. It's the best and it takes everything to the next level (I
mostly just like saying the word flecking). I also love using Ben Nye
creams to do bruises and I use my fingers! Sometimes I hate brushes. Also,
when it comes down to time your fingers and hands are the best tools.
Makeup and special effects
artists, filmmakers, whoever else who inspire you?
always been a huge fan of Ve Neill.
She's absolutely and incredibly talented. It's also super cool that she's
a female. I cannot wait to see the makeup for the next Hunger Games movie
Mocking Jay: Part 1. When you look at the people of the Capitol your
imagination will just flutter off to a whole new dimension. It's amazing
how she ties 18th
century inspiration into futuristic colouring and style. One of my
favourite directors is Cameron Crowe. He made movies that are timeless and
true staples for every generation, even the millennials.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
This is the most difficult question, I
hate you (kidding)… My favourite movies are Almost Famous, Lord of the
Rings Trilogy, Lion King, Toy Story, and Perks of Being a
... and of course, films you really
There are some horrible RomComs out there … I
Your website, Facebook, whatever else?
Check out esviecosmetics.com
- where beauty and music meet.
My Instagram is @misscarlynicks
else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
did Jesus lose at hockey? Cause he kept getting nailed to the boards.
for the interview!