Welcome to my blog, one which I didn't imagine I'd ever be creating. Several years ago a friend of mine kept leaving early from our coffee house meet-ups, saying it was time to go "write his blog." I'd never heard of a blog and thought he was nuts. Why would anyone want to publish a veritable online diary for others to read, and who would really care about reading it anyway? A while later, after having seen the admirable blog created by my cinematographer friend Roy Wagner, I gave this form of communication a bit more consideration. I now grasp the value - that a person can indeed contribute with an online offering of information and experience to other artists with similar interests.
Although I wear many creative hats, I'm primarily known for Special Makeup Effects. I've been in this crazy business of film for 35 years. I've done every type of makeup, from beauty to animatronics. I've worked with countless actors, directors and makeup artists. I've seen just about every type of situation on a film set that you can imagine, from the absurd to the tragic, from the uncontrollable to the unbelievable - and everything in between. I've sweated in the 120 degree heat of White Sands, New Mexico and frozen my tail off on the ice glaciers of British Columbia.
I was fortunate to get into the business of makeup effects when it was just being born in the early 1980s. It was not easy by virtue of the fact that I had only one contact in Hollywood and I was, like many, quite naive about the movie industry in general. At the same time it wasn't that difficult either, because new ground was being broken in makeup and special makeup effects, and there were many eager 'monster kids' like me coming aboard for the ride. It was impossible to do one small film job and not make 5-10 contacts. I made friends with cinematographers, art directors, gaffers and PAs. And usually on each project, I met another makeup effects hopeful. Within two years, I probably knew every person who was making their way into this new field. It was a fun ride and the 80s was truly the Golden Age of makeup effects. I had incredible experiences, and was rewarded with meeting some wonderful people and working on some amazing films.
When I look back at that period from 1980 to the mid-90s, I realize it was a slice of Hollywood history that was truly magical. My friends who were there will know exactly what I mean. But like many such periods in a person's life, while you're in the midst of living it, you often don't see how fantastically cool it is at the time.
I hope you enjoy my blog. While you read on, I think I'll go out for coffee and hear about what my friend put on his blog today.
PS - I'll also be posting a lot of stuff on Twitter: @TheMarkShostromThere will be my photos, other peoples' photos; articles about makeup effects, filmmaking, film noir, black-and-white photography and cinematography.
Note: If you're looking for my special makeup effects web site, go here (and be sure to check out The Reel): http://markshostrom.com/
NOTE: All photos on this blog site are copyright Mark Shostrom unless otherwise credited.
PHOTOS TOP OF PAGE, l-R: MONSTERS!, DEEPSTAR SIX, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: DREAM WARRIORS, FROM BEYOND, EVIL DEAD II.