Sunday, 4 September 2011

Icon of the month: Tom Savini

Actor, make-up artist, stunt performer, Directoproducer...... Tom Savini has done it all.

As a fan of practical effects, Savini has always been an icon to me and is probably one of the most famous special effects/make-up artist in the Horror genre. He has done work on films such as "Martin" (1977), "Dawn Of The Dead" (1978), "Friday The 13th" (1980), "The Burning" (1981), "The Prowler" (1981), "Creepshow" (1982), "Alone In The Dark" (1982), "Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter" (1984), "Day Of The Dead" (1985), "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2" (1986)," Creepshow 2" (1987), "Ted Bundy" (2002) and more.

Savini said his wartime experiences informed his eventual style of gory effects; "I hated that when I watched a war movie and someone dies," explaining "Some people die with one eye open and one eye half-closed, sometimes people die with smiles on their faces because the jaw is always slack. I incorporated the feeling of the stuff I saw in Vietnam into my work."

He has also dabbled in directing, most notably, his remake of George A. Romero's "Night Of The Living Dead" (1990). The film was handled by the same team as the original, with the exception that directing duties were handled by Savini, who originally signed up with hopes of doing the make-up effects as he was not able to for the original film. Romero served as producer and he also recruited some of the original camera and sound crew to participate. To avoid an X-rating, Savini had to cut several scenes from the film, some of which can be seen on the DVD. Savini sometimes shows the entirety of the cut scenes at conventions.

Savini has also done some acting work, Appearing in alot of the films he's worked on as an make-up artist/special effects. He still does acting work to this day, I last saw him in Robert Rodriguez's "Machete" (2010)

Savini maybe approaching his 65th birthday but he's still as busy as ever, doing round's on the Horror convention circuit, still acting and has recently come out of his retirement from Special effects/Make-up artist for 2 upcoming films ("Redd Inc" & "Friday The 13th: Part 2") 

Savini also runs the "Special Effects Make-Up and Digital Film Programs" at the Douglas Education Center in Monessen, Pennsylvania, USA and is also the author of several books on special effects including Grande Illusions I (1983)and II (1994) which detail the production and mechanical workings of many of his famous film effects and also a photo collection book of his work "Bizarro!" (1994) which also explains his work. He is also associated with other books in the Horror genre including "Book of the Dead" (2005) and "Horror 101" (2007) for which he wrote the foreword. Savini is an associate of Dick Smith, who used to, but no longer, incorporates an advanced professional make-up seminar into the last semester of the program. Among other projects, Smith is known for his groundbreaking work in The Exorcist.

Savini maybe known for being egotistical, unapproachable and many more things, but there is no denying this man's many talents! He is a genius who will be remembered in Horror circles for many, many years. I'm so happy he has come out of his retirement to start working on practical effects again, in an age were alot of film-makers rely on CGI, I cant wait for him to show them how it's really done!

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