With more than 30 years of hard won experience providing FX Makeup and Specialty Costumes to live and recorded events of all kinds, Rob Burman and Jennifer McManus have the knowledge and craftsmanship to provide you with quality service and product.
In fact, there is very little that these two can not provide your next production in the area of Costumes, Makeup and Creature Design. Their credits go back to such classic films as “The Thing”, “Ghostbusters” and “The Fly” as well as Family films like “Honey, I Blew Up The Kid” and “The Garbage Pail Kids”. The sleek and Mazaratti-like Hero Costumes for “The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” owe their battle readiness to this team of experts.
Since their work spans three decades and more, this site will be a “work in progress” as new and “old” projects get added. So, come and check out what latest additions will be posted at the world famous Sticks and Stones FX!
Starring Kevin Costner, Demi Moore and Dane Cook, this tense thriller had several things to offer Sticks and Stones. Gruesome murders through throat slicing and a swinging, chained body that comes plummeting from the rafters. The Films Make-up Department head, Francisco Perez handled the on-set effects and prosthetic applications while we were here in the lab creating the full size body and the other prosthetics. It was requsted that he be a “Body Builder” type so we went through our files to find just the right man in the form of Jesse James Youngblood, a well known character actor.
The body is depicted after several days of decomposition and “blood settling” levidity, turning the extremeties and the places the blood tends to “puddle” a blu-black before rot sets in. Yes, sometimes the research and even the work itself can be difficult for the more sensitive of us, but we go at these projects with a scientific verve to find out just the right requirements for the job – no matter how terrifying!
Mort and Priss are an intergalactic couple (“couple” of buffoons!) on vacation when there’s a slight “mishap”. Shot in front of a green screen for a “still” photo shoot, they are to be matted in front of a crashed spaceship to complete the scene. Conceived and developed from an idea by Sticks and Stones co-founder, Rob Burman, this comical scenerio was done as another of his class demonstrations. The one month course taking the students from initial life cast, through to the finished makeup that you see here.
With Sticks and Stones you get more than just the hands that produce amazing work – you get the creative minds that drive them as well. Our “two cents” often lead to wonderful and memorable moments for your project; helping to spread word of mouth and generating people’s interest. Looking for a little inspiration? We’re here to give just that.
The monkey King (Or “Uproar In Heaven” as it was being called as we shot it) Was a tremendously ambitious project with a cast consisting entirely of puppets or extravagant prosthetic make-ups with elaborate costumes and vast sets. This project was shot in China, primarily at the Beijing Film Studio.
These three characters were designed to “test” the film techniques being tried as well as to help set the full design look of the production. The Monkey King himself went through several versions before we hit on just the right concept for his mischevious character. The Old Man, known in the written lore as The Great White Planet (A Senator and Advisor for the Jade Emporer), was played by a man they referred to as the “Robin Williams of China”. The Gate Guard In Heaven was an enormous man, standing 8 feet tall he was quite the gentle giant but cut an imposing figure in his full prosthetics and blue skin tone.
What happens when you take 10, average Americans, give them the tools and clothing of 35,000 year old paleolithic people and let them loose in the Rocky mountains for ten days and nights? This was the premise of Discovery Chanels reality experiment program “I, Caveman” for their Curiosity Series.
Sticks and Stones designer Jennifer McManus put her nose to the grindstone and researched out exactly how early man produced their clothing to survive the elements. Using real hides, skins and furs, our crew hand stitched together each piece to create pants, tunics, capes and leggings – fashioned in the same manner available to them at that time and as authentic as we could make them. In the end, the cast was so enamored of their costumes durability and comfort that they requested to keep them!
The Hunchback is another demonstration make-up designed and created by Sticks and Stones Co-Founder, Rob Burman. As part of his series of Educational Courses Rob takes the students through each and every step in creating their own character make-up from life cast through to the finished product. Dozens of Rob’s students have gone on to exceptional careers due to Rob’s expertise and fine skills as an educator.
This character was designed as a “mash-up” between the Hunchback of Notre Dame, a Miniature Golf Champion and the “King of Fools” himself, Donald Trump. (Please, Donald, don’t fire me… it was all in good fun!)
The Hudsucker Proxy (“You know… For KIDS!”). Who can forget Charles Durning’s great run along the conference table and crash through the window, plummiting multiple stories to his death – Only to return later as an Angel of wisdom for his replacement, Tim RobbinS? Thus goes a Coen Brothers movie. Odd moments and strange behavior are a perfect match for those like us at Sticks and Stones. In this case, Mr. Durning’s wings and a number of specialty flying harness’. With an expanded wingspan of nearly 15 feet, these beautiful examples of feathers in motion had to be flown seperately in order to keep the actor stable while hanging in his own flying harness (Hey, wings covered in feathers act like… WINGS!).
What Production always learns by working with Sticks and Stones is that years of hard won experience translates to saving hours of trial and error. Do it right, do it once. Sure, there are others that will charge you less to “give it a shot!”, but how much does that translate to in production hours over the long run?
One of the more “high profile” projects we’ve been involved with was when Sticks and Stones co-Founder Jennifer McManus was asked to build giant clothing for “Honey I Blew Up The Kid” . These scale replica’s of the actual babies clothing required tremendous amounts of fabric and at times filled the parking lot of the work facility.
Rope, twine, yarn and string of varying sizes and textures were used and woven together to creat the proper look for “giant” thread and lacing. Even the corduroy fabric was created by shaving chanels into bright red fur fabric. This attention to detail and the research that goes in to it is a part of every Sticks and Stones project. There’s always much more behind a request than meets the eye and we’re ready to fill in those blanks.
This grand and elaborate character make-up is one of the many designs created as demonstrations on the proper techniques of prosthetic makeup. The model is a lovely young Korean girl in her early 20’s; so in keeping with her Asian heritage, we designed this Evil Jin to bring out some drama in her character.
This makeup was created while educating a group of students that, in turn, created characters of their own in a hands on workshop. It’s educational opportunities like these that keep the talent at Sticks and Stones at the top of their game creatively and techically. Ultimately making them unmatched in their field.
Here are images of some of the strange and exotic things that our client Gallagher likes to dream up for us. As anyone who is aware of his comedic genious would know, his ideas can be pretty bizarre. This series is from his “Under The Sea” phase. The Tie-Dyed Raggae Reef Fish; The News Reporter Angler Fish (Who’s small “lure” end lights up!); and the loveable Pufferfish that inflates when needed. Also seen is Jennifer’s beautiful Jellyfish costume that billowed and flowed as the performer walked, giving it a diaphenous effect like it was under water.
Because of our diverse back grounds and long term experience creating the “unimaginable”, Sticks and Stones can provide product that sometimes defies description, marrying multiple disciplines into impossible designs through technical skill and “outside of the box” thinking.
Here was a fun and fast paced project we did for the Denny’s Restuarants “All-Nighter” add campaign. We had just about fifteen days to produce these two animated puppets. While “Wade”, the T-Rex, had full head and mouth articulation along with small reaching arms and a fat, slobbery tongue, the Unicorn, or “Steve” as he was known, also had to lip sync dialogue that was created on the spot. Not an easy job for a “tweaked” Unicorn with DUI written all over him.
Sticks and Stones was responsible for the design, creation and operation of the detailed and reliable puppets. We are not only fine craftsmen and technicians that stand behind our work but talented and experienced, SAG affiliated puppeteers as well. Everything you need in one affordable package!