|Top 10 - Frequantly Asked Questions!
1. Who or what is Fantasy Creations FX?
Fantasy Creations FX is a special Company, started in the late 1980's by Mike Strain Jr. out of his love for movies, Spfx & artistic talent inherated from his father. FCFX has since been creating FX for motion pictures, Television shows, video productions, live show events as well as for special projects, halloween, decorating venues for the holiday & alot more. We pride our selves on our work & the responce we have gotten over the years, with more to come!
"We will EFFECT you!"
2. I want to become a SPFX artist, where do I go to learn?
My advide to you is to get the basic supplies, clay, hydracal, latex etc & read & then just do it. Your best teacher is to learn it by doing. There are alot of good schools as well. Below are some books I recomemd to read then just do it!
TECHNIQUES OF THREE-DIMENSIONAL MAKEUP
One of the best (and only)books on prosthetic laboratory techniques in make-up. Full of pictures, techniques and plenty of commentary.
Well known as the “stage makeup bible". This book covers all aspects of stage makeup application. Basic techniques as well as new methods and materials are covered. Many drawings of historic hair styles for use in ordering or manufacturing wigs.
DICK SMITH’S DO-IT-YOURSELF MONSTER MAKE-UP HANDBOOK
Features 16 step-by-step, easy-to-follow instructions on Halloween makeup for all ages by make-up legend Dick Smith.
Dick is an Oscar winner whose credits include The Exorcist, Altered States, Taxi Driver, Amadeus, and many more. This is a classic re-release.
THE MONSTER MAKER’S MASK MAKER’S HANDBOOK
How to make a mask, A to Z. Sculpting, mold-making, casting and painting are all covered step by step in an easy-to-understand format. Go to www.monstermakers.com
GRANDE ILLUSIONS & GRANDE ILLUSIONS, Book 1 & 2
Savini's guides to special make-up effects, with photos from his films. Grande Illusions covers Day of the Dead, Friday the 13th, Creepshow II and many more. Book II has pictures of all of Savini’s latest creations.
THE PROP BUILDERS MOLDING & CASTING HANDBOOK
A comprehensive guide to the use of more than thirty molding and casting materials in the design and construction of theater properties and scenic elements. Includes a section on vacuum forming.
Materials covered includes; plaster, polyester resins, latex, neoprene, silicone, urethanes, breakaway resins, hot melt, fiberglass and many others.
3. I want to learn about Pyrotechnics, what all does that involve?
Work with "Licensed" Professionals to get into the Pyrotechnics business. It would be good to work with some fireworks, as I did selling them at a fireworks tent on the 4th of July. Then work for a manufactor if at all possible & keep building up from there. Work in the theatre & assist someone elso doing any kind of Pyro. You can research it on the web but there is very little to alost nothing out there & alot of what is there is posted by amatures & is very dangerous & unsafe. Professional "Pyro" FX companies do not advertise, because once you get to a professional "Pyro" statice you will have worked with their products & have the experience & credintials to order from them at that time. Other wise it is very dangerous & illegal (by the Federal Government) to just blow stuff up (You can go to prison if caught). Alot of people are mamed & even killed because they just do not have any experience & do not know what they are doing!
4. I would like some Special Effects ( Bullet Hit Squibs )
Can I buy them ? From you? Can I make them myself ? How?
A squib is not an electric match, even though the terms are used interchangeably by the uninitiated. It is a small explosive device which has a wide range of uses, such as generating mechanical forces as well as in pyrotechnic use. A squib can range in size from a small cap only millimeters in diameter to ones which can be 15 millimetres in diameter. The squib, being an explosive device, releases a lot of energy, and can be used for shattering, triggering, propelling and cutting a wide range of pyrotechnic and non-pyrotechnic materials.
It must be distinguished from a detonator, which is used specifically to initiate high explosive. A squib may indeed be energetic enough to initiate high explosives, but that is not its primary purpose.
It must also be distinguished from the electric match, which produces only a flash of flame and is used to ignite military simulation pyrotechnics, stage pyrotechnics, fireworks in professional firework shows, charges for special effect purposes, rockets and a wide range of other pyrotechnic items requiring merely flame to ignite them.
They are widely used in the special effects industry to simulate a bullet hit by coupling the squib itself with a condom or balloon of either fake blood for hits on persons or dust/debris for hits on other objects.
Squibs may be sensitive to EM radiation and devices such as vehicle radios, radar, cellular and microwave transmitters can set off a squib unless the two leads are terminated correctly, or better still, are fitted with suppressing ferrite filters. Cellular phones have never been implicated in the initiation of explosives by direct radiation from the aerial to an igniter. Despite this, there are several urban legends surrounding the sensitivity of squibs.
The first described the making of squibs in 1248.
Special Effects Explosions & Special Effects Bullet Wound Squibs are a very specialised area of the Film Industry that require a Special Effects Technician who is Licensed to do this type of work in the Film Industry. (State & Federally Licensed)
I have seen information on the internet that shows ways to make an Explosive Bullet Hit Squib, using gunpowder or fire crackers or other chemicals and I must warn you that from what I have read this information is not at all professional, is incomplete and would be Very Dangerous even if you followed the instructions.
You should not attempt to make or use any Explosive Special Effects or Bullet Hit Squibs as this is very dangerous to both yourself and your cast & crew members.
You must have a Licensed Specialist for this type of work.
Dont even try to purchase Explosives or Squibs by saying you are making a film and are purchasing them for your Special Effects people and they will be used by your effects technician.
We All Know that BS
Your Licensed SFX Technician will need to show his licence to purchase explosives before he can obtain these items.. All Special Effect Explosives are powerful enough to remove or seriously damage your hands and fingers, your eyes, any soft body tissue, internal organs including your heart and can damage your hearing permanently.
An explosive bullet hit squib effect on the head can shatter the skull and the bone splinters will pierce the brain and that person will die.
Make no mistake, the inappropriate use of even a small Explosive Charge can cause death..
This is a Very Serious Safety Issue and the use of explosives in film production has required a licence in every country I have worked in.
Do Not attempt to do it without:-
A Correctly Licensed Special Effects Technician.......
5. Are using Guns & Blanks Dangerous?
Yes, very, very dangerous! Many people have been injured & even killed by accidents & mis using blanks!
There are three main dangers in FX, that is Pyrotechnics, Gun Handler & Fireworks!
6. I want need some FX done for a project, can you do it?
Sure, well maybe. Fantasy Creations FX is for hire for your next project or production. First you can E-mail us about your project & or send a script for a price inquiry & then we can go from there. We are not able to work on every project, but we try! Our full resume is available in the FX for hire section above.
7. What is the difference between make-up & a Mask?
A Mask is generally something you can slip onto your head, as Make-up is applied meaning to apply a make-up "chemical" or to apply a prothestic w/ make-up enhancement!
8. Can you rent or sell me the materials I need to do the job?
We do not rent any equipment without myself or a trained FCFX crew member being present at the job. As far as ANYTHING to do with pyrotechnics & fire FX the answer is a simple NO!9. How do you do a certain type of effect? Can you teach me?
Every job is very different & only with years of training & revision does anyone start to learn & figure out FX. Let's say Snow for example. If a production company hires you to do Snow, its never the same thing twice. Snow placement, Delivery source, Wind direction, camera angles. You need to be aware of all your surroundings to do the best you can do. Its NEVER as easy as setting up & turning on the fan and your done. This goes for all the effects you might be doing. One final note about this - even if I have the best rain, wind, snow, pyro or make-up FX that's ever been done you need everyone on set to work as a team. If its not lit right you won’t see it, if the camera is not up to speed you won’t get it, if the car is in the wrong place its not right, if the creature dosen't turn right it wont work, etc. The point is the effects crew is just one part of a whole team that has to work together to make it happen.
FCFX - We will EFFECT you!
10. Do you ever hire? Can I send you my resume? Maybe get a job at your shop? do you have an Intern program?
We do occasionally hire others for large projects. We will post (if & when we are needing other artists). Though we do enjoy viewing new artist portofios & work, drop us a line!