Tag Archives: monster squad behind the scenes

Monster Squad: The Behind the Scenes Extravaganza!

10710926_10152738966882328_5146327273773526587_nToday is mostly going to be a huge picture dump because I think most of these behind the scenes images speak for themselves.  But I also wanted to take a moment and point to the blog and videos of one of the Monster Squad crew members (who was working with Stan Winston at the time), Mr. Shannon Shea, who has been doing as much if not more than others when it comes to keeping the flame of the movie alive.  Shea worked as an assistant special effects artist to a lot of the other folks on the crew (though he mainly assisted John Rosengrant on the Wolfman, specifically the hands and feet), and he ended up with some amazing behind the scenes footage from the Winston creature shop that I’m surprised hasn’t gotten more attention on youtube.  There are two videos he’s posted so far, one that is a edit of a bunch of the different Monster projects that were going on in the studio and a second that’s a test of the radio remote controlled Wolfman limbs that’s pretty fun.  Both videos have a ton of great stuff hidden in them for fans of the movie.  So go check out Shannon’s site and his youtube channel as well where he also has behind the scenes videos of him working on other films like Evil Dead 2!!!

This first video is about 12 minutes long and is chock full of rad stuff including the artists at work, concept sketches and some fun trivia…

Here’s the Wolfman limb tests.  I love that they went in this direction for that scene, mainly because I kind of want a radio remote controlled Wolfman arm to play with in my cul-de-sac…

And here are all of the behind the scenes images I’ve collected over the years, as well as a couple screen-graps of neat stuff from the videos above.  In the second row, second to the last there is a picture of two of the sculpted Wolfman forearms and hands.  These look awesome, but were unfortunately ditched because they were made in the wrong scale.

And today’s trading card is…

Monster Squad Wrapper

Today’s card is #23, Van Helsing Lends a Hand!

23 Van Helsing F-B

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Design Squad: The Stan Winston Creature Concepts for The Monster Squad

10710926_10152738966882328_5146327273773526587_nWhen it came to breathing life into the monsters, Fred Dekker and the production sought out one of the masters in the field of special effects makeup and design, the legendary Stan Winston.  Having just come of work on films like The Thing, Terminator and Aliens, Winston and his stable of artists were taking Hollywood by storm.  With The Monster Squad, Winston left most of the heavy lifting up to his studio, in particular artists such as Steve Wang and Matt Rose who handled the Gillman, Tom Woodruff Jr. who took on Frankenstein’s Monster, Alec Gillis who took the reigns on Dracula’s bat transformations, contacts and fangs, Shane Mahan who worked on the Mummy, and John Rosengrant and Shannon Shea who handled the Wolfman…

effects artists

Matt and Steve

But Stan was far from hands off on the project.  Like the director on a movie set he was providing direction, guidance and conceptual design.  Here’s a look at some of his sketches for the monsters, starting with his ideas for the Wolfman and Frankenstein’s Monster…

Wolfman and Frank

Part of what Winston was trying to achieve was to modernize the look of the creatures, but he also wanted to distance these designs from those of the classic Universal monsters since those likenesses were copyrighted.  So with Frankenstein’s monster the flat top head and features that resemble Boris Karloff and Jack Pierce’s design had to be avoided.  So he rounded the head and made the sutures on the forehead more prominent.  Later, when Woodruff started sculpting and augmenting Winston’s concept he’d make the monster look more natural and would shift the neck bolts to the temples.

With the Wolfman Winston wanted to avoid making the character into an outright werewolf, still retaining the feel of a man, yet bringing more of the wolf into the design of the face, straying from the Pierce Lon Chaney Jr. look.  He did this by adding a small snout and making the eyes more wide set.  He also shifted the ears to the top of the head.  In the end the design sit on the line in between Universal’s incarnation and the designs in the Joe Dante Howling film.

For his Mummy design, Winston made the creature more decrepit than Karloff and Pierce’s incarnation by accentuating the sunken features to an extent where the face is almost a living skull.  He also upped the gore/decay factor a bit by having the lips shrunken and drawn back from the teeth on his left side giving the impression of a seriously old, dried up monster.  Mahan would again take this design even further and make the mummy a true ancient walking corpse…

Stan Winston Mummy Concept Drawing

Probably the most drastically altered character in the group would be the Gillman.  Winston’s initial pass at the creature was very alien and way more toned down then the character’s design would become…

Stan Winston Creature Concept Drawing

On his second pass he accentuated the amphibian features, added prominent top and side head fins, and he gave the creature fangs.

Gillman

As a small bit of trivia, it’s said that John Rosengrant sculpted the Wolfman’s face to resemble that of Winston.  I don’t know, what do you guys think?

Untitled-7

Now for today’s card!

Monster Squad Wrapper

Today’s card is #17, Wolfman’s got Nards

17 Nards F-B

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