Dread Central Gets a Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Makeover


Zombies are everywhere nowadays. We see them on television in shows like “The Walking Dead” and “iZombie,” films like Resident Evil and Dawn of the Dead, and even in our Victorian satirical novels of manners. Well, that’s just Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Worldwide, we’re absolutely crazy about zombies and just can’t get enough of them.

I myself have fallen victim to the zombie fad. It certainly doesn’t hurt that I have a sister who is incredibly interested in the creation of special effects makeup. So when I was asked to participate in a zombie makeover to celebrate the home video release of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I jumped at the chance.

Special effects makeup artist Mark Coulier was on hand for the event. He is most well known for his work in the Harry Potter series, X-Men, and The Mummy Returns. Not long after he arrived, I was placed in a chair to begin the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies zombie-building process. It was a matter of light experimenting to discover which prosthetic applications would fit my tiny face. I have half of my head shaved fairly short, and never did I think that would come in handy in any way. But on this day, Mark was incredibly excited by the prospect of having more room to work with. So sorry, Mom and Dad, but the style is here to stay! After Mark had laid out his plan of which pieces he wanted to apply where, he set upon his work like a bat out of hell.

When I was initially asked to do this Pride and Prejudice and Zombies makeover, I assumed the process must take hours. Mark quickly corrected me, though, by revealing that this should only take him around 45 minutes! Especially after my experience, and seeing how much detail was put into the work, I still can’t believe he finished that quickly.

Most people see zombie makeup and focus on the prosthetic pieces. But in reality, there is so much more to it than that. The real star in my finalized makeup was actually the vein work put around the gorier pieces. The subtle purple/blue/green lines really sold the makeup and made it look real.

Being made up as a zombie is pretty easy on the part of the model. There were very slight things I noticed during the process other than simply the amount of time you have to sit still. One being, paint doesn’t feel very nice when you inhale it up your nose. It’s just a part of the gig, no avoiding it, but boy that stuff stings.

Another, when your makeup artist tells you to close your eyes, you’ll want to do it. Thankfully Mark knows what he’s doing, and reminded me gently every time, so I never had to worry. But from the experience of poking myself with mascara and eyeliner at home, I can’t imagine what special effects paint feels like on the eye.

Last little silly thing is that airbrushing tends to tickle. I noticed it most when Mark was painting near my ear and on my neck. It’s tough to sit still through that sometimes!

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Makeover

On the part of the makeup artist, any special effects makeup is complicated. On a grand scale of special effects, I’m sure zombies fall on the “easy” end of spectrum. However, easy definitely doesn’t mean uncomplicated. With my makeup there were three different prosthetics that had to be applied. There was one major bite wound on my scalp, another on my cheek, and one much smaller one on my neck. Applying these can be tricky because when they are created, they have a frame around them that must be carefully removed. The pieces then must be blended into the skin with makeup.

Next comes painting. Mark delicately splattered paint of a few different colors onto my skin using a regular paint brush by pulling on the bristles and letting go. He also painted the interior of the prosthetics, since they are a flat light flesh color when created. This paint was to make the pieces match my skin color more appropriately and to add the crusty, bloody effect we love to see in zombie wounds. There was also, of course, fake blood added to everything.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Makeover

The icing on the cake for my Pride and Prejudice and Zombies makeup was really the veins around everything that Mark had previously done. Blue, green, and purple combined to create the effect of infection spreading to the rest of my body. This was created with the combination of temporary tattoos and airbrush painting. Mark mentioned that they used this technique on Voldemort in the Harry Potter series.

It speeds up the process and helps aid with continuity by keeping every line exactly the same every time. Amazing how such a delicate visual touch can resonate with so many people. When I was showing off my zombie face later, I kept getting comments about the veins really being what sold the makeup.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Makeover

Speaking of showing off my zombie face, show it off I did. After I finished with Mark and the rest of the crew at the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies event, I decided that I had to go out with this makeup on. I was told that a woman who had gotten the makeup the day before elicited no reactions from people on the streets of L.A. So I was glad to know that I’d be trying out a different crowd. I was ready to go terrorize the citizens of Dread Central’s hometown, San Diego! Knowing I was benefiting from an event focused on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, it seemed only right that my stately zombie face should imbibe in some wine. What else would a Pride and Prejudice zombie drink, right?

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Makeover

Note my expertly poised pinky finger.

It was a fantastic experience to see people’s reactions when they saw the makeup. Those moments varied from squinted eyes, disbelieving looks, gasps, and lips curled in disgust. And I knew that if they were anything like me, they would want to touch it. There’s something bizarre about the human psyche; we just have to touch things we’re unfamiliar with. I can solidly report back from their experience, and my own, the makeup felt very much like real human skin. I shudder to think of it even now, gasp!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my experience being transformed into a Pride and Prejudice and Zombies zombie. Please peruse the photos in this article at your leisure, and watch my human to zombie video transformation happen before your eyes!

Remember, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies releases on Blu-ray and DVD May 31st. So keep it in mind if you’re feeling the need for some more great looking zombies!



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