Well, our Halloween 2017 was, by all accounts, a huge success. We met lots of folks from the neighborhood who enjoyed our mutant maze, and we had so many Trick-or-Treaters that we had to raid a couple bags of candy we held back for “just in case”.

It was everything we hoped it would be!

Alas, the very next day, I was hit with the fever and fatigue that seems to be going around, around here.  I lost some days this week due to illness, so I’m working to rebound.

But it’s been a great week, nonetheless! Much of the focus has been on my film studio, Big Imagine, because I am officially in pre-production for my first indie (microbudget) feature film! Principal photography (that means, filming) will take place in early summer 2018, and there’s a lot to prepare for.

This past weekend, my hubby (and fellow producer) and I sat down to work on our business plan.

Business plan
Ah, the glitz and glamor of film.

And we also had a production meeting with our other producer, and good friend. It’s the whole production team, together again! We’ve done other short films and projects together, but this will be our first feature-length film.

Production meeting
Movers and Shakers, you betcha!

I have another important meeting soon, as well, and other challenges that include making a good impression. Hey, I’ve been wearing paint-splattered yoga pants and bandanas for so long, I’m not sure I remember how to assimilate back into “out-to-dinner” culture!

But I’m excited to see the beginning movements toward making this film a real thing. It’s been a dream of mine for a long time, and sometimes, I thought maybe it was time to let it go. But I didn’t.

Couldn’t, somehow.

For a while, I did have to wait. Some day, when we’ve gotten to know each other a little better, I may talk about that.

But not today.

Today, I’m not waiting–I’m walking.

Moving. Dancing.

I’m creating.

What’s something you’ve been waiting to do? Why don’t you get it down off the shelf and breathe life into it, with me?

#DontWaitCreate #TurnItLoose #GoForthAndRock

If you’ve been waiting for permission, I hereby give it.

The fungus-carrying meteor has officially crash-landed in my front yard!

Fungusoutside
The neighborhood is doomed! Doomed, I tell you!

But this is just the beginning. Soon, tendrils of fungus-y alien membrane will crawl across the ground, shoot into the trees, and begin swallowing everything in its path–including my family!

A lot has been happening in my studio this week to make these things happen (sometimes aliens need a little help from earthlings), and I’ll be working right up until trick-or-treat kicks off in two days.

Here’s what I’ve been up to.

I used the same spray foam insulation and whirled it onto some nitrile gloves we already had in the garage. I also purchased some heavy duty elastic from a craft store, and sprayed foam onto it, to create the chunks of alien fungus we’ll wear as part of the makeups. I’ll tie or pin the elastic strands around our shoulders, arms, wherever.

bodyparts
I am the queen of “use what I’ve already got”. I found gloves. I used them.

I painted basically the same techniques from the meteor onto the body parts, except instead of rock colors, I used flesh tones to make it appear as though our skin itself is bound up in the blobs of disfigurement taking place. I also made some green nurnies.

bodypartsandnurnies.jpg
Starbucks green tea latte is optional.

Wait, what the heck are nurnies, you ask? More about that if you keep scrolling!

But I wanted to give the meteor every chance at surviving long-term, plus I wanted a shiny, gooey finish on the fungus parts, so I hit them with a glossy clear coat.

weatherproof
I’m sure alien fungus can survive a Georgia rain shower, but why take a chance?

And then it was time to remove the beach ball innards! Swirling lights will go inside to give it a glow, so I had to make room. First, I deflated the beach ball. I’m sure you’ve noticed that in our modern day inflatables, there’s a little flap inside the plug that keeps air from sneaking out involuntarily. Handy. But also tricky, when one wants to deflate on purpose! So I inserted a screwdriver to hold the flap open, and just pressed, and waited, and waited, and waited…until the beach ball was small enough.

deflateinnards
That safety flap in inflatables seemed like a good idea at the time.

Then I gently peeled the beach ball away from the foam, and, Voila! No more beach ball, and room for lights!

removeinnards
I have a video on my Facebook page of the beach ball coming out with a soft plop that is kind of satisfying to watch, if you’re curious: here.

But let’s get back to nurnies.

That’s the term for bits of stretchy, mangled, latex ropey blobs that are usually stored in a sandwich baggie in a makeup kit for adding texture or other interesting things. They tend to look like tendons or cartilage, and can be bitten and torn to add some realism to the ripping away of body bits by zombies or monsters.

They’re super easy to make, but I’ve added my own twist of using yarn, as well, because I want long, swinging, membrane-like tendrils to drape from the meteor and the trees, and all over my family.

Makeup suppliers like Kryolan have skin-safe latex (be aware, some people have latex allergies), but you can also get the same stuff from places like Spirit Halloween or costume shops. Since I am using so much for many tendrils, I’m using the stuff I got from the Halloween store. I also chose green yarn I already had, with dark spots and light spots, to really sell the creepy factor.

teaandlatex
Cup of English breakfast tea is optional.

Here is my step-by-step, nurnie-like technique for creating drapey, icky alien tendrils.

Paint out a strip of latex onto a smooth surface.

paintlatex
Nothing to it.

Let the latex dry. Or, if you are like me, and don’t have patience for the natural method, hit that strip with a blowdryer. It will turn clear. Add one more coat of latex, and dry it again.

drylatex
See it turning clear? Clear = dry.

Then lay a long strand of yarn across the dry latex, and start rolling your hands (and the yarn) back and forth. The latex will peel up, and stick to itself, and to the yarn…

rollyarnlatex
It’s hard to show hands moving during a still photo.

… and you’ll get wobbly, bobbly, pieces of ick!

Disgusting. Perfect!

I’ve only made a few, but I need SO MANY MORE, so that’s what I’ll be doing for a couple days. Plus, I’m going to experiment by dragging these things through some homemade slime to see how I like that, too.

As always, you can keep an eye on my Facebook page for daily(ish) quick videos in between my more detailed, weekly blogs.

I hope your Halloween is out-of-this-world! Hey, don’t wait, create! Get out there, and turn it loose.