Patrick Kevin Day – LATimes
The look of Death Eater Fenrir Greyback in ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ took 10 makeup artists painstakingly applying goat hair to silicone.
Special makeup designer Nick Dudman had to scramble to complete the look of the werewolf Death Eater Fenrir Greyback in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” “They didn’t select [actor Dave Legeno] until quite late, and we didn’t have a lot of time,” Dudman explained. Luckily, this wasn’t some two-bit indie production; this was a big-budget Warner Bros. blockbuster, with the resources to go with it. “We had about 10 people on just that one character,” Dudman said. “We can take the time to pay attention to detail.” For Greyback, Dudman’s team spent seven months stockpiling a supply of multi-piece silicone makeup to be applied to the actor’s head and chest, with each bit of goat hair individually punched into the makeup. “You can’t use wig lace, because it will show,” Dudman said. “It has to be done by hand.” It took about 5 1/2 days to apply the hairs for one set of makeup that would be used for only one day of shooting. Dudman had no way around it. “The makeup removal process would always result in the silicone pieces being destroyed.”
Nick Dudman and his team have created the make-up effects and the magical animatronic creatures in the Harry Potter films, garnering BAFTA Award nominations for the first four of the series to date.
Dudman got his start working on the Jedi master Yoda as a trainee to famed British make-up artist Stuart Freeborn, on “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.” After apprenticing with Freeborn for four years, Dudman was asked to head up the English makeup laboratory for Ridley Scott’s “Legend.” He subsequently worked on the makeup and prosthetics for such films as “Mona Lisa,” “Labyrinth,” “Willow,” “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” “Batman,” “Alien3″ and “Interview with the Vampire,” among others.
In 1995, Dudman’s career path widened into animatronics and large-scale creature effects when he was asked to oversee the 55-man creature department for the Luc Besson film “The Fifth Element.”, for which he won a BAFTA Award for Visual Effects. Since then, he has lead the creatures/make-up effects departments on several blockbusters, including “Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace,” “The Mummy,” “The Mummy Returns” and consulted on the Costume effects for “Batman Begins.” Dudman recently designed the animatronics for Alfonso Cuaron’s “Children of Men.”
In 2007, he was awarded a special achievement Genie by the Canadian Academy for Make-up on “Beowulf and Grendel”.