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Hoodlum
I had worked on a film called “Fled” (with my buddies Lynn Barber and Mr.P) in 1996. The producers of that film were doing a depression era gangster film called “Gangster”, which was later called “Hoods”, which then became “Hoodlum”. (After I had made “Hoods” t shirts) They called me in to do make up effects on the film, starring Lawrence Fishburne and directed by Bill Duke. I remember getting the call and how exciting it was for me. You see a little known fact, is that I am a depression era gangster film fan. (“Once Upon A Time in America” is one of my favorite films) When I heard that I would be going to Chicago to be filming with all the cool suits, old cars and tommy guns, I could barely contain myself. They got me a copy of the script and I did a breakdown of the effects and was set up to have a conference call with the powers that be. There is a little thing about me that only a precious few know, I have a sick sense of humor. Well we are doing this call and going over the details and ideas for the various effects and it came to the topic of the severed testicles. This is not the sort of everyday topic that one has and the funny thing is that years of terror of talking about even things remotely of a sexual nature (I couldn’t even say oval in high school without blushing because it sounded too much like ovary), had faded to a bold declaration of freedom by manifesting itself in an unyielding assault on the human sexual devices. Now mind you, I was not crude in language, but was just matter of fact about the whole idea of severing one’s testes and plopping them down on a table. I remember going on a tangent about what we could do with them and something about hanging them from a rearview mirror and the phone went dead silent. I sat there in terror as no sound what-so-ever came back form their end of the conversation. I was thinking that I had totally offended this room of people and that I was going to be on my shortest time ever on a film. The thing is that it was a conference call and when enough noise is made in a room, it cuts out the sound. I didn’t know that at the time. I just sat and stewed in the mess that I believed that my sick sense of humor had created. Soon I caught on that they were laughing and it would be the beginning of a wonderful experience.
Over the next several weeks I would create a series of gruesome effects with my friend Billy Messina. I would then fly out to Chicago do some scenes and then fly back and repeat the process. This was all during the Olympics and I was going through security with body parts in my bags, but never got stopped. I guess, since there are no bones in the limbs that I transported, I didn’t read as a serial killer. Anyway on the first night of shooting, I remember sitting around with several crew members and one of the actors. The discussion of the severed testicles came up, as they often will in everyday discussions. Someone wanted to know how I knew what they would look like. Well I had a choice or perhaps more like an opportunity, in response. I temporarily opted for the creative over the truth in this instance. I explained that I lived near the Medical College of Georgia (Not true at that time) and that there were a lot of struggling students… you know, school loans, etc. Well for 50 bucks you could get them to sneak out body parts for you to mold. Of course this was not at all true, but I kept it going for a little while. I had them going but did finally tell them that I had made some molds off of some dates and modified the sculpture to look like my pictures from my medical books. It was funny to see their reactions to the fabricated story. That was kind of the tone on that film for me, just a really good time. My wife got to come up on our final week of shooting and we had one of the best times since we have been together. She got to check out all the cool cars, we got to see Chicago in the summer (I love Chicago), and had a chance to see some wonderful actors at work. Definitely one of my highlights in my career.

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October Sky

me with body on hoodlum
Me with fake body on "Hoodlum"
Chi goofs around with head
Chi McBride plays around with his fake head
Chi McBride and I
Chi and I
Chrisie in cool car
Christina checks out cool car on "Hoodlum"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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