Interview with The Bye Bye Man Makeup Master Robert Kurtzman

As many of our readers know, the epic celebrations of horror that is Monsterpalooza happened this past weekend at the Pasadena Convention Center. One of the best panels of the weekend was the special presentation that heralded the arrival of The Bye Bye Man on DVD. Kurtzman is the K in the renowned KNB Effects studio. He also directed Wishmaster  and did effects for films like Army of Darkness, From Dusk Till Dawn, and Misery

The creative team behind The Bye Bye Man including director Stacey Title, Writer Jonathan Penner and Producer Trevor Macy were on hand to discuss the process of making the film while Kurtzman demonstrated his talents by recreating the makeup effects for the titular monster live on stage.

The Robert Kurtzman Makeup Demo

Makeup FX artist Robert Kurtzman (Army of Darkness, From Dusk Till Dawn, Misery) will be recreating his stunning makeup from THE BYE BYE MAN, while Director Stacy Title (Hood of Horror), Producer Trevor Macy (The Strangers) and screenwriter Jonathan Penner discuss the making of the film among other projects in the horror genre.

After the presentation we had a chance to speak with Kurtzman, one on one, about the process that went into creating the skeletal monstrosity that invaded the minds of those naive enough to allow him into their psyche.

HorrorBuzz: When you were approached to create the character what did you uses as inspiration?

Robert Kurtzman: Well, (laughs) I mean you have Doug himself, (Doug Jones, the actor portraying The Bye Bye Man). He just has this amazing bone structure and there is a lot that you can do with that, accentuating it without it becoming this massive piece of rubber on his head. Secondly Stacy (The Bye Bye Man Director, Stacy Title) had a look book, a lot of visuals that she had assembled. You know, an albino, African Albinos which is the initial look or the idea. Then just what she said, being beaten up when he was younger and that’s why he was scarred so we went from there. Aaron Sims did some original concept art that we took and we basically took some elements from that and we changed them, took the notes from the producers and that is what we ended up with. The original sketches are never what you end up with. So we did a clay version, then I made changes to that, about three or four times before we got it how they wanted it to look.


HB: How long did it take to go from sketch to completion?

RK: We actually had several weeks before we went from sketch to the light cast and everything. But once the Light cast came then the clay version changes.  You can do photoshop over and over, but until you have the actor’s head and you are actually working on it with clay then the real changes happen. It was probably like three or four weeks, we actually had about eight weeks to build everything.

HB: The Design has something that I haven’t seen before which was the scar going through the eye. Was that difficult to pull off?

RK: No because all I did was take a kind of look, there’s a company called 9MM effects that did the contacts for us. I took their cataract looks and the used Photoshop to work on it and make the scar go through it and sent that to them and they produced it. Origianally we just had blind eyes. The problem is that with two of those lenses Doug couldn’t see anything on set. So we thought, ‘what if we put a scar through this eye’ and we leave the pupil open.

HB: Ah! so it was born out of necessity!

RK: Yeah.

HB: Because you look at it and you think, “That had to be an issue.”

RK: No it came from him at least having one eye for him to see.

HB: With that eye piece, was it difficult to maintain the makeup?

RK: No not really, I mean, by the time he sits in the chair, we do the makeup, then we finally get him to the set, I mean that’s a fourteen hour day. You are always trying to maintain it though. This design ended up being particularly functional too because usually the lips are an area that you are always touching up. But in this character the lips are scarred. The other thing is that Doug doesn’t sweat. He is always calm, cool. He doesn’t drink, so there’s no alcohol to sweat out.

HB: What’s next for you?

RK: Gerald’s Game is coming up. I got to work with Mike Flanagan, Trevor is producing. and there’s a couple little things brewing. I also just did Secret Santa with Adam Marcus, the guy that did Jason Goes to Hell, he directed it and I produced with him. It’s a great little indie horror comedy. Keep an eye out for it, it will be hitting the festival circuit soon.



By | 2017-04-11T00:55:59+00:00 April 11th, 2017|DVD Releases, Events, Monsterpalooza, Movies|Comments Off on Interview with The Bye Bye Man Makeup Master Robert Kurtzman

About the Author:

Norm(an) Gidney is a nearly lifelong horror fan. Beginning his love for the scare at the age of 5 by watching John Carpenter's Halloween, he set out on a quest to share his passion for all things spooky with the rest of the world.