Nick talks about the Make-up effects of Superman. .................Ergo

What Make-up Effects?


"Sometimes they only notice when we get it wrong."

We made SUPERMAN I and a lot of SUPERMAN II at the same time. We were at Pinewood Studios and the star dressing rooms, the make-up rooms and the MFX workshop were all housed in one building. There was a lot of hanging around on that picture. It seemed like every shot was a Special Effect. We all ended up living in each other's pockets. Margot Kidder would read a lot I remember. Marc McClure, who we affectionately called "the kid" was always playing his guitar. Terence Stamp was usually meditating. Chris Reeves was always working out, (when he wasn't picking someone's brains). Nobody asked what Jack O'Halloran was doing. He wasn't the kind of guy you messed with if you didn't have to.

I spent most of my time upstairs in the MFX workshop except when Stuart (Freeborn) asked me to make-up the Super-Villains. Then I would escape to Santana's "Abraxas" and my make-up room. More than any other movie I felt isolated in the workshop. I guess it was just that I worked alone a lot. Graham (Freeborn) was heavily involved with the shoot and Stuart (Freeborn) had turned the little store room off his make-up room into a mini laboratory so that he could tinker with his masterpieces between make-ups. He seemed to spend most of his time there. I produced the foam latex pieces for many items including the little nuked Superman - Superman's hands - the cat and Young Superman's nose.

The problem with movies like SUPERMAN is that you spend a year on a movie and......... if you do your job right............. nobody notices that you did anything at all. The number of times that I have been asked, "Was there special Make-up on Superman?, is startling.

Believe it or not, Chris Reeves couldn't really fly.

Believe it or not, the Super villains couldn't fly either.

Believe it or not, we didn't train a cat to stand in a tree while we messed around with Superman's flying harness........Oh!... Actually we did.... but we had to build a dummy too.

Believe it or not, We didn't actually go to the North Pole and we didn't let a polar bear loose on the set either.

Believe it or not, we didn't actually throw a kid off Niagara Falls.

That's why Stuart Freeborn's credit on SUPERMAN was Creative Supervisor of Make-up and Special Visuals. Watch out for details on the effects you didn't even notice when the following pages are completed.


1. The flying dummies.

2. Superman's harnesses.

2. The cat.

4. The polar bear.

5. the little nuked Superman

6. The hand in the trunk.

7. Young Superman's nose.

8. Superman's muscles.

9. The flying doubles.


LinkExchange Network


Nick's CineSecrets® ........You make movies? click here .......Nick's Art Online

text © CineSecrets 97/98

This link is for "No Frames" users only Index of indexes Don't try it with frames.