IMATS Bloody Sunday True Blood Panel


There was a special True Blood panel discussion during the International Makeup Artist Trade show on 6/26/11. Andre Bustanoby, Brigette A. Myre Ellis, Lana Grossman, Dan Rebert, Todd Masters and Mark Viniello were present at the panel moderated by Joe Nazzaro.

Dan Rebert, Todd Masters

The panel discussed their work on True Blood as the makeup artists and special effects team that help bring True Blood to life (or undead as the case may be for the vampires). The panel presented special slides and video which featured the screen tests that are conducted with the actors prior to filming in order to ensure the makeup and special effects required for the scene are fine tuned.


It was a lot of fun to hear from the panel talk about the screen tests and how the cast are very helpful and willing to endure the many hours sometimes needed to apply the makeup. They also brought along the prosthetic head of Hank the truck driver who was drained by baby vampire Jessica Hamby.

Denis O’Hare worked with the special effects team to present the infamous “spine ripping” scene that fans enjoyed in season 3 of True Blood.

dsc_0095Alexander Skarsgard’s character -Eric Northman endurced the severe burn makeup needed in Season 3 when he walked into the daylight. Alan Ball refers to the effect of a vampire charred severely by the sun as if it were a “burning log of wood”.


Yes even the third degree type burns that Denis O’Hare’s character-Russell Edgington gave the special effects crew a bit more of a challenge. The King was so blackened that when he would cough it seemed that he coughed up “ash” when in fact it was oreo cookie crumbs. When the special contacts were placed into Denis’ eyes even he stated that they finally removed the last part of what was still “Denis” and the end result was the crispy critter King shown in the season 3 finale.


True Blood’s fourth season brought a new supernatural creature to life on the show yes the Fae. The screen test image above shows how Alan Ball’s vision for these creatures are based on goblins. The actors were cast for these parts based on their physical attributes (thin or special angles on faces eyes etc).


Of course the “twisted sex scene” from Season 3 was discussed and they showed the various steps required to bring that bone crunching scene to life.


A test “dummy” is set up to see how the scene would look as taped. Then practiced and timing is perfected. It is amazing how many hours and hours are needed to bring a few minutes of action to life for the show. (kudos to the makeup artists and special effects crew)



Even Alan Ball loves to get into the spirit of the show and is shown below wearing a mask. (this is Alan Ball’s profile photo from Facebook)

Alan Ball

The images in the gallery below are from the panel. It was a fun and interesting panel discussion for me as a fan of the show and also since I love the makeup industry and the special effects so it was a double treat for me. Again kudos to the amazing cast and crew of True Blood.

UPDATE: They brought a “prop” to the panel that would be a big part of the season 4 finale: (yes THAT heart!)

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