We recently had the opportunity to talk to SFX wizard Rebecca Hall about her work and experience on Soldiers of the Damned.
Safecracker Pictures will be releasing Soldiers of the Damned on DVD and Digital on the 17th August.
It’s the Eastern Front, 1944. The Russians are pushing the German Army back Through Romania. Major Kurt Fleischer, war-weary commander of an elite troop of German soldiers, is ordered to escort a female scientist into a mysterious forest behind enemy lines to retrieve an ancient relic. As his men begin to disappear in strange circumstances Fleischer realises that the scientist is part of Himmler’s occult department and there is something in the forest that is far more deadly than the Russians.
How and why did you get into SFX makeup?
I have always loved films ever since I can remember. I have wanted to be involved in making film. I was always arty at school always drawing faces and as I got older I started to appreciate make up and the changes it could make to your appearance so the two kind of fell together for me. I have always enjoyed horror films and thought that they always looked like the most fun to do !! As I was learning make Up I sort of discovered that I was better at the FX so from there really.
Are there any make-up artists working in the film industry past or present who you particularly admire?
So many amazing Fx Artists, people like Stan Winston, Rick Baker, Mark Coulier and Waldo Mason.
Do you have any favourite films that showcase what you would describe as great work?
My favourite film is ‘The Silence of the Lambs’, that has some amazing FX work in it, also ‘Seven’ is simply stunning. But I really loved the prosthetic work in ‘Hitchcock’ a couple of years ago and of course ‘The Thing’ was so very clever.
How did you get involved with Soldiers of the Damned?
RH: Completely by accident as the original FX Make Up Artist could no longer work on the project and My Friend Kim who was designing the costume and recommended me so they were kind of stuck with me.
What kind of things did you do/create on the film?
Lots of axe wounds, slashes, bullet holes, a couple of fancy things like a knife in the eye and in the ear. I worked really closely with the Art department’s Ross Davidson and Tabitha Quitman to get some cool practical effects. I also worked with my Colleague Nicola Pope who also Designed Hair and Make Up and between us we had a plethora of casualty effects as well as making sure all the soldiers were suitably dirty .
What was your experience like working on Soldiers of the Damned?
I honestly had the best time on the shoot, it was and remains one of my favourite jobs. It was a hard slog a lot of the time we had a lot of things up against us. The locations weren’t always easy, the weather was nuts but it was the best team. I have made friends for life and I would go back tomorrow and do it all over again next time with luxury trailers perhaps.
What was the worse thing about working on the film?
The worst thing was the forest. I am not the best with the terrain but I soldiered on.
What was the best thing about working on the film?
The people were 100%, we had the best team, we all banded together.
What have you worked on since ‘Soldiers of the Damned’, and what’s coming up for you?
I have been very fortunate to work on lots of projects since soldiers a few of which will be released soon. One of which ‘The Sleeping Room’ is available to own on DVD as we speak. I am hoping to keep working and hopefully do a project as fun as ‘Soldiers’ again.