The Legendary Man- Dick Smith
There were days when way back Mr Smith faced difficulties cause of the secretive attitude of people, as there were not much makeup artist in new York and that times, no one wanted to reveal their artistic techniques. But his dedication and creative mind took him a long way.
It was eventually in 1940s where he introduced his artistic creations for makeup. In 1969, he used overlapping foam latex appliances to transform 32-year old Dustin Hoffman into a 121-year old Indian man, when his contemporaries thought this idea was crazy for the movie "Little Big Man".
Still he worked for 6 Weeks on the old age make-up, using photographic references for every wrinkle. The aging make-up work he used changed habits in the industry it boomed up his reputation.
He was now on roll and continued his revolutionary work during the filming of The Godfather, released in 1972.
"He created the first ever bleeding special effects in this movie by creating bladders that were hidden under a foam latex forehead, with a squib that detonated the bladder, allowing blood to pour through a pre-arranged hole in the middle of the forehead.
He applied this to Sterling Hayden, the police captain who was shot in the head during this movie. It involved running wires through his hair, which were covered by the forehead make-up. Electricity was sent through the wires to set off a tiny charge that ignited a small cap, which punctured the bladder, freeing the blood to trickle through the hole. This was the first time special make-up effects had ever been done.
"One of the biggest thrills in film making is helping an actor achieve a character. In all of my experience, I cannot think of anything else that comes close to the excitement of this art form." - Dick Smith
These days, Mr. Smith spends most of his time advising special make-up effects students around the world via correspondence through his course: The Dick Smith Advanced Professional Make-Up Course. There are currently 26 people in Australia who have signed up to it and he is a great admirer of the talent in this part of the world. He is looking forward to share more of his wisdom in the future to help the next generation of make-up artists become even better than him.
Posted June 24, 2011
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