Cover art for podcast Battles With Bits of Rubber

Battles With Bits of Rubber

92 EpisodesProduced by Stuart Bray and Todd DebreceniWebsite

This podcast is a joint venture with Stuart Bray and Todd Debreceni. It's all about the making of stuff for makeup effects and prosthetics.Todd is author of 'Special Makeup Effects For Stage And Screen', what many consider to be the modern makeup FX bible.Stuart Bray is a working makeup FX artist wi… read more

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February 22nd, 2024


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#92 - Falmouth Uni Part 1

December 29th, 2023


Our trip down to Falmouth Uni preceded The Prosthetics Event 2023. It was a great trip, and so nice to see the work being done by students there and talk shop.

As always, we have a rough idea about what we want to …

#91 - Digital Tools In The Workshop

November 28th, 2023


  Makeup artists typically like makeup. It is a tactile medium, and they enjoy products, how they feel and smell and respond to brushes and pressure.    Making prosthetics similarly has its tactile qualities, and it …

#90 - Joel Harlow

December 31st, 2022


Joel Harlow is an academy award-winning artist who started out in animation before he moved on to makeup.

Gradually building multi-faceted skills, …

#89 - Maddie Scott-Spencer

October 2nd, 2022


Maddie is a talented concept artist and teacher known mostly for her ZBrush work. Coming from a practical background, her skills come from familiar …

#88 - Adam 'KreatureKid' Dougherty

August 16th, 2022


Adam Dougherty and his company are based in Colorado. An incredibly talented artist, he is an inspiring soul who makes …

#87 - Frank Ippolito

August 14th, 2022


Frank Ippolito is something of a practical effects polymath. From starting out with makeup effects and putting in solid work in the lab, he has …

#86 - More Noses, Fewer Horns

July 30th, 2022


In this episode, we look at a makeup I did nearly 30 years ago at college. Adrian Rigby sent me a remaining original piece from the mould, along …

#85 - Bill Corso

July 3rd, 2022


"Bill, there's a scene where The Blob attacks a woman who's in a 'phone booth and it covers the 'phone booth, it crushes the 'phone booth and here and then it goes on the sidewalk and goes into a gutter and disappears …

#84 - Pete Tindall

February 3rd, 2022


In this episode, we talk with materials maestro Pete Tindall about all things making related, along with a dose of rantage.

I moan a bit about ZBrush (although I love it) and the fact that despite the terrifying …

#83 - Ian Morse Cliff Wallace Part 2

January 27th, 2022


Check the shownotes on the blog:

This second part of our chat with Ian and Cliff takes a look back at the company they had together, Creature Concepts - or as Ian puts it ‘How …

#82 - Ian Morse Cliff Wallace Part 1

January 21st, 2022


This episode was recorded at Cliff's studio, with all four of us present and correct.

Ian and Cliff have worked together and separately in the industry for a long time - Ian's credits include Little Shop Of Horrors, …

#81 - Bolton Part 2

January 1st, 2022

Competence and comfort are the results of the repetition of activity over a significant period of time.   In an age of endless self-promotion, this …

#80 - Bolton Part 1

December 26th, 2021


  What does digital sculpting have to do with battling with bits of rubber?   Speaking in one of the VFX classrooms, a huge space with rows of …

#79 - Jake Garber

December 18th, 2021


Our conversation recently with Jake Garber at The Prosthetics Event in Coventry was, we think, a very important chat worth listening to for anyone who is trying, or thinking about trying to get a foot in the door into …

Amelia Rowcroft: Strong Foundations

November 24th, 2021


Figurative sculptor Amelia Rowcroft lives in the lovely Sussex town of Lewes on the South East Coast of England, which dates back to 961AD.

She was …

#77 - Truth Is Grosser Than Fiction

November 20th, 2021


Click Here For Blog Post Of This Episode

Paul Savage is a returning guest on the show. We caught up with him at the Prosthetics Event in Coventry.

#76 - 1.9 Million Sq. Ft Needed

October 18th, 2021


This episode is in two parts. The first part is the generally good news of the increase in film industry activity which sees many people run off their feet with work. After a year of lockdowns and closed up shops, this …

#75 - Cutting Edges Flat Moulds

July 20th, 2021


We covered cutting edges in episode #61 but this one is specifically about cutting edges on flat moulds.

Cutting edges on appliance moulds do the …

#74 - Foam Filament

June 21st, 2021


In episode #74 we talk about running lots of foam latex and overcoming the things that can go wrong with foam latex. Despite silicone being the material most go to first, it is a very real material that needs to be …

~73 - Rod Maxwell

February 20th, 2021


Rod Maxwell is a bit of a Renaissance man, and the more we talked the more you can see how wearing many hats has informed his approach. Of late, Rod has become known for his fusion of digital techniques with practical …

#72 - Adam Beane

February 10th, 2021


Adam has become well known for his miniature and smaller-scale work which has both great expression as well as high levels of detail, and even developed a material which allowed such tight detail for miniatures called …

#71 - Daniel Parker

January 8th, 2021

Daniel was the first professional prosthetic professional to look at my portfolio. That stuff sticks with you.

That was back in 1994, and there was …

#70 - Dominic Hailstone Part 2

December 28th, 2020


In this second and final part of the chat with Dominic, we look at his art and discuss the drawing and sculptures.

As usual, this podcast episode is …

#69 - Dominic Hailstone Part 1

December 13th, 2020


In this episode (and the next), we have a chat with artist Dominic Hailstone.  He works extensively with visual effects and has a background in makeup effects and practical effects which inform his approach.

Being an …

#68 - QA

November 29th, 2020


This episode is a catch up on some emails and questions we had over the last couple of weeks. We have some great questions this time around, so many …

#67 - Brian Kinney

November 15th, 2020


Brian Kinney is a primetime Emmy-nominated makeup artist and a Journeyman in IATSE Hollywood Local 706 Make-up Artists and Hairstylists Guild, where …

#66 - Lars Carlsson

November 10th, 2020


Lars is a generous self-taught artist from Sweden. He works in film, TV and theatre productions often using new technology to scan and print items …

#65 - Ghosts, Goblins Cutting Edges

October 29th, 2020


It’s Halloween. A Saturday! A full moon! Also not happening because of Covid. Boo.

It’s a damn shame, but I …

#64 - Danny Marie Elias

August 27th, 2020


Danny has done some interesting things with prosthetics, leading with fashion and high concept looks and bringing appliance work into the mix.

#63 - Things That Go Wrong

August 19th, 2020


We have all spotted things in shows which were never meant to be there. Scars swapping sides, hair up one minute and then down the next, blood which moves shot to shot or an errant edge which can't be hidden.

Those are …

#62 - Mould Closure

June 21st, 2020


Closing moulds correctly is vital to get good casts out of them. There seems little point in making a good mould and then getting bad casts out of …

#61 - Cutting Edges

June 11th, 2020


Cutting edges are the point at which a core meets the mould, and is crucial in creating a fine edge for many appliances.

In flat moulds, there can …

#59 - Mark Donovan

May 17th, 2020


Here is a little treat - an additional little episode that checks in with Mark Donovan who played The Hulking Zombie in Shaun Of The Dead.

We …

#57 - 'Little John' Cormican

May 17th, 2020


It was a great pleasure to chat with John face to face (before lockdown, I hasten to add) back in December of 2019.

John is a well known FX artist who has since gone on to work at Tussauds and is a freelance artist.

#58 - Air Bubbles

May 17th, 2020


Air bubbles of one kind or another are inevitable if you deal with materials which start out life as a liquid and then later solidify such as …

#56 - Q A

April 28th, 2020


This episode of the podcast, we catch up with some questions left on our answerphone, emails and comments.

Clay issues, alcohol colours, and a …

#55 - Shaun Of The Dead: An Appreciation

April 25th, 2020


The Shaun Of The Dead prosthetic team reunites and talk through the movie effects shots.

Blog post for this episode here

I thought it would be fun …

#54 - Approaching Workshops

April 17th, 2020


Blog Post link: Folio under your arm, at some point you may wish to appeal to those …

#53 - 5 Big Questions Commonly Asked

April 12th, 2020


There are often a number of questions about prosthetic makeup that get asked often. We put together the top 5 that keep cropping up and do a deep dive into our responses.

1. How do I match an appliance to a person's …

#52 - Brandon Jacquie Ryan

April 2nd, 2020


Todd talks with his good friends and fellow artists, Jacquie & Brandon Ryan.

This episode looks at how people teach, learn, and maybe don't learn. We all need a motivation to learn, and many of us will require …

#51- Neill Gorton

March 19th, 2020


I first met Neill with a folio tucked under my arm for my interview I had managed to arrange at Ealing Studios in 1995.

My first job with him …

#50 - Richard McEvoy Crompton

January 16th, 2020

At IMATS London 2019, I sat and had a great chat with Rick from Bolton University. For those that may not be aware, a breif Rick bio:

"Richard is a …

#49 - Matthew Mungle

December 18th, 2019


In this episode, I got to chat with Matthew Mungle & visit his jail cell!

Matthew and his company, WM Creations have been responsible for makeup effects on scores of shows and racked up a lot of awards and …

#48 - Neil Morrill

December 12th, 2019


In this episode, Neill Morrill joins me in the workshop as we hit up Todd in Colorado and chat about our collaborated efforts on the makeup we did …

#47 - Kate Benton

November 18th, 2019

In this episode, Todd and Stu talk about our week making moulds with epoxy, dropping sculpts and moulage effects for first responder training.

#46 - Makeup Education

November 10th, 2019


Starting Education In Makeup Effects & Prosthetics

This episode is prompted by seeing a few questions on forums about how best to learn about makeup FX and prosthetics. Where to go and what to learn?

Depending on …

#45 - Jordu Schell

September 10th, 2019


Jordu Schell has been pushing clay around for a while and knows a thing or two about sculpting.

Creating concepts for characters and creatures, …

#44 - Colorado 2019

August 15th, 2019

It’s been a while since Todd & I have podcasted, so apologies for the slow return to form.

It’s been a brutal few months, mainly as I have been …

#43 - Paul Savage OBE

April 23rd, 2019

"Paul walked into a Lifeboat station on his 17th birthday and never left, initially volunteering at Poole and now at Tower Lifeboat in London. So …

#42 - Sculpting with Pauline Fowler

February 27th, 2019


In this podcast we talk about art, what it means to be an artist, why we do it, and the challenges we face in trying to make a living doing this.

This was mostly brought about because of the fantastic conversation I …

#41 - Richard Redlefsen

January 23rd, 2019


Richard Redlefsen is someone I saw for the first time a few years back at the UMAE where he was applying his demo makeup on the PPI stand.

What was …

#40 - Rick Baker

December 14th, 2018


Rick Baker knows a thing or two about making stuff in rubber. It's also fair to say he knows a thing or two about the digital world too, as he has been mixing the two for a while.

In 2015, when it was announced that …

#39 - Halloween, Harm Rubber Chickens

December 4th, 2018


Something that Don talked about passionately in our interview was how (mostly) young, creative people can be in a position to get taken advantage of. When working starting out, you are not likely to be handed a …

Ep #38 - Don Lanning part 2

November 26th, 2018

We are back with more Don!

Even though I was there when we recorded, I still get a buzz hearing back what we spoke about.

Simply put, Don will make …

#37 - The Mighty Don Lanning part 1

November 26th, 2018


If you have any sculpting ambition or love for any monster movies made in the last twenty years, then you should know the name Don Lanning.

Not only …

#36 - Trailer Chat

November 1st, 2018


After the madness of Monsterpalooza 2018, we had the chance to grab the gang for a wind down chat to debrief about the trip and talk about what we …

#35 - Steve LaPorte

September 4th, 2018


Steve LaPorte was a joy to speak with. For one thing, he is incredibly talented and has a fantastic body of work.

That aside, he also recalls exactly how he got there and can track back the step by step process of how …

#34 - Michael Westmore Makeup Man

August 29th, 2018


Michael Westmore has done battle with rubber for a few shows, it's fair to say.

With a long career spanning every aspect of makeup, he comes from a several generation deep family which practically bleeds greasepaint. …

#33 - Contact Lenses With Cristina Patterson Bob Smithson

July 31st, 2018


Contact lenses are pretty easy to find nowadays. It wasn't always so, and the increased use of lenses has meant an increase in opportunities to have problems with eyes caused by them.

We chatted to Cristina Patterson …

Ep #32 - Allan Apone Brad Look Respect The Craft!

May 27th, 2018

Todd and I had a great morning chatting with Allan A. Apone and Brad Look at MEL headquarters (Makeup Effects Lab) based up in North Hollywood.


#31 - Steve Wang

May 19th, 2018


One of the great things about Monsterpalooza, and other makeup FX heavy trade shows is you get to meet the people who make a life around doing the work, and who care enough to help others do it too.

For my money, this …

#30 - Chris Lyons Fangs FX

May 3rd, 2018


Chris and Fangs FX is who we call when we need teeth, but there is a lot more to Fangs FX than just...well...fangs!

This is the first of a series of interviews Todd and I did at Monsterpalooza 2018, a three-day event …

#29 - Packrat (mini episode)

February 20th, 2018

So, this is my turn at soloing for a brief episode of Battles with Bits of Rubber.

And, depending on responses to my musings, perhaps Stuart and I …

#28 - Munich

January 30th, 2018

I had the great privilege to be asked to teach some masters degree students at Theaterakademie August Everding in Munich, Germany recently.

I had a splendid time! The three students I worked with all had ambitious, …

#27 - Stu Musings

January 25th, 2018


Seven hours is a big time difference to deal with when trying to synchronise a podcast with two people.

To help with that, Todd and I figured adding some extra single features to help keep the show moving.

#26 - Sangeet Prabhaker

January 3rd, 2018

Most people learn techniques and perfect them. Some people then take those techniques and look at what can be improved. Sangeet falls into this camp.

He is now pretty well known for creating high quality prosthetic …

#25 - Chris Dombos: 3D Prince

December 27th, 2017

3D printing is having an effect on the way things are made. This episode talks about what those things are, how it benefits us all and how you can …

#24 - Eryn Krueger Mekash.mp3

December 19th, 2017

This podcast was a lot of fun to do.

I met up with the Mekashes (Eryn and Mike) at their hotel as they were over for The Prosthetics Event here in the UK.

I was lucky enough to squeeze in a face to face interview and …


November 23rd, 2017


I'm still learning every day. I still make mistakes and I am still worried that every job I am about to start will go …

#22 - Rob Burns: Cutting Edge

November 15th, 2017

Rob Burns makes great sculpting tools because he sculpts and knows what works.

Blog post for this episode with video:

#21 - Allen Hopps: Scaremaster

August 20th, 2017

Allen Hopps is the director of Dark Hour, a huge haunt attraction in Plano, Texas.

I wanted to take a tour and chat with Allen about what it takes to keep people scared and the business of running a haunt all year …

#20 - All About Cap Plastic

April 3rd, 2017


Cap plastic is big....and it's not just for bald caps.

Cap plastic is so called as it was originally pretty much used only for making bald caps, so …

#19 - IMATS LA 2017

March 27th, 2017


This podcast episode is the belated accompaniment to the blog post.

We had a blast, learned some stuff and made some new friends. It was amazing, and I can't wait until IMATS London when I'll be back! Until then, please …

#18 - All Aboard The Freit Train part 2

March 9th, 2017

In part 2 of our discussion, Rob Freitas talks about the value of knowing about the unknowns.

He sheds some light on the importance of knowing to look at what was before and honours great artists like Gil Liberto (

#17 - All Aboard The Freit Train part 1

March 5th, 2017

Rob Freitas is one of the best-known mould makers in the industry and has a phenomenal reputation.

Not only is he incredibly skilled at making …

#16 - Rob Smith Master Of Blood: Part 2

December 27th, 2016


Rob Smith continues his chat with me about foam latex, blood and other FX related goodies. Also, Todd and I talk about our favorite podcasts, and whether or not the word 'mustard' is actually an expression.

Todd and I …

#15 - Rob Smith, Master Of Blood: Part 1

December 4th, 2016

Blood ! Podcast #15!
It's something gets thrown around a lot in film, TV and theatre. There's bad blood, good blood, mudbloods, blood thicker than water and blood brothers. 

This episode we're talking about blood, and …

#14 - Scanners Schoonraads

November 26th, 2016


A little look at the influence of digital technology on the practical effects workflow.

Bear in mind the problems we try to overcome - namely to …

#13 - Mitch at Brick In The Yard

August 25th, 2016

Brick In The Yard isn't the most obvious name to give to a successful FX material supplier. There is a good reason for it though, as you will hear in …

#12 - Rob Burman

August 17th, 2016

Rob Burman is a damned nice fella and kindly took some time to share some of his wisdom, and we are all grateful he did. Thanks, Rob!



If you …

#11 - The One With Thomas Surprenant

August 5th, 2016


The last time we talked about making foam latex, the craft and materials involved in actually producing the foam. This time around, we figured it …

#10 - Foam Latex: It's Smelly But Good!

July 22nd, 2016

Podcast #10 - Foam Latex: It's Smelly But Good!

Foam Latex was the main material appliances and pretty much anything skin-like was made of for long time. It is only relatively recently that silicone has taken it's …

#9 - Symmetry, Schools Fools

May 18th, 2016


#9 - Symmetry, Schools & Fools

Symmetry in sculpting appliances

Whilst teaching a class recently, a student was hung up on getting the nose …

#8 - Start Making The Lowdown On Cap Plastic

April 24th, 2016


Blog post on this podcast is here: 

It seems it would be handy to have some sensible steps to actually start making things. So check out the podcast …

#7 - Geoff Portass Interview (pt2)

April 16th, 2016


In the second and final part of the interview with Geoff Portass, we talk more Ken Russel, Pinhead and FX stories plus some insights into the right way to go about learning some of this crazy stuff.

Leave feedback and …

#6 - Geoff Portass Interview (pt1)

April 10th, 2016


Hey folks, it’s just me today as Todd is pretty sick with a bad cold, so get well soon Todd. Hope you get fixed up and back on track soon.

We’ve got …

#5 - Colour theory In Practice

March 31st, 2016


Colour theory is a crucial part of makeup, especially if you are in the business of trying make a portion of the face out of rubber and make it look …

#4 - Appsolute fools

March 27th, 2016


Todd and I have been chatting, as we both let the blogging slip because of work - so we are back with a plan to do more podcasts to give responses …

#3 - Shooting at Meat. No, really.

March 16th, 2016


Read the blog post to accompay this podcast:

This time we take an interesting approach to capturing the tissue damage caused by gunshots and being able to safely …

#2 - Lifecasting tips and tricks

March 15th, 2016


Check out the blogpost on this subject too:

Lifecasting is an essential, basic skill used in makeup effects and prosthetics - whether to create a custom fit appliance …

#1 - Sticky Situations: The Zen Of Prosthetic Adhesives Removers

March 14th, 2016


This podcast is the first joint blog post venture with Stuart Bray and Todd Debreceni.

Todd is author of 'Special Makeup Effects For Stage And Screen', what many consider to be the modern makeup FX bible.

Stuart Bray …

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