A Swedish guy working on a Norwegian ad agency approached me a couple of months ago about buying masks from me. He had seen my work on the web (another testament to the practicality of marketing your creativity for free on the Internet) and wanted to use an old monster mask for an ad about the perils of having real "monsters" in your workplace. This is the mask he wanted to use:
The mask had to be modified to fit a woman of average build. In the ad she represented the kind of co-worker that could suddenly become nasty, and spread bad will through out the company. I cast a new, fresh version of the mask in latex and gave it an, shall we say, unexpected paint job.
I had to build up a new, slender neck, so the mask could be fitted inside the neckline of a blouse. Here's how it looked in the finished ad with a wig and modified eyes:
The customer who had ordered the ad is a recruitment firm, who also wanted to address the problem of old thinking dominating and overshadowing new talent; "dinosaurs" in the workplace, as it were. The ad people wanted me to build 7-8 full-head dinosaur masks, but I strongly objected since it would've taken me forever to sculpt and finish the masks in latex. It would also have been very expensive. Originally the ad people had approached a CGI company, with the intention of rendering the dinos digitally. But that company wanted an ungodly amount of money, which the recruitment firm wasn't at all very keen to put up, so a practical approach was considered instead.
I put forward another solution; that I could build miniature dino heads with slim necks, which the ad guys could then photograph and Photoshop in on top of the heads of the models/extras in the ad image. I made a couple of sculptures to underline my suggestion, and the ad people went for it.
I made a total of 7 dino puppet heads. The faces were fixed in dour expressions, but the necks could be adjusted.
Not all of the heads were used in the end, but I think the result turned out quite well. Here's the finished ad:
I only had a week to build all the dino heads, plus the new monster mask. I've probably never worked so fast before, but I'm happy with the result. Most importantly, the ad agency and the recruitment firm were happy, and while this was a real low-budget project I was still paid a quite handsome sum.