If you've made indie films, you've probably though about making (or made) a zombie movie. I don't know why, but zombies are an irresistible gem in the lexicon of potential movie subjects (not to mention Halloween costumes).
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Well first things first. Here's the shopping list:
1. Liquid Latex (flesh tone).
(You should be able to buy this at any decent costume shop, or you can get it online at places like http://www.liquidlatexworld.com/ )
2. Toilet Paper.
(Or "Bathroom Tissue" for all you people who are afraid to say "toilet".)
3. A Basic, multi-color make-up kit.
(I used a 5 color "aging kit" that I bought at a costume shop, but you could use any make-up as long as it has some flesh tones, reds, and maybe some greens. It all depends on how "dead" you want your zombie to look.)
4. White face cream.
(This is going to be the base of almost any movie make-up you'll do. It's like primer for your effect. You can get this at ANY costume shop.)
A few warnings...
First things first, when working with liquid latex you need to make sure your actor/actress is not allergic. Apply a small patch to the under side of their forearm and wait at least 15 minutes to see if it gets red and swollen. Most people are not allergic, but you don't want a pissed off actor with a red and puffy face in your life...believe me! Now that you know your subject is allergy free, have them wash there face, then put their hair back with something. Also men (or women I guess) should shave all excess hair off their face. Eyebrows are OK, but a beard or some stubble is really going to be painful when you try and remove the latex. Latex in your hair is a very bad thing. Heed these few warnings and your zombie make-up will go much smoother.
Step 1: The Base Layer
Step 2: The TP Stage
For the gross looking cheeks I put a single layer of TP on each cheek, then using a liberal amount of liquid latex I sealed them to my actor's face. Allow to dry.
Step 3: Blending the Layers
Step 4: The Gash
Step 5: Darken the Eyes
Step 6: Blending...
That's basically it. If you want the total zombie experience go to your local thrift store, buy some old dress clothes and ruin them! Rip them, wrinkle them, rub them in the dirt. Your gross zombie make-up and fresh from the grave clothes will make a great addition to the league of the living dead.