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NBC Studios - Burbank, CA
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My professional association with NBC began in 1985 with a simple call asking me if I could come in to create a mask at the request of Jim Alvarez, head of the NBC Wardrobe department in Burbank, CA. I had recently met Jim during an interview and was delighted to receive the call.

The mask was of the character Lion-O from the Thundercats, a new syndicated cartoon series for children.

Lion-O became the first of many projects I would produce for NBC over the next several years. Because of Jim's generous nature, I was able to showcase my talents on everything from novelty hats for the 'Tonight Show', to giant spiders for 'Punky Brewster'. I enjoyed working there very much.

Here is how I created the mask:
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Step one - Developing the Pattern

The Pattern for the Mask is developed over a mannequin form of the human head. By utilizing a custom designed skullcap the proper control over visual sight-lines and fit are insured. With the features realized, you can start to bring the character to life.


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Step two - Building the Mask

The pattern is transferred to polyurethane sheet foam, cut out and keyed in order to duplicate the original model. The pieces are joined using an industrial strength adhesive. The mask is refined and the contours are reinforced.

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Step three - Applying the Finish

The finish is determined by the original design and may include a variety of techniques. For this mask, a specially designed paint was used to apply the make-up and skin tone. A custom screened-lens inserted into each eye completes the effect.

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Step four - Creating the Wig

The unique qualities of polyurethane foam, allowed for the stylized and elaborate construction of the character’s wig design without adding unnecessary weight to the finished product. The wig was layered over a foundation base, secured to the skullcap and airbrushed. 

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