Sea Monster film costume

2.5 metre tall Sea Monster costume for a short film, made from foam, silicone and Plastazote.

I was assistant sculptor on this project alongside Louise Vergette at Cod Steaks, Bristol. The costume was for a French short film entitled "The Elaborate End Of Robert Ebb," which concerns a nightwatchman in a film studio who finds a B-Movie monster suit, tries it on as a prank, and then is trapped inside while everyone else believes that he is a real creature and hunts him down...

As the suit had to look both a bit scary, and obviously B-Movie-ish, we found ourselves treading a fine line between being naturalistic and becoming too caricatured; I think it took me about 5 different versions just to arrive at the final design for the eyeballs alone.

Louise sculpted the main figure, the tentacles and the feet, and I created the eyes, teeth, fins and siphons, barnacles and a parasitic starfish, the chest and shin plates, and we both worked on the endless swathes of scaly skin which we then draped around it.

Unfortunately for me, I am the same size as Paul Hassall, the poor actor who had to wear the suit, which meant that I had to keep on trying it as we were building it to make sure that it was all working. I now know why monsters in old films always lumber arthritically around: the suits are too heavy to allow for much more! I also made a 30cm high version of the creature as a puppet, which was designed for some long shots where the suit would have been impractical.