View Full Version : Overheating Masks and Actors.

02-20-2011, 12:31 AM
Hello everyone, this year we are going to try making our own masks. We want them to be tight like laytex so that they look extremely real and gruesome. However we also have heard horror stories about how you quickly people burn up in masks like that so I was hoping some of you might know some tricks and tips or have some other materials in mind that would also work.

02-20-2011, 08:13 AM
The best actor friendly mask is a foam latex stocking mask. I make all our masks that way except for a few I make out of silicone for the hardcore few. Foam latex breaths well, so it helps prevent them from getting too hot. Also they look good cause the foam latex moves well. When possible I try to wait to see what actor will be wearing what mask, and fit it to that actor. I place the stocking on their head, then attach the foam piece while they are wearing the stocking. I usually attach hair or other various things to cover the back of the stocking. Here are a couple examples of ones I just made for this year. Yes, that one has my finger in it holding up the head piece. I hadn't installed the LED lights in the piece, but I wanted to see what it would look like....

Foam latex masks take a little more effort, but it is worth it.

Jim Warfield
02-20-2011, 08:38 AM
This was done often in large College Maskot heads produced just 10 miles from me. Sometimes they got fans from auto salvage I was told (maybe wrongly?)
Of course most of us won't be finding ourselves in the hot summer sun in-costume like at a football game or marching in parades as would be a large character costume.
Are there really small fans, like maybe from a computer, that are used to physically move air inside a mask?

02-20-2011, 10:36 AM
Thanks, for the replies, one question I have though is does the foam laytex move well? like when a actor talks will the mask mouth move while the actor is talking?

02-20-2011, 11:00 AM
Yes, it can. Depends on the design of the mask and how well fitted the mask is to the actor. Both these I designed to have the mouth move with the actor. However that might end up being very minimal if the mask fits too loosely on the actors face.

02-20-2011, 06:42 PM
Lurker where would you recommend getting the supplies for making those types of masks?

02-20-2011, 09:55 PM
You can get foam latex kits and supplies from Monster Makers (http://www.monstermakers.com/)
If you have any specific questions you can PM me or drop me an e-mail.

Allen H
02-20-2011, 10:14 PM

there are so many types of masks and many pros and cons to each kind this is a huge topic so I will only touch briefly on them

Latex mask- Can get extremely no human forms- very static and can get hot
Surgical latex mask- must stay close to human form-good movement not as good as silicone
Silicone mask- great movement and look-very hot and expensive
Foam latex mask- good movement-hot and fragile
sock mask- good looking-cooler than full foam and silicone-not commercially available
fabric mask- good look- limited range of characters and effectiveness
?the future?- a stretchy breathable material-of moderate cost nothing is perfect out there yet im afraid

Right now I think sock masks are the current winner. I should have a full sock mask article soon in HW magazine. I also like silicone masks, but they just arent comfortable for long term actor use, you can get a few dedicated performers to wear them all night but many only make a few hours. If cost is a factor the sock masks win hands down.
Allen H

Jim Warfield
02-21-2011, 06:10 AM
The underware mask!
Just pull it over your head, peek out through a leg hole opening.
Dark paints additional, optional.
Sew in a small label/tag:Fruit Of The Looney!"
Should be a cool mask for long-term wear since there are those large holes here & there.

damon carson
02-21-2011, 07:28 AM
Jim a fan should be equipped in such a mask. Morris sells freezable head bands and chest pieces for costumes such as mascots or amusement park characters. I would think at Six Flags or other theme parks they have multiple costumes or several actors that switch off being the character through the day. Im sure bugs bunny has quite an aroma all to himself by the end of the day. Good thing there is frebreeze.