Here Be Monsters - Monsters, Moulage and Mayhem

Friday, October 28, 2011

Don applies wounds to a student for the Shoreline emergency exercise
while other "victims" wait their turns.
Photo by Diane Hettrick
By Victoria Rhoades, ND

To say that Don Warner of Monsters, Moulage, and Mayhem does “Halloween Consultation,” is an understatement. He can deck someone out for Halloween – and do it really well! He can also do injury simulation for emergency preparedness drills, or do makeup for any kind of costume party or event imaginable. He’s worked with Hollywood makeup artists, and teaches classes in how to do makeup.

As a Shoreline Fire paramedic, Don Warner knows what wounds really look like.
Prep for the Shoreline emergency drill.  Photo by Diane Hettrick.
I asked Don how he got into this business, and he told me it all started 25 years ago. He was working as a paramedic for the Shoreline Fire District (he still works there), and they were putting on a staged disaster production at Shorecrest High School, to demonstrate the dangers of drinking and driving. This was complete with wrecked cars, police taking away a teenager from the “scene” in handcuffs, and taking away another as a deceased victim. Truly, a horrible scene, intended to demonstrate the awful consequences of driving under the influence.

Students from the fire training class display Don's work
for the emergency drill at Shoreline Christian School.
Photo by Diane Hettrick
However, Don was unhappy with the “special effects” – the realism of the damage done wasn’t realistic enough for him. As a paramedic, he knew he could better simulate an actual accident victim. So he started taking classes, first in Carson City, Nevada, then in other locations. Hence, he started off his business with injury simulation, aka “moulage”. 

This is one of the milder examples.
Photo courtesy Don Warner.
Ten years ago, he expanded from moulage to Halloween makeup, the “monsters” part of his repertoire. And two years ago, he added body painting and airbrushing. He says that the airbrushing technique adds the ability to do subtle shading and adds realism to his more adventurous monster creations. Another thing he feels strongly about is the realism of his blood – it has to have the right consistency and color. For him, this can make or break the look for both moulage, and monsters such as vampires. This eye for detail is evidenced throughout his work. His business vehicle is a redecorated ambulance. He continues his education by going to Halloween conferences and seminars, where makeup and costuming pros share ideas and practice.

Don has branched out into body art.
Photo courtesy Don Warner.

What sort of clientele does he serve? Many kinds, he works for disaster preparedness exercises, but he also works for individuals putting on parties. Parties can be for anything, from a theme wedding (Goth wedding, anyone?), to an over-the-hill birthday party, to a costume party of any kind, a Christmas production with elves, as well as Halloween. I’m certain he could work to provide makeup and other professional support for a theatrical production as well.

Ready for Halloween
Photo courtesy Don Warner
I hear that he does an incredible Halloween party, but he does demand that you come in a costume of some kind. I’m ransacking my closet to see what I can come up with – if I ask nicely, he might invite me.

Contact information: Monsters, Moulage, and Mayhem. Don Warner, owner. Phone 206-940-7777, email.


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