Episode 7 of Season 1 Wynonna Earp has aired and it’s a must see, prepping you for the next episode when the horror factor rips things wide open. This week Waverly throws a bridal party for a friend when some unexpected visitors come calling. If you saw Episode 6, you’ll remember that Waverly “married” the skull of the Stone Witch’s son. Fast forward to the latest episode and she not only finds herself stabbing a stripper/henchman in the ear but also infuriating the Stone Witch by throwing the skull against the side of a barn where it shatters explosively into a million pieces.
Let’s turn it over to Bleeding Art Industries fabricator Alyssa Moor to hear her story about how she went about creating the scissors in the ear and the skull shatter effects…
While building the prosthetics for the characters on Wynonna Earp I had the privilege of meeting many of the actors for castings in our shop. Castings are often quite straightforward but Jesse Lipscombe’s ear casting was unique. He came in to the shop in the evening because that was the only time his schedule would allow. To help us focus, we often have music playing and that evening was no exception. As Jesse was laying his head on the table getting cold pink alginate poured on his ear he started singing. I can honestly say that has never happened in the shop before; I guess it attests to how comfortable he was. That is definitely one of my favourite memories from Wynonna Earp.
That ear casting was the base for the scissors- in-the-ear prosthetic build for Episode 7. It was done with an extremely light replica pair of scissors and some bloody goo, cast to fit in his ear canal exactly so when his body was puppeted by the witch the scissors would proudly protrude from the ear prosthetic. We added in some wire to the “rig” to stabilize the unit and the whole contraption was glued around his ear. I was also asked to include a piece of ear dangling down and a bit of hair to hide the section that looped around the ear. It fit perfectly on set and allowed him to “safely” have scissors stuck in his head.
The fate of the skull that was left to Waverly was decided in this episode as she smashed it against a wall. This trick was pulled off by roto-casting plaster in a skull mold, very carefully removing it from the mold and then painting it to match. Before going to set, the skull had some dust inserted into it to increase the effect. Three rather fragile skull models were created but they all made it to set without breaking and the effect came together SMASHINGLY!
The amount of research that Alyssa did on the skull to find the best breakaway material was significant. She tried a number of plastics first before settling on plaster. In the end, it also gave the best effect. Thanks Alyssa for always finding the best method and in this case, the simplest and most cost effective. Testing one of the skulls to make sure it shattered as needed was videotaped here against a wall in the shop.
The skull which Bobo and the Stone Witch were searching for in the previous episode is another item which was played up in the original script, but did not make it to screen. Here is a test video of the inner jaw that this skull has. In the early script Doc cut himself on the second row of teeth as it sprung into view.
We very much look forward to talking about the next episode and for reasons which will soon come to light, it will be a much longer blog. Please join us next Tuesday for our blog entitled…You’re Such A Cutup.
Wynonna Earp airs on Space on Saturdays after Dr. Who. It is also available by clicking here on iTunes.