How to Clean for Pretend

Grime-ology: The skills and knowledge necessary to “fake” a mess and clean it up.

For some people dramatization is a dirty word but for us it’s an art. We were recently invited to be the resident grime-ologist  on a commercial shoot for a leading cleaning products company. Our goal was to simulate dirt and grime to visually demonstrate the effectiveness of their products. Called dramatization, this style of commercial is very popular; the dirt and clean-up are replicated without using the actual product being advertised. It’s important to reflect the actual results in the damatization so the product’s effectiveness is never misrepresented.

Fake grime for cleaning product dramatization,
Fake grime on garage siding for cleaning product shoot

We start the process by getting descriptions of the locales and the surfaces that will be made dirty. Then we formulate products that are the same colour and texture as the product but will wash off easily with just water. Many different food and cosmetic grade ingredients are used to accomplish this. Multiple tests are done with the replicated products to be sure they will work for the client. In this instance we even used an employee’s garage door and the bosses’ bathroom wall to test their effectiveness.

Deck clean-up dramatization.
Swabbing the deck on cleaning product dramatization.

On the day of the shoot every product has to match the advertised product and perform well so the final look is believable and realistic. The grime-ologist  on set applies the product and checks with the client to make sure everyone is pleased before the look is shot. The actor hired for the shoot is in charge of simulating the cleaning process with only water in the cleaning containers. It is also important that should the grime product get on the actor’s clothing, that it is very easily removed as they may only have one costume per scene. Multiple shots are taken and the grime is touched up between each one until the director and the client are happy with what they have captured on film. After the shot the set is cleaned thoroughly.

Often these commercials are shot in show homes so it is critical that the products do not stain nor leave any residue at the end of the day. The grime-logist comes prepared with an arsenal of cleaning supplies to make sure everything is left exactly the same as when they arrived. And as marketing guru Terry O’Reilly stated in his tweet (@terryoinfluence) yesterday “White shows dirt easier, then sparkles faster when clean. Ideal for the camera.” There are all sorts of behind the scenes tricks to best showcase the company’s cleaning products.

Colour Me Dirty sticks
Colour Me Dirty sticks in 7 colours

The art of making things look dirty for a film shoot can be a major part of the set decorator and costume departments’  jobs. There are a range of products used, many of which we carry at Bleeding Art Industries:  Our own Colour Me Dirty sticks, Grime, Movie Paint Dust, Bentonite, Movie Paint Aging Mud and Dust, Movie Paint Permanent Age Wax, Schmere Dirt and more. Click here to see our full range of Dirt and Dust products.

We hope this sheds some light on the little known world of grime simulation.

Check us out and let us know what you think! 

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Creating some (major) cool in 2018

Telling our own stories by creating our own work has always been one of the key goals of our company. It’s the start of a new year and new adventures and we’re excited to have a variety of our own very cool and interesting projects on the go (no spoiler alerts but keep an eye out here and on our social media channels).

With a current change in audience taste, demand is being created for the more human realism of hands-on practical effects versus digital effects. Part of this trend is a growing appreciation for the edgy hand-crafted artistry of our distinctive style of stop motion animation. We established that style with our first film Skeleton Girl, Canada’s first stereoscopic 3D stop motion animated film. It had its world premiere in New York, was chosen as one of the top short films in Canada, and toured the globe to overwhelmingly positive comments.

We continued experimenting with our fabrication and stop motion capabilities, creating a musical animation called The River, set to the ironic and iconic Canadian trio, The Arrogant Worms’ River of Snot. The River also toured, and in fact was invited to be part of Edinburgh’s Dead by Dawn horror festival, where, very shortly, it is going to be screening a second time. For all of you appalled by the volume of nasal secretions from a crazy bad cold – Edinburgh has officially declared it a horror story!*

The Seance Project Title Card

We’re continuing to  help others create their own cool with our services, products, equipment and props, but we’re re-focused on pitching, building and creating our own arsenal of original properties as well. From a live-action ghost series to stop motion animations, and possibly a feature or two thrown in. We’ve also started dipping our toes into the world of VR, an exciting area for continuing to create cool – a goal foremost in our mind no matter what project we’re working on.

We know it will be an exciting and productive 2018 and want to wish all of you a terrific year as well. We look forward to giving you a peek behind the scenes (or as Nancy says “behind the screams”!) as we continue to create cool this year.  Follow or chat with us via the social media channels below and let us know what you’d like to read about in our blog, we’d love to hear from you!

Wynonna Earp Season 3

We did some amazing things on seasons one and two of Wynonna Earp and are very appreciative of the support and well wishes we received from all the Earpers out there. Though we are not part of the crew for Season 3 (you will see our blood and perhaps a limb or two), we wish the cast and crew a super successful shoot.  Although you won’t get the great behind the scenes blogs we did for the first two seasons, we can’t wait to take you “behind the screams” on the new cool and creative projects we’re working on in 2018.

*note that you can watch both Skeleton Girl AND The River (as well as a behind the scenes making-of video) by going to our YouTube channel below. Check them out and let us know what you think! 

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Continue reading “Creating some (major) cool in 2018”

Bleeding Art Industries Scares Up the Best Horror SPFX for Halloween

Great piece on Paul’s visit to our shop during Calgary Comic Expo. We were pretty chuffed to have our shop as the media’s first stop – and visit to Canada. Have a read and look, he’s got a lot in here.

Paul Jacob Evans

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Like most of the rest of Wynonna Earp Season 2, the finale episode was a master class in supernatural drama storytelling. This show took an unexpected, real-life “complication” — the pregnancy of its lead actress — and built its season around it. The bravery, heart, and feminist subversiveness of this show has been written about a lot, especially post-pregnancy reveal, but it bears repeating: Wynonna Earp isn’t just one of the most fun shows on TV; it’s one of the best, full stop. – Katyl Burt, Den of Geek

The final episode of Season 2, “I Hope You Dance”, stretched our ingenuity for character design. We had high hopes that the beginning of Bulshar’s reveal was going to be suitably hideous and we weren’t disappointed.  Our head fabricator Alyssa Moor tells the story of its creation and the shoot that proved an interesting challenge:

Whatever it takes to get the shot…

“The first reveal of Bulshar’s pale hand reaching up through the rocks looked great. But did you wonder where the rest of the actor was?  He was lying underneath the WynonnaEarp_gallery_212Recap_03set – and I don’t mean on the floor of the set – I literally mean underneath the set that was built for the mine. The director was communicating to the actor using a walkie talkie to speak to a member of the crew who was positioned outside the mine closer to the actor. The crew member then relayed the director’s tips on how to move and when to break through the rocks. Everything seems so simple until you realize you need to get six people and two cameras into a 6 foot square space!”

“Bulshar’s hand saw a lot of action this episode. It broke through the rock, was Bulshar's hand sculptlovingly caressed, chopped off, robbed and finally discarded on the floor of the mine. I sculpted, cast and painted this hand 5 times. There was a costume handBulshar's suitably cobwebbed hand that the actor could wear, two breakaway hand/arms, a pre-chopped hand/arm and a post-chop hand. All of them had to be covered in cobwebs, dirt and slime for every take.”

“Of course we can’t leave out the rest of the costume that was attached to that hand: a full silicone suit that fit the actor like a wiggly glove. He had to be fit into a zentai suit first then slid into his silicone suit through a hole in the side of the costume.”

Joanne Jacobsen at work on Bulshar
Joanne Jacobsen and Jason Huras

“It was quite an ordeal to get him in there and then guide him to Makeup Department Head Joanne Jacobsen to glue down the costume around his eyes and make up the small amount of skin that was left showing. Then off to special effects to get covered in cobwebs, dirt and slime.  As you may imagine it was not very comfortable and it was quite warm in the suit so we tried to keep his laps of the set to a minimum. Luckily he got to lie down in a nice padded coffin for his shots. This character was created in a week and a half in our shop, with a final test in our Bleeding Art boardroom of the actor in costume escaping the coffin. Not just another day at the office.”

Who knows what Season 3 will bring and what evil shall develop from this larval form of Sheriff Clootie…

Bulshar (Jason) and Alyssa on set
Jason and Alyssa on set


For all of our Calgary fans: If you want to get up close to Bulshar’s costume and other Wynonna goodies, they will be on display at our Bleeding Art Beakerhead event on Friday, September 15.  Tickets are going fast so click here now to book.

Special effects for this episode also included creating the ghostly fog in the mine, the mine cave-in with hand-crafted light weight rocks, Bulshar’s arm chop, theBobo and Doc almost face to face knife in Doc’s hand, Bobo’s torso stakes and more. And baby Alice – when not seen live and close up – was in fact one of our two very realistic silicone babies.

Though this is our last blog for Season 2 we will reveal more next week revisiting this episode and some of the other practical SPFX this season that we didn’t have time or space to cover in our episode blogs. The mine cave-in is an effect that took skill and timing to create – we’ll tell you more next time.

Wynonna Earp is just one of many projects we work on throughout the year. Follow our blog and social media sites if you want to keep tabs on other cool things we do. Thanks for your support and all the retweets, likes and comments throughout our Wynonna Earp Season 2 blog posts!

If you have a questions or would just like to know more about the special effects you’ve seen this season let us know in the comments section below.

At Bleeding Art Industries, WE CREATE COOL. Check out our work @, our Twisted Tales universe @, and our products @

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Body Hits and Blown Off Doors

Last week’s Episode 11 of Wynonna Earp “Gone as a Girl Can Get” took us down a Purgatory rabbit hole where Wynonna didn’t exist. In this alternate reality Waverly is still in the closet but Nicole hopes that she’ll escape before she walks up the aisle with Perry. Bobo is released from the asylum by “his angel” Waverly and all hell is breaking loose at the Earp homestead – now a Revenant clubhouse – with a dark side Doc running the show.  It’s Crazy Town. Earp homestead has been taken over

In this behind the scenes blog we’re going to talk about bullet hits – a practical effect that can be routine or spectacular. Easily the most emotional moment for us this episode was when Doc’s deadly aim hits Dolls and Doc’s look of astonishment and horror when he realizes Dolls isn’t wearing his body armour. Dolls retaliates and Doc receives a fatal shot in return. We’re hoping the alternate reality has temporary consequences.

Dolls gets hit by Doc in an alternate reality

When Dolls is hit, the impact, blood spiral, and body action were epic.  It’s a perfectly choreographed moment.  Here’s what SPFX Supervisor Leo Wieser had to say:

“All things conspired to make the body hit on Dolls visually fantastic. What we had were two “squib” effects placed on actor Shamier Anderson, one for entry and one for exit.  From studying forensics,  we know that a bullet may not just pass through a body in one straight line but may deviate course, bounce off bones, and delay and change the line of the exit.  With this in mind we staggered the timing on the two hits so that as the performer takes the hit, he then pirouettes around and a second hole opens up for the exit wound.

WynonnaEarp_gallery_211Recap_10We knew that this would be slow motion so timing was very tricky so that it didn’t read as a double shot.  We also knew that the consistency of the blood had to have a number of thixotropic qualities (see non Newtonian fluids). What usually happens with stage bloods that are thinned for such use is that the visual becomes what is lovingly referred to in the military as a “Pink Mister”.  Although realistic, this does not read as dramatically on film.  Here we made a special mix of our Bleeding Art Industries bloods with acrylic thickeners to achieve polymerization and to get a stringy ribbon effect.  We used the same mixture in Doc’s back hit, but the spread of multiple devices made more of an explosion of blood and flesh than a water spray.  As the name suggests, a “squib” hit utilizes a pyrotechnic driver to open and push the blood load out and into the air.  This effect is only for advanced and certified pyrotechnicians and should not be attempted without a high degree of experience.

The front doors blowing off the asylum when Bobo makes his dramatic exit, is an effect we worked hard to achieve. The effects was achieved with weighted pulls.  The doors were built to be light weight from wood materials and strung with high strength ropes.  To get the correct angle of trajectory, pully systems were set up to redirect the control point from where the door was calculated to fly.  Here the doors weighed about 30 lbs a piece and we did have to be very careful as to where they ended up as we didn’t want to injure any crew.  Testing of the rig was first done with sandbags, weighted to the same weight as the doors.  This would give us a good idea of strength of operator pull and final resting place of the doors.  When comfortable with the sand bags we went on to testing with the doors.  I have left the section of video intact showing a not so near miss between our operator Keifer and one of the doors.  We pride ourselves on safety and I wanted to show how incredibly important testing is to demonstrate repeatability and practicality of the effects we develop.  Even on the day, we were confident on the landing points of the doors, but we needed to take time to reassure the crews that we could do what we said we were going to do.  We had exact landings every time.

The behind the scenes demo testing can be seen here.

So what happens next? Showrunner Emily Andras talks to Entertainment Weekly about Episode 12, the finale for Season 2:

“It’s going to shake out in a blistering finale. Look, we have a lot of hanging threads that we are very excited to close off. You’re going to get answers on a lot of things you’ve been waiting to find out all season. We’re going to get… let me put it this way: We will get some closure on maybe what Waverly is.”

 “It is really emotionally taxing. I cried twice in the episode — which is pretty unusual for me because I’m very cold-hearted and I already know what’s going to happen. I hope it makes you feel things. At the same time, we now have the privilege of kicking off the new story for season 3. It’s definitely one of my favorite episodes of the year. It’s crazy y’all.  Brace yourselves.”

The final episode of Season 2 of Wynonna Earp airs on Friday, August 25th on Space and Syfy  10 pm ET, 8 pm MT. It is also available on iTunes. At Bleeding Art Industries, WE CREATE COOL. Check out our work @, our Twisted Tales universe @, and our products @

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Not Our First Demon Rodeo – So Bite Me!

Bleeding Art Industries bloods

Wynonna Earp Season 2 Episode 10 “I See a Darkness” was all about saving Nicole, but the price Waverly paid was brutal. The widow bite that started it all worked for us as the bleeding wound was a great cameo for our  Bleeding Art blood that oozes on cue every time. For the series we use a custom blended variation of our popular liquid blood.

We have to agree with Della Harrington from Den of Geek who says Sheriff Nedley stole the show – Nedley’s delightfully sassy torture banter reminded me of the episode “War Stories” from Firefly. Every line he had was a showstopper, but one of the best had to be, “do you think this is my first Demon rodeo? Did you know we had an actual demon rodeo?” Congrats to Make-up Department Head Joanne Jacobsen and assistant Gunther Schetterer for the very realistic beating make-up on Sheriff Nedley.

If you’re in Calgary for the Calgary International Film Festival this fall, there is a Wynonna Earp Q&A panel on September 30th which includes actor Greg Lawson who plays Sheriff Nedley. See below for more info and how to buy tickets at the end of this blog.

Wynonna Earp crashes truck through barn door
This photo is a digital composite to create the illusion of the stunt double being hit by the truck.

Wynonna crashing the truck through the barn door to save “my Nedley” was one of our favourite effects.  Here’s a video showing the crash from the other side of the barn door, driven by Andrea, Melanie’s stunt double.  When the crash happens the actual impact of the truck on the sister/wife witch isn’t shown but the stunt double is wired for the impact pull back and the timing of the cuts gives the illusion that you do see the truck hit the witch.  Your brain fills in the visual blanks. Clever.

When Hannibal Mask (in process)for Clooty widow MercedesMercedes is finally captured we were pleased to see the detail in her Hannibal Mask for sister/wife widow MercedesHannibal Lector mask. We fabricated this piece from urethane resin on a standard mold. The inside was padded for the actor’s comfort and the straps were made from a leather dog collar kit. We also made 3 leather mouth guards so the needle could pierce into a clean piece for each take.

It will be very interesting to see the Purgatory universe reveal in episode 11, the horrifying result of the iron witch’s genie-trophy revenge wish! Doc and Wynonna’s disappearance and Jeremy and Waverly’s wedding plans give us a weirdly scary hint of what to expect next.

Calamity Jane KittyA big shout out to our favourite ginger feline Calamity Jane (we’re all cat lovers here). Her cat-in-the-headlights look when Doc and Wynonna whipped open the closet door was the perfect kitty response. Word on the set is that – like Daniel Day Lewis – Calamity Jane lives her character for the entire shoot…no practical SPFX required.



Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) is hosting a Wynonna Earp panel on Sept 30 at 2 pm. Panel guests include Show Runner Emily Andras, producer and writer Jordy Randall and cast members Melanie Scrofano (Wynonna Earp), Tim Rozon (Doc Holliday), Katherine Barrell (Officer Haught) and Greg Lawson (Sheriff Nedley) . Click here for tickets.

And, if you’re in Calgary two weeks before, check out our behind the scenes Beakerhead event on Friday, September 15th. You’ll get up close and personal with the autopsy suit from Season 1 as well as a lot of other interesting and intriguing animatronics, special effects, and scary test dolls. Click on the link above to order tickets online.

Hmmm, with both Beakerhead and CIFF going on, maybe you out of towners should just book a two week holiday and head to Calgary!

Season 2 of Wynonna Earp airs on Space and Syfy on Friday nights 10 pm ET, 8 pm MT. It is also available on iTunes. At Bleeding Art Industries, WE CREATE COOL. Check out our work @, our Twisted Tales universe @, and our products @

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Crank up the Creepy Factor

In Wynonna Earp Episode 9 “Forever Mine Nevermind”, Wynonna’s nesting instinct is more combative than cozy – whether she is hitting Home Sense for colour coordinated cushions or not.  This episode was action packed and we were kept busy with several major SPFX projects needing completion in record time.

Starting with the knife in the eye of the shopkeeper…..After some seriousAntique prop knife apprehension about making a knife-in-the-eye prosthetic, it worked out well with the golden dragon hilt gleaming amongst the bloody mess of the shopkeeper’s ruined eye. The knife was made hollow and light and attached to a plastic eye cup to protect the eye, then a gelatin appliance was applied over that cup and made up to be a bloody mess.

Fake burned corpseFor the burned cadaver we initially thought we could use a burned body that we had in stock (yes our stock room is full of interesting and unusual objects). When that proved unworkable we quickly changed direction and made a new one in two days using a zentai suit, expanding foam, part of a skeleton, latex and some hands and feet we had available. The result was a disgusting looking burnt corpse that revolted everyone who saw it. Success!

The creepy dolls both small and human sized were an Creepy doll #2interesting challenge. There was a lot of discussion about whether dolls were scary or not and if they were, what made them so. The vote was split down the middle, so our job was to guarantee a high creep factor on these dollies. Big doll had a custom face mask and fitted silicone gloves with wig and costume completing it. Small doll was made to match using a vintage doll as the body and building a new head. Both costumes were made by the costume department.  Plaster shattering extra pieces were made to break on the floor and (should it be required) broken on screen as a VFX element.  In the end the broken elements were not used except as dressing for the aftermath.

Jeremy’s witch vapour guard was a silicone piece cast from a mold of his face to ensure a good fit.  This was a simple peel away element that the makeup team of Joanne and Gunther wrangled on the day to great effect.  The charred witch’s head was the burned original from a previous episode, carefully made from non-toxic materials for everyone’s safety during the burn.

The burning painting was real – we fired up several paintings to get the right effect. Watch our You Tube channel for upcoming test videos.  Lots of extra paintings were issued by the art department for us to test.  In the end, a nichrome heating wire was used and wrapped around yellow fireworks star material.  The outside of the frame was saturated with accelerant so that once the burn broke through the rear, the painting itself would seemingly combust.  It was done in one take (although Leo wanted to do more).

The spark hits for the gun shots to the big doll’s body were different as no blood would be present post hit.  The idea was that the bullet would be hitting porcelain and make a small spark on the hit.  But they looked great – it’s always interesting creating a realistic visual for a supernatural concept. Stone witch prop knife

And lastly, the Stone Witch’s stone/blood knife was constructed so that when the hilt was squeezed, blood would come out of the reservoir in the hilt and through the holes drilled into the blade of the knife to simulate a realistic bleed from a cut wrist.  Again the tests looked great and will be posted at a later date.

Will be fun to see what happens in the next episode with the cliffhanger ending of Nicole opening the door to the widow. In Entertainment Weekly Emily Andras says:

I almost can’t even talk about it. Brace yourselves — but put your faith in love.”

Season 2 of Wynonna Earp airs on Space and Syfy on Friday nights 10 pm ET, 8 pm MT. It is also available on iTunes. At Bleeding Art Industries, WE CREATE COOL. Check out our work @, our Twisted Tales universe @, and our products @

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