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Interview with David Scherer - February 2006

David Scherer - February 2006

Oh My Gore : "Hello David. How are you doing? Have you rested a bit since last summer?"

Hello! I'm doing very well for the time being event though I didn't rest last summer and even less after that since I'm just back from the Gérardmer festival...

Oh My Gore : "Could you introduce yourself to the readers of Oh My Gore! who might not know about you yet?"

Of course, I'm a young make up artist; I founded a small workshop in Strasbourg FX Studio (http://www.fxstudio.book.fr), I've worked for about three years and I'm an absolute fan of fantastic cinema.


Oh My Gore : "Before talking about your cinematographic path, could you tell us a bit more about you? Why, when and how did you career headed towards cinema, and above all towards FX make-up?"

In fact, it's a bit special, I basically wanted to work into psychology; after getting my bac (degree), I started sociology studies, but I still remained a heavy movie consumer, I regularly cobbled up in my garage on evenings. One day, I talked for a long time with a career adviser with whom I got on well with and who advised me to do what I dreamt the most of, meaning cinema.

Oh My Gore : "Which studies and formations did you do to arrive where you are today?"

Sociology studies up to about 2000 and then I trained a lot, and trained and again...

Oh My Gore : "So you're a FX make up artist for cinema, and more specifically in the horror genre, and when we see the number of movies in which you were involved, it's quite impressive; you're only 25, aren't you?"

I'm 26 and soon 27 and I shot my first movie in Paris in 2002, then I spent the whole year looking for little things to do on different movies, and I finally started to shoot regularly in early 2003. It is true that I realise many bloody and gore effects for films, I like it, it's a style that if often look down on but I don't care, I'm a big fan of Gianetto de Rossi and I think that his effects have a very peculiar charm, a style that you can recognize at once...

Oh My Gore : "Where does you inspiration come from? I know that many are orders, but you must also create some effects?"

It's very diverse, sometimes the director has a very precise idea, sometimes not and, then, we talk a lot, we make schemes, we discuss...
A good communication is essential on a project... For example, on "NAUFRAGE" (WRECK), the director, Olivier Bégin, asked me for aquatic zombies, we talked about his references, about mine, and he quoted Fulci; I then used this reference added to the kind of movie that he tried to make (a serious fantastic film) and we found the look our zombies should have...

To get inspired by the atmosphere of a movie is capital to make successful effects. In the case of a gore comedy like Didier Garcin's and Caroline Coulié's "ZOMBIE STARS" for example we had to play on exaggeration and it works very well! The zombies are greenish, litres of blood come out of a torn out throat etc etc... We did the same on Luc Roué's "RESIDENCE PARADISE" which can be easily compared with cartoon style... Whereas, on a movie such as Guillaume Fillias's "DEADLY NIGHTSHADE", there's no excess of gore effect, all remains believable because the movie is a fantastic detective film... The final shooting sequence, indeed very well choreographed by Olivier Blanco and his NewBladeTeam, was thought that way; you won't see excess of gore effects in that one lol.

Oh My Gore : "Which make up realisation are you the most proud of? And the least proud of?"

I like the make up applied on François Levantal in Julien Leclercq's "TRANSIT"... Also, I quite appreciate the zombie make ups in "NAUFRAGE", and I have to salute the performance of the extras under the make up who had a huge patience!!! I love them lol.
Then, I quite like some little punctual effects that I made like for example Gilles Guissani's scar in "DEADLY NIGHTSHADE", glass fragments in Seydina Baldé's arm in "BETRAYER", the swollen ankles of Duong Dang Thai's "HYPERTROPHIE" or the pregnant belly on Florence Loiret in "PETITE FAIBLESSE" (SMALL WEAKNESS) Arnault Labaronne's last short; I made this effect with Nibel, my colleague, last July...
I'm quite fond of the effects on Steve G.'s "WONG", a movie that is inspired by Miike's universe (I must warn you that it's quite trashy) or even some more...
The effects that I liked the least... I would say the ones I made on "ON ARRETE PAS LE PROGRES" (PROGRESS CAN'T BE STOPPED), a bad memory with a director that absolutely didn't know what he wanted, he got fun filming in close up at 10 pm a make up that was put on at 12 am, quite a mess... I think some people should stop making people waste their time pretending making movies...

Oh My Gore : "According to you, which was the hardest effect to realise?"

Many! Lol more seriously, I think that all special effects have their own difficulties; I think that the most complex effects are those which demand the more realism, for example the fake head in "BUSHIDO BOOGIE" by Quarxx or Florence Loiret's belly were quite complex pieces. For example at the moment (February 2006) we're working on a fake head for Jean Rollin's new film...
In their style, the mutants of the famous Morku's "BENETT" were very difficult to conceive as we had absolutely no budget but, in the end, it's a big fun and we have to admit that it's really pleasant...

Oh My Gore : "Now, let's talk about what's new for you, and your work on the new Antoine Pellissier's movie "HORRIFICIA". How is it going?"

At the moment when I'm talking to you, several scenes have already been shot, Antoine loves gore a lot and he's sometimes hard to follow because he has many ideas and, unfortunately, we don't always have the time to make everything...

Oh My Gore : "From the pictures that I saw, you did a huge work (as usual:) and that second opus tends to seem more violent that the previous one doesn't it?"

All depends on the way it will be edited but, indeed, there are very gory scenes, I only hope that it won't be too "gory" in the guts a go-go style because that leads nowhere but that there would be more subtle ideas and bloody sequences like, for example, the effects about nails, teeth and eyes... things that are more striking than litres and litres of blood...

Oh My Gore : "You also work on other projects, can you tell us a bit more about your future?"

Right now I prepare some big projects... A huge project about a long-running movie which is a secret and about which I can't talk about at all (sorry), we're working on a head for Jean Rollin's new film like I said earlier, a short in Spain with a very peculiar creature and Pascal Chind's new movie which have an extraordinary cast! I'm really looking forward to beginning it... Another project around spring in the Vosges ... I'll keep you informed :).

Oh My Gore : "Have you ever been interested in the realisation of special effects for metal of rap bands' videos that often use gore imagery (like Rick Baker for Michael Jackson's video "Thriller")?"

For now I made a make up effect for the "SKULL" video by Linus and Sebastien Morel, I'm working on the preparation of two other music videos, that's a media that I like a lot as there are huge possibilities in effect and staging terms.

Oh My Gore : "Which movie did you prefer working on and why?"

That's difficult to say, there are many lol, in no special order I would say "LE BON, LA BRUTE ET LES ZOMBIES" ("THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE ZOMBIES") for the experience it brought me and for having met make up artists like Jacques Olivier Molon and Frederic Balmer... "TRANSIT" for its great techniques crew and for the challenge it represented... but also many shorts and independent projects like "OPERATION NEO" by Antonio Rosse and Sylvain Urban, I can't get enough of their jokes they're always fun and really have talent, I hope they'll succeed... the shorts of Varock films ("CLAUSTROPHOBIE" and "CLOAQUE") were also great memories, Greg and Fanny know how to create a friendly atmosphere and at the same time they make an amazing work! I'll work with them again on other projects and I wouldn't hesitate!
One of my first shorts, Olivier Nelli's "SPIRIT" is also one of my best memories just like "AD ETERNAM" by Kevin Leconte, young directors full of energy! "LE DON DE SOI" ("THE SELF GIFT") by my friend Lionel Conrad was intense as well! 2 days shooting non stop, hardly sleeping, but a wonderful result!!! Right now, Lionel goes on working on his first long-running movie...

Oh My Gore : "In which movie would you have liked to realise the special effects?"

I dream of a French Lucio Fulci lol but I would have loved working on Scorsese's "CASINO" or lately on "HOSTEL" that I was lucky to discover at Gérarmer last week...

Oh My Gore : "What do you think about people like Tom Savini or Giannetto De Rossi?"

Of course I love these two masters! I'm a true admirer of the Italian make up artists, I like their style... but in fact there are so many artists that I like that the list would be too long...
In no special order: Giger, Cronenberg, Benoit Lestang, the team Spadaccini-Molina-Gastou, the KNB Studio, Tatopoulos, Sergio Stivaletti and Dario Argento, the music video director Chris Cunningham and so many others... All these aren't people I get inspired by but that I like and respect as artists.

Oh My Gore : "Have you ever thought of directing your own movie? If you did, which style would it be liked?"

That's true that I like the idea of directing a short but not now... I don't have enough maturity to bring a vision and a way to narrate a story through a movie. I almost get the part of director on the film "BRUITS DE COULOIRS" but Lionel Conrad did it and he made a very Argento-like feature.

Oh My Gore : "For now, you haven't participated to international movies, would you like that?"

I did some designs for Lloyd Kaufman's "POULTRYGEIST" but nothing of my work was used in the movie lol. Then I'll soon be involved in a shooting in Spain, and I also have projects that would take place in Luxembourg.

Oh My Gore : "Which is the most memorable moment that happened to you during a shooting?"

Then again, there are many lol what can I say? Meeting my girlfriend (indeed) when I "embodied" a severed hand (sic) in "LE BON, LA BRUTE ET LES ZOMBIES" by Abel Ferry, meeting with Philippe Nahon when doing "TRANSIT" a wonderful and nice man, the liters of blood that we used on "BENETT" probably one of the biggest fun I've ever got to see (the famous torch anecdote, I won't say much as it's on the DVD lol).
My meeting with Lloyd Kaufman of course when shooting "HORRIFICIA", a really great man!!! And many more different anecdotes but I tell more I may never stop... by chance, Vitor who gets a phenomenal spurt of pus directly in the face in "OPERATION NEO" lol.

Oh My Gore : "If something was to be redone in your career, what would that be?"

Sincerely, I think I have nothing to regret, I'm lucky enough to have very comprehensive parents who always supported me in what I was doing and I had the luck to meet extraordinary people so for that I regret and change nothing...

Oh My Gore : "Which are the persons with whom you preferred working?"

Many people, some who make make-ups (Jacques Olivier Molon's team for example), actors (François Levantal, Florence Loiret who are great people and that I would always thank for their kindness)... and so many others...
Generally speaking, when there's a good preparation and a good communication all goes well on a shooting...

Oh My Gore : "What do you think about French cinema?"

I'm enthusiastic when I see that more and more genre movies are made in France ("MALEFIQUE", "SHEITAN", "CALVAIRE" etc ) , movies that even if they aren't liked by the audience and by the critics have their own identity, I'm glad just for that... Moreover, the young generation raise gradually in force and more and more genre films will be made in the near future...

Oh My Gore : "Generally speaking, which are the horror movies that you like? And the ones which frightened you the most?"

I love Dario Argento's movies and Italian cinema generally speaking, Bava, Fulci etc, the new movies like the remake of "TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE", "HOSTEL", "HOUSE OF WAX"... as well!
Of course, the film that frightened me the most was Friedkin's "THE EXORCIST"... Then, I'm a big fan of "THE MEDUSA TOUCH" (great Burton!), the first films by Polanski ("LE LOCATAIRE" between others) or "POSSESSION"... movies with very strange and bewitching atmospheres... I forget about quoting many, sorry!

Oh My Gore : "What do you think of Oh My Gore!?"

I love to visit it to find inspiring pictures for my work:)) more seriously I appreciate a lot the articles and the movies critics and the fact that you often talk about unknown movies which allows me to discover more and more new films, I have so many on my list!

Oh My Gore : "Thank you for this interview, is there anything you'd like to add?"

Live your passion!!! Always go forward even if you get criticisms, it makes you stronger and it shouldn't discourage you!!!
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