HorrorBid goes Behind the Mask with the Mask Maker
*Just a heads up, I am aware of the controversy surrounding The Mask Maker but whatever your feeling are towards him he there is no denying that he helped pioneer the beginning of the great white mask craze in the mid 90’s. This is not a Q and A with Gary just an article. Please if you have any questions or concerns with him past, present or future please take that up with Gary through e-mail. Sorry to have to post this here but I wanted to make sure everyone was on the same page. With all that being said, please enjoy the article.
Thanks, Justin :ee's rule:
How did you get started in the business of mask making?
Well it was one Halloween many years ago when I wanted that perfect mask. I went and bought a mask and converted it into what I thought the mask should look like. My friends were amazed on how well it turned out. So I started to do more then grew tired of converting the mask to sculpting my own masks as well has having sculptor like John Smith and Steve Wang do work for me. Steve was the first doing the "HE" mask and John did the famous Samhain mask.
Please describe in detail what lead to your passion for the horror genre and or the Halloween holiday?
Oh Halloween has always been a day I couldn’t wait for. Always putting on a show at the house and scaring people. Always trying to some up with something new each year was a challenge. I really don’t have any memories of childhood Halloween events but I remember one Halloween about 7 years ago that will always stick in my head! Had 2 teenage girls and a teenage boy come up to me as I was in costume. One of the girls was so scared.. I mean SCARED TO DEATH! Well they got her to come up to me and and I stepped toward her and she just ran! I walked after her and she was trying to get back into her car but was having problems. I got closer and she finally got into her car. I just walked to her window and did the "head tilt" and she screamed so loud! I saw her turn her lights on and walked in front of the car and again did the "head tilt" while her headlights were on me and then I had to move my ass out of the way because she peeled off! Of course her friend in the car were laughing their asses off.
Who would you say is the biggest influence in your life and how did that effect who you are today?
I’ll take that question as a mask related one. My biggest influence has to be hands down DarkSide Paul from Darkside Studios. Paul has been a mentor and a great friend. When I was down and just wanted to quit he would tell me to get my ass up, dust myself off and get back to work. Without Paul I don’t know where I would be in the mask making world.
What do you do in your spare time when you are not making masks or doing something work related.
Movies? Wow to be honest to many to mention. I’m a movie buff! As for hobbies I’m now part of TVPA a paranormal group.
What was your first sculpt and or mask making experience? Were you a natural or did it take time to hone your skills? How much have you learned since then?
My first sculpt was a.. LOL, I hate to say this but it was a Dragonball Z mask that my nephew wanted done. After doing that mask with all the detail trust me I learned a lot!
Sculpting is harder than it looks. Doing this for so many years now I’ve learned so much.
What project have you worked on in the past that you would consider your favorite thus far?
Oh by far the Samhain mask! John Smith NAILED the look of that mask it was an honor to work with him on that mask. Sad that so many people are recasting the mask.
How has being a husband, father, or being in a relationship affected your work and are they supportive of what you do?
My family has always supported me in what I’m doing. Who wouldn’t support someone who is doing their dream?
What projects have you accomplished in your career that you feel really cemented your legacy in the business. Was there a point where you took a step back and said, "Wow, how am I going to get all these orders filled"?
I’ve accomplished a lot in this business and proud of my work. However there are so many incredible mask maker’s out in the world and I’m not worthy to have a legacy in the business. I was never in it for the fame. I’m in the business to make people’s dreams come true. When someone gets a mask and then thanks be for making their dream come true... that’s what I’m after. You can’t put a price on that. As for the "Wow" factor.. yes many times I’ve dealt with that. People think that I have all these people working for me or and think when they order a mask it’s going to be there in a few days. Like I have them just laying around ready to ship. It’s hard to find someone and teach them what you want them to do. I’ve tried in the past with no luck. I’m trying again I hope this person works out.
There is no doubt a lot of controversy surrounding your past in this business. What in your mind caused this controversy? Do you feel any of it is warranted?
Controversy is an understatement! I don’t want to say what started it because I’ve settled with the 2 people that started the whole bashing deal issue years ago. As for the present bashing I get from time to time I just ignore it. Hell the only message board that I go to is HorroBid’s. People know where to contact me. If they have an issue my personal email address is on my site and I always answer every email I get.
What if anything would you like to say to the people that feel, whether warranted or not that they were somehow taken advantage of by you or your company?
What would I like to say? Hmm if you have an issue with me contact me.. plain and simple. It’s funny how people will talk about me behind my back and yet they never email me.
What were some other low points in your career when you had to take time to reflect and ask yourself if this business isn’t right for you?
Bad points... I would have to say the chemicals that I deal with everyday. LOL, I can remember the first time I opened a barrel of latex and got a wiff off the fumes.. Almost
knocked me on my ass! Also the chemicals I use... yeah it can take it’s toll and make you wonder if I should be doing this.
What upcoming project if any can you share with us? And what are your plans for the upcoming year?
Let’s just say 2008 is going to be a great year! Working on a new lineup and can’t wait for people to see what’s coming!