Another man of “steel”
Nope, I’m not talking about Brandon in this instance. Today’s post is about a guy named Brian Steele. Name not sound familiar? Doesn’t surprise me, as I didn’t know it before a few weeks ago. It was about then that a 6’4″-ish white guy with a mohawk and a very pleasant demeanor walked onto set and introduced himself as the “suit guy” for this show. Now, I had heard of these “suit guys” before, so I immediately knew he wasn’t trying to sell me a couple of nice Armanis that he had in the back of his van that accidentally fell off a truck somewhere. No, Brian is one of a very few people who specialize in being monsters. I guarantee you’ve seen him and the few others who have made a living out of being professional monsters. Check out his website www.creatureboy.com if you don’t believe me. If you’re a horror or comic fan (or especially if you’re a horror comic fan), you’ll recognize him immediately.
Now, I’ve been a few monsters in my time. I once spent several months dressing as a zombie every day (and not because of some strange fetish, I was stunting) and I’ve met a few in the past, but this was first time I had a chance to work with one close up. Before meeting Brian, I had probably the same preconceived notions that most of you do: “WHAT a cool and easy job. Sign me up!” After working with Mr. Steele for several weeks, I have a new-found and deep respect for the few guys that do this and I think there’s a very few because there is only a few people on this planet that could. Let me explain a little.
First of all, Brian is the second person on set every day. The first being the guy who puts his makeup and prosthetics on. But Brian’s job actually starts the day before, when he has to limit the amount of food and liquid he consumes. You see, he knows once all that “monster” stuff is on him, there’s no…taking it off to perform certain functions. You’re there from the wee hours of the morning (no pun intended) to the late, late hours of the night. Then, from the moment he is in the suit, he has to know exactly how much water to ingest to keep his body at a even level of not being dehydrated while not having to…perform certain functions. Try doing that with about 50 pounds of latex on. In May. In Louisiana. Not an easy task. Oh, yeah, then you’ve got to actually DO stuff, like act.
One of the first things Brian said when he came to Eric Norris, the stunt coordinator, was “I’m not a stunt guy. I’m a creature guy and I’m going to need a lot of help from you to look good.” Turns out, he was being modest as he handles whatever stunts we threw at him with grace and bravery (and there were some whoppers, too). He did them all with a smile and happy voice, an occasional sip of a smoothie, and losing about 5 litres of sweat a minute. (I heard a rumor he lost 12 pounds in two days in the suit, but I can’t confirm that as truth, as I didn’t ask.) I wish I could show you exactly what he looked like or even what character he’s playing, but that’s gonna have to wait for the Xciting climax. Oops, spelled that wrong, didn’t I?
Anyway, this blog post is dedicated to the only on-screen guys more unknown in this business than the stunt people: Mr. Steele, I salute thee. Wherever you are, I hope you’re enjoying a well-deserved…certain function.
Development Exec/Stunt Guy/WKWE (Who Knows What Else)