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2014 Adventures Part 10...Actually 7.5...or 8 3/4...?

I missed one, but rather than going back to re-number we'll just add it here. It is in fact mid-2015 at the time of writing!
This terminal of DIA, by the way, sort of looks like 1980's EPCOT.

So mid-July I had another trip to Denver for some more OR training video work. This one also had a requirement for some special effects, though we decided not to hire the effects crew and do it ourselves, since realism was not as crucial.

I found several websites where you can buy things like bullet woulds, laceration appliances and makeup, gum arabic and the like. We also had the need for a severed finger, hand, leg and some bullet fragments.

$100 later I had everything delivered to the office, and here was my checked luggage for this trip (I wonder what TSA thought about this - my cat seems interested in that severed hand!):

When the time came I applied the bullet wounds and the vampire blood. I also created an appendix specimen, a generic looking tumor and powder residue.

This was a lot of fun, and I ended up doing the post on this same project as well.

I want to say some brew pubs were involved in this trip, though the Denver trips sort of blend together. Here's a shout out to MP&E, our Denver go to shop for camera gear and lighting.

Ok, I think I came home from Denver on a Sunday night redeye, then to the DR on a Thursday, then to LA, then to Chicago, though it could have been Denver, then Chicago, then DR then LA, or.....

Remind me to check my frequent flyer mileage balances!

Mike Cohen

Posted by: Mike Cohen on Jun 11, 2015 at 5:20:08 pm effects makeup, improv

2014 Adventures - Part 3: It's Only a Flesh Wound (Not Safe For Lunch)

Travel to and from Denver has become pretty routine, as long as Southwest continues its daily 9am direct from Hartford, and USAir keeps its 1:30am redeye to Charlotte.

This trip was to shoot two new educational videos for operating room personnel. One on wound management presented a unique challenge: how to depict wounds on simulated patients. Normally we would smear some vampire blood on a person if we were not seeing anything in detail. However in this case we needed higher fidelity to demonstrate specific wound management techniques. While we have plenty of stock photos of actual wounds, that doesn't help with the need for live action demonstration.

A quick internet search identified a special effect makeup company whose principals have worked on lots of horror films, including a job with Greg Nicotero, but not any medical realism.

First task was to find some reference photos from the web and my own archives, and pair these up with some sketches of what we needed. The artists then had two days to fabricate some appliances, and they graciously let us use some guts and a severed leg that they had recently used on this movie:

The results were amazing. I'll post an image because it's only pretend:

Sorry if that was too much for anyone!

There were other more graphic scenes besides this one. The volunteer actors had a blast.

Dinners in Denver usually consist of brew pubs and occasionally Texas de Brazil, though that is a lot of meat in one sitting. On this particular trip I seemed to have the flu (despite a flu shot) and I was sneezing almost constantly. The weather was very Michigan-like, so I got take out to eat in the hotel 2 out of 4 nights. We hit a brewhouse one night and Red Lobster one night (this was the "it's snowing and it is next to the hotel" scenario). Normally Red Lobster would be off limits because it is generally considered to be awful. It wasn't as bad as I was expecting - I ordered the least exotic thing on the menu.

Shoot complete, drive around Denver for 6 hours until the redeye to Charlotte. It is tradition to have breakfast at 6:30am at Phillip's bar in Terminal 5 - a long walk from Terminal 2 where the flight from Denver lands. Then a regional jet to Hartford and warmer weather.

Coming up in Part 4, the beginning of the first of two travel marathons for 2014.

Thanks for reading.

Mike Cohen

Posted by: Mike Cohen on Aug 28, 2014 at 9:58:41 pm effects makeup

I have a passion for my job, which entails training for medical professionals such as surgeons, nurses and administrators, not to mention various industries.

Technology is great, but how you apply your skills is what pays the bills.

Years ago I canceled my Media 100 support contract upon discovering what a treasure trove of helpful advice can be found on the Creative COW website. I am proud to be a part of this fantastic community.

In my blog I talk a little about media production, a lot about travel and workflow, and occasionally about cooking, nature and my four-legged friends.

Follow me on Twitter: med_ed_mike

I'm also on LinkedIn if you can't get enough of me!


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