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View Full Version : Silicone Masks, Overrated?



The Wilmont Estate
07-23-2012, 03:45 AM
Whats your guys opinion on silicone masks? Its not like customers can see a difference between silicone and latex. For film ok, but for a haunt, I just don't see the need. Most of the advantages of silicone are things that aren't needed in a haunt. Also you can buy 10-15 latex masks for the price of 1 silicone mask.

Evernight
07-23-2012, 06:22 AM
I disagree completely - I have tons of latex masks, they are great for background actors and quick scares.....but silicone masks make a huge difference when it comes to actors that interact face to face with the customers. What a silicone mask does is help blur that line of reality - people react completely different between a latex mask that hardly moves at all, and a silicone mask that moves with every expression an actor makes.

They are great for line entertainment, news interviews, in your face actors, etc.

So for me and the uses I have for them I don't think silicone masks are overrated at all, and will keep adding them to my box of tricks.

mindtumor
07-23-2012, 06:25 AM
Silicone masks are great. We own several and I personally will never wear a latex mask again. However, you don't want silicone masks everywhere and in the dark they are a waste, so its not like they replace other masks and makeup. The other thing about silicone is it is hot as hell when its hot out and when its cold out it feels like you have a block of ice strapped to your face.

Howie Slobber Erlich
07-23-2012, 06:56 AM
Jared,

It's Silicone all the way for detail and realism. I have tried to stay away from latex masks for several years unless the are really unusual and top notch in detail. Instead, in most cases I believe that makeup is the best way to go. Makeup is by far the most comfortable and if you get a good artist, they really show the greatest detail. Plus, your only limitations are your makeup artists imagination. You would be surprised how many really good makeup artist are out there. Just put an ad on craigs list or even the help wanted section of Hauntworld and you will find people to interview. Make sure they bring a potfolio.

By the way, give me a call at your convenience .

Howie "Slobber" Erlich
Deadly Intentions Haunted Attraction
www.deadlyintentionshaunt.com

Darkangel
07-23-2012, 07:06 AM
There are advantages and disadvantages to all options.

Silicone masks are great from a company like CFX. But now every Tom, Dick and Harry is making them now and they bring the quality way down. Buy from the right vendor and they are worth the investment.

Latex is still going to be you primary mask for your average actors since silicone ones are so expensive. For quick scares they are still great just look for hight quality ones.

Make up is quick and cheap but the vast majority of make up jobs you see in haunts are just that, quick and cheap. How common is it to see someone with a decent face made up but the neck and ears are untouched or the hands are untouched? It looks terrible!
If you're going to do make up every job should be film quality and any exposed skin has to be covered or it will look lame no matter how cool the face looks.

DA

siliconeskull
07-23-2012, 07:59 AM
There are advantages and disadvantages to all options.

Silicone masks are great from a company like CFX. But now every Tom, Dick and Harry is making them now and they bring the quality way down. Buy from the right vendor and they are worth the investment.

DA

There are several talented artists making silicone masks now and you don't have to pay the high end prices to get a quality mask. Yeah there are a couple that are in it and don't really know what they are doing , but the majority are making great masks , and the variety & competition will keep the prices down.

mindtumor
07-23-2012, 08:11 AM
Jared,

It's Silicone all the way for detail and realism. I have tried to stay away from latex masks for several years unless the are really unusual and top notch in detail. Instead, in most cases I believe that makeup is the best way to go. Makeup is by far the most comfortable and if you get a good artist, they really show the greatest detail. Plus, your only limitations are your makeup artists imagination. You would be surprised how many really good makeup artist are out there. Just put an ad on craigs list or even the help wanted section of Hauntworld and you will find people to interview. Make sure they bring a potfolio.

By the way, give me a call at your convenience .

Howie "Slobber" Erlich
Deadly Intentions Haunted Attraction
www.deadlyintentionshaunt.com

I agree, I think GOOD makeup is your #1 best option. Silicone #2 in certain area's of a haunt. I personally don't like the way makeup feels on my face so thats why I suffer through the uncomfortable silicone masks. I tell you what though, if it was 90 degrees when we were running I would think twice about the silicone mask though. Cuz they are freaking hot. And I think if you can avoid latex masks I would. But this is just my opinion. I just don't find anything scary about the way a latex mask doesn't move at all when the actor is running around you screaming and the noise is kind of muffled anyway.

I'll get a call to you this week.

Darkangel
07-23-2012, 08:37 AM
There are several talented artists making silicone masks now and you don't have to pay the high end prices to get a quality mask. Yeah there are a couple that are in it and don't really know what they are doing , but the majority are making great masks , and the variety & competition will keep the prices down.

There are other guys other than CFX that are making great silicone masks but I've seen some crappy looking masks posted here and abroad and because it's created I'd silicone people sing it's praises but if I saw someone wearing these masks in question at a haunt I'd be more inclined to laugh at the actor rather than be fearful of him. It's not like latex, silicone masks require some unique skills that make it a bit more challenging for the weekend warrior sculptors.

DA

Slain
07-23-2012, 08:58 AM
Silicone is great! The latex masks just dont work any longer. Believe me, I have worn latex many years ago and the silicone moves like no other..
Prostetics and makeup are the best way to go overall but for a great look when you dont have hours to sit in a make-up chair silcone mask can't be beat..
I have some great latex mask if anyone want to buy them...

ShatteredFX
07-23-2012, 09:38 AM
We make silicone masks, and here's my opinion without it being to one sided.

There is definitely a time and place for both. I think everyone has the right idea about the latex masks being background scares and quick scares.
Latex is great, in the right location in a haunt.

In your entertainment area or line actors need either VERY good make up or a nice silicone mask, latex is just not an option for this.

Make-up, from a good artist wins everytime. I personally used to use make-up (i did my own..) when i worked at a haunt, now this would take a few hours. If i were hired, each actor may take 1-2 hours for a nice quality job. Lets say thats 8 bucks an hour, times 4 because the actor needs paid too. Now thats $32 for just one night of make-up on one person... most haunts are open 12-15 nights a year. That's $540.... That will buy you a silicone mask, Ours are $399 and our half masks are about $250. That could buy you 2 of our silicone half masks! That pays for the mask in one season and it will last you season after season...

All and all, it depends where you want to put your money. If you have the money to pay good make-up artists, and dont mind shelling out a bit more money, id say thats the best way to go in comfort and everything else. A good combination of both silicone masks and make-up is what i think alot of haunt are headed towards, latex just doesnt work. With the crazy horror films and movies people see coming out, they expect that level of "scare" and realistic effects that latex cannot do.

Just my 2 cents...

The Wilmont Estate
07-23-2012, 01:49 PM
I should have made myself more clearer, sorry. I think silicone is great for a line entertainer and for someone who is interacting and talk a lot to your customers. But for a guy who has a quick 10 second scare, latex is the best choice. You can't really move all that well in latex, as far as talking. In a well lit area a silicone mask is the way to go. But again for quick scares, latex is the choice.

The Wilmont Estate
07-23-2012, 02:33 PM
Also, with my haunted house, its basically darkness. So what we do it, buy those cheap white masks like this one.13254

We flip them upside down and put them on our actors, with black clothes on. Scares the heck out of people.

Allen H
07-23-2012, 04:37 PM
" It's not like latex, silicone masks require some unique skills that make it a bit more challenging for the weekend warrior sculptors."
Darkangel

Dark, I kind of agree, but the specialized skills needed are in the mold making and casting of silicone masks. The sculpting is the same for either. A medium level of sculpting skill does not look worse in silicone than it does in Latex, they look identical. The difference is the molding and casting process.

Darkangel
07-23-2012, 07:43 PM
" It's not like latex, silicone masks require some unique skills that make it a bit more challenging for the weekend warrior sculptors."
Darkangel

Dark, I kind of agree, but the specialized skills needed are in the mold making and casting of silicone masks. The sculpting is the same for either. A medium level of sculpting skill does not look worse in silicone than it does in Latex, they look identical. The difference is the molding and casting process.

You would know more than me but I've heard that's it's much more challenging during the molding process.


DA

The Wilmont Estate
07-23-2012, 09:07 PM
Doing a mold for a silicone mask is very hard and dangerous. you have to use fiberglass or some kind of resin. It is a very dangerous process and if you don't have the proper respirators and clothing you can damage your health.

RobfromErie
07-24-2012, 12:04 AM
Doing a mold for a silicone mask is very hard and dangerous. you have to use fiberglass or some kind of resin. It is a very dangerous process and if you don't have the proper respirators and clothing you can damage your health.

Not always. Fiberglass and resin is not the only option. You can use Ultracal 30, a type of plaster/cement to make your mold. It is heavier.

And I would say sculpting is harder than molding/casting. I exchanged some emails, and had a single phone call with the best Haunt how to guy we have (Allen H) and was able to make my own silicone mask within a month's time.

So I learned how to do it and succeeded all without ever having met the man, but my sculpting was mediocre at best, and that reflected in my final product. But that takes lots and lots of practice.

I am these so called tom dick and harry's, obviously my quality can't match CFX, but my molding process went perfectly, and only a few problems during the casting, that I now know how to remedy after trying it for myself.

Scultping/painting - talent and skill

Molding/Casting - Knowledge is power (a little skill helps)


As for the original question: Since I am an actor only, I will never go back to latex after having worn silicone. I supply my own masks and costumes, and I don't care where I am, either makeup/silicone.

tonguesandwich
07-24-2012, 12:35 AM
Making a fiberglass mold is easy. In Vegas it can still be pretty hot in Halloween and a silicon mask outdoors gets extremely hot.. maybe in that case a hood back would be ideal.

The Wilmont Estate
07-24-2012, 02:18 AM
I think both have their place in haunted houses. If its in your budget, buy one. If not, buy makeup or latex half masks.

ShatteredFX
07-24-2012, 08:31 AM
Making a fiberglass mold is easy. In Vegas it can still be pretty hot in Halloween and a silicon mask outdoors gets extremely hot.. maybe in that case a hood back would be ideal.

That's exactly why we made our silicone half masks with a sweat wicking hood!
For all you guys that have a hot haunt season... Here in Pa it's not to bad for the most part, but alot of haunts over that way or down south arent so lucky...