Halloween is coming up and we here at LAN have some awesome holiday features in store for you guys, that we hope will both freak you out as well as make you laugh and expand your knowledge and imagination; and what better way to do that than to talk to the experts?
We’re talking about experts in horror here.
The dedicated group of self-described starving artists make their works in their home and garage with their own hands and with the utmost attention to details. This passion of theirs came from an obsession with films and television series that deal with zombies, ghosts and horror in general. That was the spark that led to these amazing creepy features.
We spoke to the artists themselves to reveal all that stands behind the amazing work of RevenantFX.
- How did the idea come about for this small business? Why the avid passion for zombies and all things creepy? Why gnomes and nothing else?
The idea for our business came about simply out of our love of all things zombie and un-dead. We took the idea of producing zombie merchandise and combined it with my love of sculpting/painting and voila! We had RevenantFX.
As for our passion for zombies and all things horror related; I can say for myself, it began with the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead. When I was a kid growing up, I jumped at every possible opportunity to watch whatever R rated, grown-up, “you’re not supposed to watch that till your older” horror movie I could get my hands on. Just to prove they didn’t scare me… and then that one did (lol). Since then I’ve been addicted. The rush you get from watching an awesome horror movie alone in the dark, in an empty house at 2am is priceless! Zombies just seem to provide that rush on the most often and consistent basis. Through that one movie I became a die-hard fan of the living dead; some people have superheroes, some have movie characters, some have Nascar drivers. We have zombies!
As for the gnomes, they actually aren’t our only pieces; just the most popular/well known ones. We’ve also been working on making little gnomish statues of iconic horror characters and latex zombie display masks (zombie taxidermy) which will soon be available online.
- How did people react to the idea? How is the business going now?
Initially, the reaction we received was far beyond anything we could have hoped for. One night Sadie posted a couple of pictures around online to try and promote a Craigslist ad we had up at the time selling our first few zombie gnomes. The next morning one of the pictures had gone viral and we had tons of messages from all over the world from people wanting the gnomes. It was insane, amazing and completely unexpected… and we were completely unprepared.
Since then we’ve learned tons, improved our processes and things haven’t really stopped. We now sell our gnomes online, as well as out of our shop and all around Toronto. We also had the opportunity to vend at this year’s Runforyoulives Toronto event and the 10th annual Toronto Zombie Walk that just passed (both of which were amazing!!).
Now when we’re not busy packaging orders or casting gnomes, we’re working on more new additions to add to our un-dead horde.
All and all business is good. 😀
- What is the primary process for creating these zombie figurines and the un-dead make-up?
The process is sculpting, moulding, casting, sealing, painting, finishing, in that order. All our pieces start out as clay sculpt. When it is finished we make a latex mould of it, followed by a fiberglass mother mould. When the mould is finished we begin casting them using a high impact polymer modified gypsum cement (basically a kickass plaster).
After the cast has set, we pull it and let it sit for a few days to cure. We then sand/dremel out any imperfections and coat it in a water guard sealer to preserve the cast. When the cast is fully dried we paint them each with a base coat, a top coat and then a dry brush coat to give them that decaying look. Lastly, they are sealed with an all-purpose high gloss enamel to protect their paint.
As for the un-dead makeup, we prefer to use prosaide transfers that we make in our shop or copious amounts of liquid latex, blood and fresh scab depending on what look we’re going for. There are some great tutorials to be found on good zombie makeup applications at www.stanwinstonschool.com and tons of great advice can be found here www.theeffectslab.com/ .
- Could you tell us what the Toronto Zombie Walk is about? Is it held every year? What activities are there?
The Toronto Zombie Walk is and amazing annual event founded 10 years ago by Thea Munster. Since its inception it has continued to grow. Now each year thousands of zombies in their best un-dead attire gather at a designated meeting place and take part in gruesome bloody parade through the streets of downtown Toronto. It takes place every year, usually the weekend before Halloween and each year the un-dead’s numbers rise and the horde grows a little bigger. As for activities, they change and multiply each year. This year there were vendors (all sorts of cool horror stuff for sale), bands, performers, a blood booth (in case you came unprepared), a few celebrity guests from the original Night Of The Living Dead, tons of photographers taking pictures to preserve those ghoulish memories and more..
It’s always an amazing day! Seriously, mark it on your calendars and make a point to lurch, stumble or crawl your way to the next one!
- What are your main zombie products?
Our main products are currently our zombie gnomes; although, this year we plan on making our latex zombie heads a little more predominant.
- Did you eye out a standard costumer type that buys your products? In terms of demographics, in which direction are sales going?
There isn’t really a standard; so, it’s actually kind of hard to figure that out; as our customers are all over the map in terms of demographics. Some are your everyday zombie lovers, some are just into anything horror related, some get them as novelty items, we’ve sold a few that were to become housewarming gifts, we’ve had a few people who collect gnomes and we even had one guy who bought one just to but on his lawn in hopes of offending an uptight neighbour! Of all these people the ages, genders and locations have been all over the place as well, so it’s hard to say.
- What do you think the future holds for your team? What are you aiming at and what would be your ultimate achievement in this domain?
We have plenty of ideas and things we are working on for the coming year and beyond.
First and foremost, our latex zombie display masks are going to be made available online in the coming weeks and more designs are already in the works. We also have a Christmas zombie gnome on the way. He goes by the name of Santa Corpse! We’re hoping to have him ready and available for the holiday season.
Lastly we’re working on starting a RevenantFX clothing line that will feature ghoulish zombie apparel for all those un-dead fashion fiends out there. Our goal is to eventually make RevenantFX into a company with a zombie lover’s dream catalogue… decorations, art, apparel, masks, and anything else we can dream up to add a little more dead to your life. 😉
Spread the infection!!
And so we intend to do! Actually having an infatuation for all things scary, gruesome and creepy isn’t that hard around this time of year. But these guys have proved that their passion goes beyond being seasonal. And why not? Halloween surely is a quirky holiday and a very enjoyable and fun one at that. Joining in with the fun is only half of it. You can find out more about RevenantFX, their products and upcoming activities by visiting these sites: https://www.facebook.com/revenantfx and https://www.etsy.com/people/revenantfx.
Interview conducted by Oana Anghelache
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