驚悚電影‧世界發光

特效化妝師儲榢逸
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2019 / 4月

文‧郭玉平 圖‧林格立


「路就是這樣,走著走著一定會找到路的。」採訪這天,儲榢逸輕聲細語為迷路的工作人員指路,也偶然說出他的生涯寫照。

年輕,是他的優勢,當眾人還在觀望年輕人的表現,他已繳出了電影《紅衣小女孩》、《美人魚》和電視劇《麻醉風暴2》三張特效化妝指導的成績單,不但紅遍國際,也踏上金鐘獎、好萊塢和馬德里國際電影節的紅地毯,走出一條台灣特效化妝的不思議之路。

 


 

特效化妝是什麼?「只要你看到的不是普通妝,都是。」儲榢逸入行10年來,常和人說明自己所從事的工作,不只是撲白粉扮鬼妝爾爾,特化師是實現導演天馬行空想像的關鍵人物之一,而且總是藏身幕後,直到電影上映的那一刻,令人驚呼的特化畫面將為電影帶來最大的話題爆點。

名揚國際的《紅衣小女孩》

若要描述台灣驚悚電影的流變,2015年由程偉豪導演的《紅衣小女孩》會是一個重要的里程碑。

電影的故事結構和造型設計,都將本土驚悚片提昇到更高的水平,不僅國內賣座,更受到國際的矚目。其後接連推出國內票房破億的第二部續集和去(2018)年的《人面魚:紅衣小女孩外傳》,是台灣唯一有「三部曲」的恐怖片,而這恐怖駭人的「紅衣小女孩」造型就是出自他的手。

紅衣小女孩取材自民間的V8靈異影片,儲榢逸為了呈現民眾記憶中的女孩,考究民間傳說、到影片現場勘查,融合當地百年榕樹糾纏變形的型態,塑造了「都會版」、「叢林版」兩款造型。

一派沉穩靦腆的他,這時興奮地和我們介紹他最滿意的作品,「劇照裡面有拍到,她整隻手上面有很漂亮的榕樹紋路。」

「我們特效化妝有一個好處,大家都以為只是化妝而已,其實加上特化可以讓電影一夕之間從凡人變巨星。」儲榢逸說明特化的神奇點綴,以紅衣小女孩為例,原本是傾向描述台灣文化的電影,經導演修改後,把特效化妝融會貫通在所有角色上面,電影就變得更具驚悚特色。

自學入行的契機

回溯入行的機緣,現年27歲的儲榢逸,16歲那年,為了讓高中同學能從創意園遊會上脫穎而出,他四處找尋道具,幫大家化上與眾不同的活屍妝。這看似高中生涯一段小插曲的校慶活動,卻成了儲榢逸的人生轉捩點。

考試成績是高二學生每日必要面對之惡,「還好我大考小考都一樣,零分。」儲榢逸風趣地自我調侃,眉宇間卻不經意地微微皺起,「我以前真的找不到讀書的熱情跟夢想,看不到未來,但是,我還是要找一個自己的方向和出路。」

校慶之後,他持續到採買道具的西門町花莉特效化妝店,日以繼夜地研究原文書、透過YouTube和向國際知名特化師請益自學;再和特化店長到各大專院校辦講座,鼓勵影視創作、美妝科系的學生多發想特化相關的題材。

偶然機緣下,他加入導演錢人豪《Z-108棄城》電影特化團隊,儲榢逸回想起來,第一次拍電影,就要一口氣為217人化上喪屍妝,「一場戲的化妝量聽說是一整季的《陰屍路》的量。」片場完全比照好萊塢分站化妝的模式,化妝師於各站定點不動,由演員繞點化妝,「多虧那部片讓我們練就了一身快速的功夫。」

跨國合作,金鐘肯定

有人說:「攻頂,不是爬山唯一的目標。」儲榢逸攻頂之後,是緊接著攻掠下一座高峰。陸續擔任周星馳電影《美人魚》、公視電視劇《麻醉風暴2》的特化指導,更在2018年以後者拿下第53屆金鐘獎美術設計,再創新的高峰。

《麻醉風暴2》定位為專業醫療劇,以每一集1場手術戲,和多達5場的爆炸畫面的節奏作為劇本設定。

持續和好萊塢特化師作交流的儲榢逸分析,相較於歐美特化著重在大方向的戲劇效果,台灣則更重視細節和拍攝的質感。力求寫實,他用自己的身軀翻模製作擬真的假人體,內部加裝開腹手術時製造湧血效果的幫浦,假人體既能切、割、挖、剖,還可以重複使用。

「完全不能天馬行空,不管是開刀場次、化什麼傷妝,全部都要按照醫院的規則來走。」儲榢逸和演員們都接受了近四個月的專業醫療訓練,了解縫線、鉤針、止血夾怎麼使用,還有手術室裡所有流程,從洗手到戴手套口罩、遞手術刀……程序複雜到令儲榢逸印象深刻。

《麻醉風暴2》帶給他另一個難忘的經驗是到戰地拍攝。參與到首部赴約旦取景的台劇,需要克服的困難更多,必須更有效利用資源,包含材料與劇組人員的時間。「像第一場爆炸戲,蕭政勳(黃健瑋飾演)的妝認真化要一兩個鐘頭,但是我們6分鐘就完成了,這是我有史以來最快最快的速度。」

無論是《美人魚》和《麻醉風暴2》,都需要與多國人員溝通,在極度高壓的拍片環境中,所幸儲榢逸的態度溫厚、配合度高,沒有遇到太多的溝通問題,也在工作中學習到不同專業的技術。

為醫學教育盡一份心

戲劇以外,儲榢逸將特化發揮在醫學教育領域。

我們跟著儲榢逸到國立台北護理健康大學(簡稱「北護大」),參加他在「標準化病人」(standardized patient)課程的講座。

邀請他演講的陳皓羽老師,是臺北醫學大學標準化病人訓練師。她提到2015年八仙塵爆事故發生當下,許多第一線醫護人員面對大量的爆炸傷患是不知所措的,因此,醫學界更加重視「標準化病人」的訓練。

透過標準化病人(又稱「模擬病人」)忠實表現病患的傷勢和反應,準醫生提前做好心理建設,以備實務時能做出準確的判斷。

而儲榢逸閱讀過的身體構造書籍,在這時派上用場,「傷口邊緣會因為細菌感染發炎而凸起,且呈現不規則狀……」他一邊說明一邊在學員身上化傷妝,連不常見的燒傷、斷指之類的嚴重傷勢,都能如實地創作。

「有些人不知道實際現場會有多可怕,我們先呈現出來,讓他之後遇到時能冷靜急救、包紮,或防範突發狀況。」儲榢逸說,特化與醫院合作,是為特效化妝界開闢另外一條道路,也希望自己能為台灣醫學教育界貢獻一份心力。

轉型幕前,展開新旅程

關於特化培訓,儲榢逸說,只要學生有熱誠和態度,他願意毫無保留的傳授,也讓學生參與影劇實作。

而他自己則是逐步實現最初定下的導演夢想,以及轉型作歌手和演員,走向幕前。

特化使他長時間處在相當負面的情緒狀態中,「可是在演戲的狀態裡,又好像慢慢找到了自己,有一種情緒被釋放開來的感覺。」儲榢逸透過演戲和唱歌來調節自己的氣場,「期待有一天可以創造一個完全屬於自己的角色,之後,我們再打敗他。」而多元的身分也使他的特化有了不同的層次。

身為基督徒的儲榢逸用「曠野之地」來形容特化師這份工作,看似物質缺乏的荒野,但在一無所有中卻蘊含著特別的祝福。

正如金鐘得獎感言「忘記背後,努力向前。」儲榢逸將和特化師們持續不懈地把台灣的特效化妝從在地推向國際。

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近期文章

英文

Creating Thrills

Camille Kuo /photos courtesy of Jimmy Lin /tr. by Geof Aberhart

“That’s how you get there—just keep going and you’ll find the way.” On the day of our interview with Chu Chia-yi, he is quietly giving directions to the crew, but could just as easily be describing his career path.

Chu’s youth has been an advantage. While everyone was still wondering how far he could go, Chu was heading up makeup special effects for the films The Tag-Along and The Mermaid, along with the TV series Wake Up 2. These have sent him on an un­common journey for Taiwanese in his field, all the way to the red carpet in Hollywood, the Golden Bell Awards, and the Madrid Inter­national Film Festival.

 


What is special-effects makeup? “If what you’re looking at isn’t ord­in­ary makeup, then it’s special-­effects makeup.” Chu has been in the business for a decade, and when people ask about what he does, he explains that it’s not just powdering people up to look like ghosts, but rather a crucial part of making the director’s imagination reality.

Tagging along on a global journey

In the evolution of Taiwanese thriller films, 2015’s The Tag-Along, from director ­Cheng Wei-hao, will prove to be an important milestone.

In both story structure and style, the film has taken local thrillers to a higher level, resulting in a movie that not only succeeded at the domestic box office, but also captured attention internationally. The titular tag-along, a ghoulish little girl dressed in red, was the work of Chu Chia-yi.

The film draws its inspiration from an urban legend, and so to bring to life the little girl in the public imagina­tion, Chu used the image of an entangled banyan tree to create “urban” and “jungle” versions of her.

Normally a quiet, reserved type, Chu animatedly talks to us about this, the work he is most happy with. “The idea was even captured in the publicity photos, where you could see the wonderful banyan-like patterns on her hands and arms.”

Using The Tag-Along as an example, he explains the magic of special-effects makeup. With the director’s efforts to integrate the effects with all the characters, what was originally a film tied very much into Taiwanese culture became more of a modern thriller.

A self-taught SFX artist

Looking back on how he got into the business, Chu, 27, goes back to when he was 16 and helped some classmates make themselves up as zombies for a school fair. What seemed like a one-off school event would end up being a turning point for Chu.

Chu self-deprecatingly jokes that he was never much for school. “I never could work up any passion for studying or ‘chasing my dreams’ through it, but I still managed to find my own direction.”

After that school fair, he started reading through foreign-language books on special-effects makeup from Kari Ben Nye Effects Makeup in Xi­men­ding, as well as studying YouTube tutorials. He also went with the store’s manager to give seminars at various schools to encourage students of film, television, and cosmetics to come up with more fantastical ideas.

He ended up with the chance to join the effects team on Joe Chien’s 2012 film Zombie 108. Working on his first film, Chu had to transform 217 people into zombies in one go. “I heard that in one scene we would go through as much makeup as a whole season of the TV series The Walking Dead.” Thinking back on that experience, Chu says he is grateful for the crash course in movie effects.

Cross-border cooperation and awards recognition

From there, he went on to serve as special effects super­visor for Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid and the PTS TV series Wake Up 2, the latter earning him the Best Art and Design award at the 2018 Golden Bell Awards, a new career high.

A medical drama, Wake Up 2 demanded realistic effects, and so Chu used his own body as a model for a fake human body, inside which he installed a pump that would create realistic blood-pumping effects for surgery scenes. In the end, he produced a fake body that not only could be cut open and have pieces removed, but was also reusable.

Chu and the actors underwent nearly four months of specialist medical training to understand the use of sutures and hemostatic clips, as well as operating-room procedures. The whole complex process left a profound impression on Chu.

Most unforgettable for him was traveling to Jordan for shooting, where they had to deal with all kinds of challenges, including making the most effective use of the materials and crew time available. For the first explosion sequence, for example, he had just six minutes to complete the makeup for the male protagonist ­Hsiao Cheng-­hsun, played by Jag Huang.

On top of this, both The Mermaid and Wake Up 2 required communicating with cast and crew from different countries. Amid the high-pressure shooting en­viron­ments, it was fortunate that Chu Chia-yi is a warm, co­opera­tive person, because that helped ensure he didn’t run into too many problems and was even able to learn a bit about other specializations.

Helping medical education

Outside of film and television, Chu also puts his professional skills to use in the field of medical education.

Taiwan Panorama accompanied him to National Tai­pei University of Nursing and Health Sciences for a lesson on “standardized patients.”

He had been invited to the lesson by Chen Hao-yu, chief standardized patient trainer at Taipei Medical University’s Center for Education in Medical Simulation. Chen talks about how many of the first responders to the 2015 dust explosion at the Formosa Fun Coast water park were overwhelmed by the large number of victims, and how this motivated Taiwan’s medical community to focus more on standardized patient training.

Through “standardized patients”—persons trained to realistically portray patients in medical situations—instructors are able to recreate injuries and victim reactions, helping prospective medical professionals mentally prepare ahead of time and ensure they are better able to make the necessary judgments when the time comes.

It is at times like these that Chu’s knowledge of human anatomy really comes to the fore. As he applies the injury makeup to the medical simulation trainees, he explains how you can realistically recreate even serious injuries like burns and broken fingers.

Cooperation between hospitals and special effects artists, Chu says, opens up new opportunities for the special-effects makeup industry, while also enabling people like him to potentially do some good for medicine in Taiwan.

Transitioning to the spotlight

If a student is eager to learn, says Chu, he is more than happy to pass on what he knows about special-­effects makeup, as well as to help them get started in film and television.

Chu himself is eager to develop his career in new directions in the industry as well, and he is gradually working both on transitioning to on-camera roles and toward his long-held goal of becoming a director.

A devout Christian, Chu describes the work of a special-­effects makeup artist as being like wandering in the wilderness—while it may seem to be lacking in material comforts, there are special blessings to be found therein.

As he said in his Golden Bell Awards speech, one must forget what has gone before and forge onward. With this attitude, Chu Chia-yi and Taiwan’s other special-­effects makeup artists are helping lead the local industry out of the wilderness and onto the global stage.

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