Arts, society & culture

Movie magic

Technical effects artist Andy Fordham, of East Effects, has worked on some of Hollywood’s biggest productions. Although the world-building of motion pictures is so often achieved via CGI today, we find out how there is still a place for the expert craft of prop making to bring a film to life.

A giant croissant costume for a Nestle commercial. A Jeremy Corbyn caricature mask, featured in an episode of Eastenders. A grotesque prosthetic hand, worn by Ralph Fiennes in his portrayal of Richard III.

All of these creations – and many, many more – are the handiwork of Andy Fordham, a UK-based technical effects artist who crafts props, costumes and characters for the entertainment industry.

“I love all different types of making – I tend to get itchy feet,” says Fordham. “I love to be able to sometimes do a bit of TV, sometimes a bit of film, sometimes a bit of theatre, because although there’s a lot of crossover, they’re all relatively different disciplines. I enjoy keeping my hand in lots of things.”

Fordham is speaking to me over the phone while on his break at work – a job he, tantalisingly, can’t say too much about.

“All I can say is that it’s a big superhero film, and I’m in the costume effects department,” he tells me. “We’re basically making superhero suits, which is one for the bucket list and a childhood dream.”

Read the rest of this article in the Sept-Nov 2021 edition of Overseas magazine

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