Interview: Vince Damyanovich of Designer Gore Prosthetics and FXs

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Editor’s Note: Please be warned this article includes graphic, albeit fake, effect images. Please proceed with caution.

Vince Damyanovich is the creative mind behind a line of creative materials known as Designer Gore. From a young boy with a passion for Stage Make-up to an entrepreneur for the FX world, Damayanovich is a creative force in the world of Haunts. He was kind enough to answer our questions following Scare LA and the midst of his latest project, The Dragon Empress photo project.

FGN: What got you started doing special effects make up?

Vince Damyanovich: My interest in making characters goes back to when I was 7 and discovered Stage Make-up by Richard Corson at the local library. I was captivated. Then, a family vacation to Universal Studios lead me to buy my first kit in the 4th grade. Horror movies and my love of cinema certainly played a big role.  However, I did not get serious about prosthetic make-up till about 22; that’s when I began corresponding with Dick Smith.

Ultimate FX Tray #2

Ultimate FX Tray #2

FGN: When did you start crafting your own prosthetics and doing character designs?
Vince Damyanovich: I made my first foam latex mask in 1998, but it has taken years to really understand what goes into designing a character. There is such a steep learning curve involved, but there is always more to experiment with and find out about, so it is never dull.

FGN: Can you give us a brief overview of what your company Soul FX Studios does?

Vince Damyanovich: Soul FX Studios designs and fabricates specialty props and prosthetics primarily. We have recently in the last couple of years begun getting into themed environments and set design. I also provide project consulting for clients.  There is actually quite a bit overlap into other markets that can benefit from our skill set and what we bring to the table. I am in the process of expanding the shops capabilities to meet these opportunities. Essentially evolving into a completely new company entirely. So a lot is happening right now.

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An example of what the Blood Spillz Pro line can create.

 

FGN: Your brand Designer Gore is mostly “haunt”-based. What developed your passion for haunts? Which needs did you see for prosthetics in the haunt’s market?

Vince Damyanovich: The haunt industry certainly embraced Designer Gore, which as been good for us. Before that I was trying to get quality prosthetics, both foam latex and silicone, into retail stores for the general public. A lot of trial and error there.  What initially drew me toward the haunt side of things was their enthusiasm and desire keep making it better. Since I think it is more about the quality of an idea and not always the size of budget that initially determines whats good, I wanted to provide artists and businesses with affordable higher quality prosthetics that would enhance their success. That is what Designer Gore has been doing since 2009.

FGN: What is the most difficult type of prosthetic to craft? Do you have a favorite that you craft?
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Snaretrap make-up . Using a prosthetic from the Ultimate FX tray.

Vince Damyanovich: If you’re talking about material and processes involved, it varies. Gel-filled silicone pieces that are cast in collapsible core molds for instance are difficult. Even just injecting silicone into a regular multi-piece head mold can be challenging. It is costly and very very time intensive. I do not have a favorite, per say, there are advantages to using foam latex, gelatin or silicone depending on the demands of a project.  I do like making epoxy molds and I love the end results of the casted appliances. I just did a make-up recently that was 26 pros-aide transfers and 6 gelatin pieces. Finding the balance between achieving quality while not breaking the bank, I choose to do epoxy faced molds backed with cement for most of the pieces.

FGN: Do you listen to anything in particular when creating?

Vince Damyanovich: Definitely! Music plays a vital role in my process. I am very eclectic in that regard. I usually start with classical in the morning. When noon hits AC/DC, Guns & Roses, Billy Idol, Enya, Tears for Fears will probably be played. Moving into some electronica and by evening Jazz and blues will enter the picture. Just depends on mood. It is all over the map.

FGN: You’re currently working on a project via GoFundMe. What can you tell us about your Dragon Empress photo project? How can our readers help?

Vince Damyanovich: This is our first fundraiser, which is pretty exciting.  The Dragon Empress really represents a new level of artistry that’s been built on 18 years of doing prosthetic make-up design. I have been wanting to fuse fashion, fantasy, and beauty with prosthetics for awhile now. There is also a transformative dimension, or dare I say a sacred aspect, of mask making that tends to get lost in the entertainment business. This is, after all ,one of humanity’s oldest art forms. Drawing from that rich heritage while utilizing 21st century advances in materials and processes opens the doors for us to really experience a deeper kind of story telling. This is where collaborating with Michelle Monique comes in because she really excels at bringing together a wide variety of influences to create singular and impactful works of art. We both aim to push the creative envelope and that is at the heart of our  “Exploring the Mythic” photo project. The Dragon Empress is the first character in this 3 part series and aims at revealing a deeper understanding of what it means to be beautiful in modern times.
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Model: Rae Wright Photo by: Paul Johns

Getting involved and supporting the project is easy. Plus there are cool Designer Gore products you can receive when you donate.
FGN: Do you take custom orders?
Vince Damyanovich: Of course! Or, at the very least I will try to point people in the right direction.

FGN: Where can our readers see your work and follow your progress?

Vince Damyanovich: www.soulfxstudio.com is a good place to start.  There is also Designer Gore’s Facebook page  which has product updates and various images that will get the creative juices flowing. https://www.facebook.com/DesignerGore

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