The Insider: Go Inside the Special Effects of ‘The Mind’s Eye’
In the movie SINGLES, Matt Dillon’s musician character is asked his thoughts on the state of rock music and simply says: “Where is the Misty Mountain Hop” of his generation. Pete Gerner and myself often ask a similar question while knee deep in latex surrounded by sculptures of the dead and mixing the perfect color of deep red blood in our shop. Where is the VIDEODROME, THE EVIL DEAD 2, or NIGHT OF THE CREEPS of our generation? Where are the zany plot driven, latex fueled splatter fest movies we grew up watching on video?
I can honestly say that THE MIND’S EYE is just that movie. The fact that we got to work on it makes it even cooler. THE MIND’S EYE is a telekinetic revenge movie featuring copious amounts of blood, pulsating veins, and various body parts blowing up. It’s a dream job for makeup effects artists. It’s a cross between RAMBO, DEATH WISH, and every David Cronenberg movie… but on crack, tons of crack.
As two dudes that read Fangoria magazine cover to cover, we always wanted a movie that delivered the bloodshed and had that midnight movie cult feel. It’s an honor to tell you a little bit of how we made this movie happen.
To start, a little history about Gerner & Spears Effects: We are far from “Hollywood” FX guys. We’re actually two east coasters working out of a cramped basement just north of NYC. Pete and I have contributed makeup and or effects to countless horror films up and down the coast for the better part of the past 15 years. We’ve had the pleasure of working with the indie powerhouse Glass Eye Pix on a slew of great gigs such as I SELL THE DEAD, STAKE LAND, THE SACRAMENT, LATE PHASES and DARLING. Other films include WE ARE WHAT WE ARE, COLD IN JULY, LITTLE SISTER and Chiller TV’S DEEP IN THE DARKNESS to name a few. We’re working artists always looking for the next job, but willing to bust our asses when we can. Our goal has always been to deliver quality work no matter the budget or project. Our work has often been praised or complemented in reviews which is humbling and rewarding. What sets our work apart on THE MIND’S EYE is it’s truly the culmination of everything we’ve done or learned on every other job. It was not an easy gig. The weather was horrible, the shear volume of what needed to be created was high, and I must stress: it was a low budget film.
Director Joe Begos first reached out to us in early December, and we began to discuss the project. After talking with Joe for 5 minutes, we knew what kind of movie we were making. Joe grew up watching the same movies we did, and rather than talk in film school technical terms, he referenced gore-hound sequences and set pieces as if we were standing in a video store devouring the pics on the back of clamshell cases. We relished the opportunity to work on tons of blood gags, decapitations, pulsating orifices, bullet hits, broken noses, and bodies being destroyed. I stated before that this was a low budget flick, and as a result, Pete and I didn’t pocket that much moolah. Most of our earnings wound up on screen, but we were happy to have a job during the winter, a rarity on the east coast. We were overwhelmed with the build, but we were just as anxious to try and pull it off.