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Tom Savini - "Tom of the Dead" Panel at Dragon Con 2014

Tom Savini – “Tom of the Dead” Panel at Dragon Con 2014

What inspires the master of gore? Horror fans were in heaven when attending Dragon Con 2014.  Horror make-up/effects legend and actor Tom Savini sat on three panels and spent time in the “Walk of Fame” talking to fans.

Tom’s solo panel “Tom of the Dead” was a real treat, as he shared great stories about his  time as a combat photographer in Vietnam, working with George A. Romero on “Night of the Living Dead,” and much more. He was happy to field questions from the audience, speak about his inspirations, and offer advice to those that are interested in pursuing careers in filmmaking.

It was interesting to learn that while he was a combat photographer, he was exposed to the realistic gore of war wounds that later led to his ability to effectively recreate gruesome injuries for the screen. He also credits his time in that role as valuable study in anatomy.

Tom’s childhood inspiration that sparked his interest in make-up effects was Lon Chaney, and he mentioned the Chaney documentary Man of a Thousand Faces as a huge influence.

Covering early career milestones like “Friday the 13th” and “Creepshow,” as well as later films like “From Dusk Till Dawn,” Tom offered insights and great stories about his involvement and experiences. He also shared information about the Tom Savini Make-Up Effects Program and participation in upcoming projects.

It’s panels like this that make Dragon Con so special. Fans can get unfiltered information directly from their icons.

Watch the panel video below:

Prior to taking questions, Tom previewed the upcoming documentary on his career that some of his effects school students are putting together. Entitled “Smoke and Mirrors,” it will no doubt become a staple in the viewing library of horror and makeup effect fans. For a teaser of “Smoke and Mirrors,” you can watch the video below:

When asked what film moments scared him, he mentioned sequences from the Exorcist and Alien. We also learned that Tom is scared of bugs and razor blades.

He is quick to praise peers like Rob Bottin, Greg Nicotero, and the late Stan Winston. He called Rob Bottin’s work on John Carpenter‘s “The Thing” the ‘Gold Standard’ of splatter effects.

Pick up a copy of Tom’s book “Grande Illusions” via the link below.

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Grande Illusions: Book I & 2 by Tom Savini

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IMG_1353.JPGHorror fans were treated to some time with splatter royalty this weekend at Dragon Con. Makeup and effects legend Tom Savini spent a hour taking fans on a walk though his career.

Tom started his talk with a 10 minute teaser for “Smoke & Mirrors,” an upcoming documentary film that covers his career. Check out an extended first look below…

Savini is best known for his gory effects in films such as Night of the Living Dead, Friday the 13th, and Creepshow. As a kid, I was amazed by the ingenuity and detail of his effects. However, many of Tom’s fans appreciate his acting roles as well. As “Sex Machine” in Robert Rodriguez’ vampire cult classic “From Dusk ‘Til Dawn,” Tom brought the now legendary “cock pistol” to the cinema screen, and hilarity ensued.

It was great to hear about Tom’s inspirations. He mentioned cinema legend Lon Chaney, and makeup legend Dick Smith as major influences. When Tom was younger, no one was sharing their secrets on how these incredible effects were made. Tom explained that Dick Smith essentially wrote a book for kids to learn makeup effects using household items like rubber bands and peanuts.

Tom spent time as a combat photographer in Vietnam, where he was exposed to the realism of gruesome injuries and death. He credits his time spent in that role as a valuable study in anatomy.

When asked what film moments scared him, he mentioned sequences from the Exorcist and Alien. He is quick to praise peers like Rob Bottin, Greg Nicotero, and the late Stan Winston. He called Rob Bottin’s work on John Carpenter’s “The Thing” the ‘Gold Standard’ of splatter effects.

Pick up a copy of Tom’s book “Grande Illusions” via the link below.

619YnkulBdL._SL110_

Grande Illusions: Book I & 2 by Tom Savini

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Stay tuned as we’ll be uploading photos of highlights from the Dragon Con Parade held in Atlanta, GA on 8/30/2014

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