NORTH JUDSON -- Halloween means more than just going to a store, purchasing a pre-made costume off the rack, and going trick-or-treating.
To some people, Oct. 31 is a holiday that allows them to show the world the unique, and most times creepy, creativity they possess. Including my father.
Growing up in North Liberty, we owned a house right on Main Street. If you trick-or-treated in North Liberty around the 1990’s you might remember that house.
For some reason, my father wouldn’t decorate for Christmas, Easter, or any holiday. However, he made an exception when October rolled around.
He dug graves in the front yard for the makeshift cemetery, fog machines for the porch, bloodcurdling screams from the cassette player.
He even created three dummies (we called them bloodymen) with motors in their arms that would wave or point at the people that dared ascend our porch steps.
Now, I typically don’t write these articles in the first-person narrative because that’s not AP Style. However, as I said earlier, it’s Halloween. So, if you’ll pardon my trick, I’ll provide you with a treat.
For your reading pleasure, I now present to you this treat: a look inside the up-and-coming creative mind of the Tom Savini of North Judson.
Kalynn Boule is a seventh-grader at North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation. And for as long as she can remember, she’s been interested in makeup.
It wasn’t until she was about 7 or 8 years old that she became interested in sfx (special effects). She was inspired to try her hand at sfx after watching the behind the scenes of how it’s done in scary movies.
When asked how she started experimenting in special effects, Kalynn said she started “with toilet paper, cotton balls and glue and I just started shaping it in different ways and gluing it to my face. I kept practicing and experimenting with different looks and products. I looked up videos on YouTube just to see how professionals did their sfx.”
She discovered though, that the toilet paper and glue method wasn’t easy to work with because it took hours to dry. That’s when she figured out how to make her own scar wax. For those that might not know, scar wax is a sfx wax that can be attached to the skin, blended or shaped into scars, cuts, bullet wounds, warts, etc… and then painted.
“Scar wax is a lot easier to work with,” she explains.
“You don’t have to wait for it and it’s easier to blend into your skin.”
After using scar wax for a while, Kalynn found that even this method wasn’t optimal for what she wanted. “I still wasn’t completely happy with the scar wax though because it doesn’t last very long at all before it falls apart.”
Currently, she is using latex which Kalynn describes as like the glue method, but it dries faster and has a higher durability than scar wax. I asked Kalynn about the hardest project. She said that “the hardest thing to do is to make your mouth look cut on the sides. It’s very difficult to get it to look realistic.”
Kalynn hopes to make monsters for movies when she grows up and make a career out of sfx.
Even now, she gets requests from friends and family for makeup assistance. When asked what she likes most about her sfx, Kalynn replied with a laugh, “Scaring people!”
I remember that my father would get some criticism about going all-out for Halloween, but not even putting up one light bulb for Christmas. Rumors would fly around, but we never let it bother us because we had fun decorating and being a family.
Kalynn Boule has experienced similar criticism. When you read this next statement from the North Judson teen, hopefully you can appreciate the wisdom behind it.
“Little kids get afraid of me and their parents seem to get mad. Lots of people ask me why I do this, and I ask them back: Why do you play sports or read books or whatever it is they do?” Kalynn said and then finished.
“Because you’re good at it. So, this is what I do because I’m good at it.”