Meet 'Grimm's' Man Behind the Monsters (Exclusive Photos, Video)
Oscar-winning make-up FX artist Barney Burman shows THR what it's like to create the many creatures on NBC's supernatural series.
Every episode, Grimm fans are taken in by its many monsters and twists on the fairytales they’ve grown up on. Make-up FX artist Barney Burman is the man who takes the series’ monsters from the script pages and on to the screen.
With his own shop, Proteus Make-up FX, in North Hollywood, Burman comes from an accomplished line of make-up FX artists. His grandfather made masks and props for the original Wolfman and Twilight Zone series. His father, Emmy-winner Thomas R. Burman, worked on Body Snatchers, Star Kid, Powder, Carrie 2 and The X Files, among others.
Burman’s own credits include How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Planet of the Apes, Men in Black 2, Haunted Mansion, and JJ Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek, which earned the make-up FX artist an Academy Award.
“The Star Trek film was definitely a huge challenge,” Burman tells The Hollywood Reporter. “It was the biggest film I had done to date and it was about six months of sleeping four hours a night and just keep going and going and going and it took so much of my focus -- just a crazy amount of energy that it took to get that done.”
Grimm’s production schedule is challenging, as well. Burman and his team may have as few as four days to create a monster from scratch. In comparison, Burman says he’d usually ask for at least three weeks for a straight make-up assignment. He must also deal with distance, since the series shoots in Portland.
“It really does vary quite a bit per episode, which is one of the things I really love about it is that it isn’t just kind of doing the same thing,” he says of the many creatures for the series. “It’s creating over and over again each episode. Often we’ve had situations where we’ve had to make a full dead body in five days or we did an episode with some Bigfoot characters and we had four days to get our first one done. I’ve had up to about seven or eight people in my shop in L.A. plus as many as three or four people up in Portland all working at the same time.”
For Friday’s Cinderella-inspired episode titled “Happily Ever Aftermath,” the series tasked Burman with creating the “Murcielago,” a bat-like creature with red eyes, rows of teeth and a death-inducing scream.
Click here for exclusive photos as Burman takes THR through the process of creating the monster. Plus, watch a time-lapse video of the transformation below.
Grimm airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on NBC.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro