Modelling

MEET A MODEL

Paul Ewen

How long have you been modelling at Gorton Studio?

Have been modeling about 6-7 years now

Tell us a bit about your background and life outside of modelling

I work for BT normally. It's a tad mundane but it pays the bills and enables me to pursue my leisure activities. These include photography, amateur drama, sci-fi/horror/steampunk costuming and watching and making movies, particularly those of the horror persuasion. I'm also an avid quizzer.

What made you decide to be a model?

Well, all my life, I've always been a bit of a showoff and attention-seeker, especially since my debut as the second Wise Man in the school nativity play at primary school. The acting bug stayed with me throughout my school years and beyond as did the 'look at me!' factor so modeling was just a natural progression.

I've also had a lifelong love for horror and sci-fi and have always marvelled at the wonderful special effects and prosthetic make-ups worn in films and TV series, from the silent era and Lon Chaney, through Jack Pierce, Dick Smith, Tom Savini right up until the latest output from KNB FX. However, in my youth, all this special effects stuff was seen as something they only did in far-flung Hollywood and not something the poor British film industry had the money to dabble in since the collapse of Hammer Films in the 70's and I used to watch all this stuff as a kid, dreaming of having these prosthetics applied to me.

I also love the fact that you don't have to look like Brad Pitt to be able to model SFX make-up. Being an average, middle-aged and overweight bloke, it still cracks me up to see people's amazed faces and reactions when I tell them that I have regular modelling assignments!

What do you enjoy about it?

I don't know if it's an insecurity thing but I get a real kick out of changing my appearance and becoming someone (or someTHING) else and parading around in front of others. When I first started modelling prosthetics, I was so excited that I became known on the make-up circuit for sleeping in my make up in order to get some extra use out of it and always regretted having to eventually remove it. Whilst no longer doing that with the larger overhead creations (it gets too uncomfortable at night!), I'll still do it on occasion for small appliances, depending on what the appliance is and where I can display it for maximum effect the following day. Half the enjoyment for me is going out in public wearing the make up and gauging the response of Joe Public and I'm frequently seen walking around the local Tesco in the make-up, casually doing my shopping whilst catching the reactions out of the corner of my eye.

Which prosthetic/s have you most enjoyed modelling so far?

I enjoy all the prosthetics applied to me but, I have to say, the more realistic ones, be they wounds or deformities, have the biggest shock value. One of my favourites was the John Merrick nose/cheek/chin piece, left over from the Elephant Man's appearance in the Johnny Depp movie, From Hell, which I had applied to me one time. It looked like it was really part of me and I insisted on wearing it home. I made a beeline for Tesco and proceeded to go about my business as normal. Because the appliance was so realistic, I could sense people staring and nudging each other. I'd then catch their eye and they'd swiftly look away. It was hilarious but, at the same time, it also gave me a new perspective on what people who have real deformities or who are 'different' must experience everyday of their lives.  

Any amusing moments while you’ve been modelling?

Well, one amusing moment occurred when I was once made up to look like a seal. It was so realistic that when I drove home wearing the make-up, I found myself being pursued by a polar bear in a Vauxhall Zafira for a good five miles.    

What would you say to anyone considering modelling for us?

I'd say don't bother.

It's poorly paid, the hours are long, it's mind-numbingly boring and the staff are really unfriendly (well, I wouldn't want to attract new models, would I? That would mean less work for me! ;¬D).

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