Part 3 of a 3 part interview with Special FX Makeup artist Robert Paul Chaney.
Interview by Michael Jones
10. Growing up as a child (and now as an adult), who would you say were (are) the directors, FX artists and films that most directly influenced your decision to do what you do today?
Robert: Wow, there are so many of them. I’ll list a few of them. Both Lon Chaney Sr. and Jr., Savini, Romero, Baker…just to name a few. The videos Thriller and Ghosts by Michael Jackson. And various cheesy horror movies from the 80s. There are so many more, but it would require a book to list them all.
11. Being an FX artist and reading scripts, there has been a time or two where I was asked to do something to somebody that just rang morally wrong with me (aka simulated sexual assault on a 13 year old actress). Have you ever come across a situation on a project where you were asked to do an FX piece that either offended you or you were not comfortable doing it and if not, is there a line that you would not cross?
Robert: No, that has not happened to me as of yet. And yes, there is a line. Any type of work on underage actors/actresses that you named above. That is a line I would never cross, no matter how much money was being offered. My morals are not for sale.
12. As time goes by, our industry continues to evolve at an astronomical rate. Where do you see horror films going in the next decade, not only from just a story standpoint (torture porn, zombies, slashers, vampires, etc) but and FX (more or less CGI) view as well?
Robert: Well, the way I see it now, lots of films lately are leaning harder and harder on CGI and scrimping out on a decent plot. At this rate, they’ll totally eradicate the need for actors/actresses/fx artist and make movies pure CGI. I truly hope this never happens.
13. With all of the names out there today producing more and more horror, not just in original content but remakes as well, do you have a dream project out there that you would like to do, and how do you feel about the current trend in remakes and 3-D?
Robert: Yes, and I’m currently working on my dream project, which is Death Certificate. I’m not happy with all the remakes. I’m not a pig who is content to feed on slop. Instead of churning out remakes, I believe more time needs to be focused on producing original content. New concepts. New ideas. Not remakes or reuse the same ‘ol same ‘ol. We want our minds stimulated with something we’ve not seen before. For example, I found The Human Centipede to be refreshing due to it being something that wasn’t retold or rehashed. It broke out of that mode. As to the 3-D, I’m fine with it. It seems to be the wave of the future. As long as it’s not CGI heavy 3-D, then I can deal with it.
14. As you continue to work in music, writing and film, what can we look forward to from you not only as an actor, but as an FX artist as well in the near future?
Robert: While I do enjoy acting from time to time, I’ll be focusing more on fx work and filming. I’ll be doing a great deal more fx work/photo shoots. And there are many more music videos planned out. After Death Certificate, I’ll be coming up with more movie concepts.
15. What advice would you give to the aspiring young man or woman looking to break into the industry today, and is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
Robert: I’d say to never give up. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not good enough. You have to want it, want it more than anything. Work for it and work hard.
I really don’t like the word fans. I’m just a regular guy doing something that he loves. I’d like to thank all the people who joined up at Chaney FX and made this journey enjoyable. I’ve meet so many creative and talented people, and for that, I’m thankful.