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A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET

Designing The Nightmare
Seven, eight, gonna stay up late...

Essential to the mythology of "A Nightmare on Elm Street” are a number of indelible hallmarks from the original film that Bayer wanted to incorporate while creating an all new vision of Elm Street.

Freddy himself informs the world into which he draws his victims. Having died a violent death after being set ablaze, Fred Krueger, a mild-mannered gardener and caretaker at Badham Preschool, transforms into Freddy Krueger, the stalker of dreams.

To create the film's central image—Freddy's disfigured face—the filmmakers began with the reality of burn victims and took it into the realm of nightmares. Fuller remembers hours of discussion about what would be the scariest skin texture, and describes what they ultimately chose as "profoundly disturbing.”

Once the design was in place, the filmmakers turned to veteran special effects makeup artist and designer Andrew Clement. "I wanted this to be textural and real,” Clement reveals. "And, in keeping with horror makeup traditions, we really went for a terrifying, macabre design.”

"Freddy now has a bit of a different look that's grounded more in reality,” Haley observes. "Though his burned skin is very realistic, at the same time they put in undertones of a boogeyman on top of that, so he does not look anything like an actual burn victim. Andrew absolutely nailed the design.”

For Haley, having hours every day to study himself in the mirror became part of his process for finding his way into the psyche of Freddy Krueger. "There's something about the process of building a character that I really find in working with the makeup, wardrobe and hair people,” he says. "Looking in the mirror, it can become very motivating in the portrayal of the character. You start to get a sense of a whole other entity. It's very informative in playing the guy.”

Prior to filming, a silicone life mask of Haley's head was molded so Clement could sculpt and modify Freddy's face. Early in production, the actor would sit in the makeup chair for up to six hours as Clement and his collaborator, Bart Mixon, adhered the layers of makeup appliances to Haley's head, neck and hands, with acrylic or silicone base materials, but once the rhythm became routine, the makeup time was cut in half. In addition, the makeup team needed to have a new set of appliances for each day's filming, and each piece had to be painted the afternoon before filming, a process that took up to eight hours every day.

In addition to all the on-set physical makeup effects, at times visual effects were incorporated to embellish the damage to Freddy Krueger's face, but in a subtle way. "We incorporated some digital green paint to Freddy's cheek that allowed Method, the visual effects company, the ability to create depth that could not be done with prosthetics alone,” explains executive producer Mike Drake.

Beyond the face are Freddy's trademark torn red and green striped wool sweater and battered fedora. The process of creating these pieces began with the screenplay. "We looked at all of the things that we knew about him just on the surface and tried to find a deeper mythology, a deeper reason for why they become so such an indelible part of Freddy,” says screenwriter Heisserer. "Why the fedora? Why the sweater? Why the glove? And in looking at that and placing him as a caretaker at a preschool, furthermore  a gardener, we applied some base logic to why he became the character he is now. The gardening hand claws that he used in the landscaping of the preschool suddenly turned into the glove and blades.”

Creating the pieces was costume designer Mari-An Ceo, who is a veteran of previous Platinum Dunes titles "Friday the 13th” and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning.” "I wanted to do the ‘Big Three,' and since I'd already done Jason and Leatherface, I figure that now, with Freddy, I've got the three

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