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Rob Bottin

Rob Bottin

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Profession: special makeup effects designer, special effects designer, actor, director, associate producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Legend has it that, upon first stepping onto a Hollywood soundstage, the twentysomething neophyte filmmaker Orson Welles announced "This is the biggest toy train set a boy ever had!" Sadly, Welles was soon forced to find another playground. More than half a century later, however, a contemporary "boy wonder" like special makeup effects creator/designer Rob Bottin could make an excellent living in Hollywood by playing with toys full-time. Indeed, Bottin really was a boy, aged 14, when he first became an active participant in movie magic. His mentor, future Oscar-winner Rick Baker, may have been the best teacher a student of special makeup FX could ever hope to have. The resourceful high school freshman even got his school officials to agree--unofficially--to allow him to attend classes in the morning and work with Baker in the afternoons.

Legend has it that, upon first stepping onto a Hollywood soundstage, the twentysomething neophyte filmmaker Orson Welles announced "This is the biggest toy train set a boy ever had!" Sadly, Welles was soon forced to find another playground. More than half a century later, however, a contemporary "boy wonder" like special makeup effects creator/designer Rob Bottin could make an excellent living in Hollywood by playing with toys full-time. Indeed, Bottin really was a boy, aged 14, when he first became an active participant in movie magic. His mentor, future Oscar-winner Rick Baker, may have been the best teacher a student of special makeup FX could ever hope to have. The resourceful high school freshman even got his school officials to agree--unofficially--to allow him to attend classes in the morning and work with Baker in the afternoons.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 The Fog (1980) Blake
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Milestones close milestones

1974:
Became a protege of FX makeup pioneer Rick Baker at age 14 (date approximate)
1976:
Worked with Baker as a special makeup effects apprentice on the the lavish remake of "King Kong"; deemed too young to be on the lot by MGM, ended up working in Baker's garage
1977:
Served as a special makeup apprentice on "Star Wars"; worked under Baker on the "cantina sequence"
1977:
Started his own FX company, Rob Bottin Productions, at age 18
1978:
Last film assignment as Baker's apprentice, Brian De Palma's "The Fury"
1978:
Hired by Roger Corman's New World Pictures shortly after graduating high school
1978:
Feature debut as special makeup effects designer and special effects designer, "Piranha", a Corman-produced "Jaws" rip-off for New World Pictures; first collaboration with director Joe Dante; appeared in makeup as a victim
1978:
TV debut, served as special effects designer for a syndicated special entitled "Manbeast! Myth or Monster"
1979:
Credited as "giant mouse creator" on New World's "Rock 'n' Roll High School", directed by Allan Arkush
1980:
First collaboration with writer-director John Carpenter, "The Fog"; appeared in makeup as Captain Blake, the head ghost; also provided special effects and special makeup effects
1980:
Credited as "humanoids designer" for "Humanoids from the Deep", another New World cheapie
1981:
Producing debut, served as associate producer on Dante's "The Howling"; provided breakthrough werewolf transformation effects among other special makeup FX
1981:
Worked with mentor Rick Baker as special effects designer and special makeup effects designer on "Tanya's Island"
1982:
Hospitalized for nearly two weeks during the making of "The Thing" for what has been variously described as ulcers, pnuemonia, allergies and/or nervous exhaustion
1982:
Provided landmark monster designs for Carpenter's remake of "The Thing"
1983:
With Craig Reardon and Michael McCracken, served as special makeup effects designer for "It's a Good Life", a Dante-directed segment of "Twilight Zone--The Movie"
1985:
With Peter Robb-King, provided the Oscar-nominated special makeup effects designs for Ridley Scott's underperforming fantasy feature, "Legend"
1985:
First feature credit for Rob Bottin Productions (for "alien creature creation"), Dante's "Explorers"; Bottin provided special makeup effects
1986:
Designed "The Greibble", a cartoonish monster, for a Dante-directed episode of the NBC fantasy anthology "Amazing Stories"
1987:
Reteamed with Dante for "Innerspace"
1987:
Credited with "Robocop design and creation" as well as special makeup effects for "Robocop"; first collaboration with director Paul Verhoeven
1990:
Provided Oscar-winning visual effects for Verhoeven's "Total Recall"
1992:
Reteamed with Verhoeven to design and create special makeup FX as well as special visual FX for "Basic Instinct"
1994:
Credited as "Robocop designer" on the syndicated "Robocop: The Series"
1995:
Provided memorably grim special makeup FX for the well-received crime picture "Seven", directed by David Fincher
1997:
Signed to direct first motion picture, "Freddy vs. Jason"; film never made
1999:
Reteamed with Fincher to create the gruesome special makeup effects for "Fight Club"
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Notes

Bottin's name is pronounced "Bo-teen".

Some sources give his birth year as 1958.

Bottin shared a 1986 Oscar nomination with Peter Robb-King for Best Achievement in Makeup for Ridley Scott's "Legend".

"Rob Bottin's career as a special effects makeup artist began by cutting high school. As a 14-year-old freshman, Bottin had become a protege to makeup artist Rick Baker, who had been impressed with some of Rob's drawings and was willing to share his knowledge. Exasperated school officials UNOFFICIALLY allowed Bottin to attend class in the mornings, and work with Baker in the afternoons. 'Rick was kind of a big brother and father to me,' Bottin said. 'He told me to lose weight, get a haircut, and be respectable. He raised me.'" --From "A Rob Bottin Retrospect", Cinefantastique, Vol. 13, No. 2/Vol. 13, no. 3 (November-December, 1982).

"Although the quantity and range of the makeup effects created for "The Thing" are unprecedented, the technology employed was relatively simple: the various manifestations of the Thing were sculpted in clay. Molds were taken from the sculptures, foam latex pieces were made and the necessary mechanics were installed. Additional materials were used when needed, and the list of ingredients was nearly as bizarre as the Thing itself: heated Bubble Yum gum, strawberry jelly, mayonnaise, cream corn, melted crayons, and the food thickener that was used to make the Blob a quarter-century earlier.

'There's no mystery to most of this stuff. . . . Most of the techniques are obvious if you think about it. We used cables, servos, pneumatics, hydraulics, hand puppets, wires, radio controls, marionettes, even a little reverse filming. All sorts of things. Probably every effect known to man is in this movie.'" --From Cinefantastique (November-December, 1982)

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