Stan Winston, master of makeup and special effects, has made dozens of films, including "Interview With the Vampire," "Edward Scissorhands" and "Wrong Turn," which was just released on DVD. Currently, he is busy working on a movie called "Trick or Trick," which he says, "explores the rules of Halloween." Writer Leslee Komaiko spoke with Winston about the holiday.
Halloween is one of the important aspects of my childhood that actually influenced my life as an artist and the art form I ended up following in creating monsters for a living. I was a very avid fan of all the classic horror movies and famous monsters of film. When Halloween came around when I was very young, that gave me the chance to actually begin the process of what my entire life was about: creating creatures and characters.
The first memories I have of truly exploring my artistic talents was creating monsters for myself on Halloween. It was my favorite time of the year. I was the one who turned myself into a werewolf and hid behind trees to scare trick-or-treaters. For me it was definitely an art form. I loved it. Just the thought of being a legitimate time for me to create a character on myself where normally it would have been thought, that's bizarre. What are you doing? The day was the one day of the year I fit in. It was truly the day of the year that my aspirations were fulfilled. Other than that I was this strange kid. Now I am fortunate enough to treat every day of my life as Halloween.
Halloween used to be my favorite day of the year. Now it's the day that I hide, obviously because of my career. It's the time of year when everybody you ever knew wants to know what you can do for them. I virtually get out of town. I am the invisible man on Halloween. What used to be my love is now my true terror and there's no way I could do anything on Halloween that would live up to what anyone would expect of me. If I were going to a costume party, what would I do? It would just be disappointing. Halloween has become the tragic day of the year for Stan.
But I truly get such a kick out of anyone who really tries to create an elaborate character for Halloween. It validates my mind and what I do for a living. It makes me realize what I'm doing everyone would love to do. Thank goodness for Halloween; it allows them that joy.
Unfortunately as children we are taught to hold that part down, and not explore. There's actually a charity I'm strongly connected to called Free Arts for Abused Children. The concept is art heals. It allows young children to explore in creative ways and helps heal them emotionally. I feel that we all have that need to be creative, and Halloween is one of those times and one of the ways when you are asked to or allowed to be creative.