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SCENE STEALER

Movie magic shaves years off sci-fi star

Bruce Willis' robotic likeness in 'Surrogates' got a celluloid face-lift thanks to the film's effects crew.

October 01, 2009|Patrick Kevin Day

In order to make 54-year-old Bruce Willis' surrogate robot look like a man in his mid-30s in the sci-fi film "Surrogates," Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Mark Stetson oversaw some work worthy of a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. "We started out with makeup," Stetson said. Makeup supervisor Jeff Dawn oversaw the application of straightforward cosmetic makeup, which was enhanced by cinematographer Oliver Wood's lighting. Then the digital-effects artists went in to the roughly 200 shots of Willis' surrogate and removed the creases of the actor's face frame by frame. "It was a lot like doing concept work for a face-lift," Stetson said. And is this kind of digital de-aging popular with stars in non-science-fiction films? "We're getting into an area we really shouldn't be talking about," was all Stetson would say.

-- Patrick Kevin Day

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