You know Doug Jones as more than one species (alien or otherwise), but you’ve never seen him get his human DNA swapped out this fast.
With Emmy season on the horizon for Star Trek: Discovery, CBS recently tweeted a mind-blowing time-lapse video of Jones being morphed into Kelpien Commanding Officer Saru, "For Your Consideration" as Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup in a TV series. The vid makes it seem as if someone sped up the process to Warp 9.
Alchemy Studios’ Glenn Hetrick and Neville Page are behind this incredible sci-fi transformation, with makeup and prosthetics at nearly the speed of light. Page is the Starfleet officer behind the scenes who designed and produced Saru’s striking humanoid-but-not-of-this-planet look. Makeup artist Jimmy Mackinnon leads the team responsible for humans sitting in makeup chairs and leaving as something other than human.
It starts with more priming than you ever thought would be necessary, and involves latex, latex, and more latex. You got the latex part, right? The artists then zoom in with paintbrushes to really give Jones that otherworldly complexion.
Surviving that makeup chair is an odyssey for both artists and actors. Saru was prototyped with a completely different design and had to be thoroughly revamped. Plus, it can understandably get frustrating sitting still for three hours without the luxury of playing Candy Crush on your smartphone.
"You kind of have to forget the physical challenge in the moment," Jones once told Rolling Stone about sitting in the make-up chair. "You have to try to make this thing you're wearing become a part of you."
Jones is known for his amazing portrayals of characters in equally amazing makeup, from the amphibious creature we all fell for in The Shape of Water; to Hellboy’s Abe Sapien, who could pass for the fish-man's first cousin; to the Silver Surfer; to one of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s homicidal Gentlemen; to both the Faun and nightmarish Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth.
The most grueling transformation for Jones? It had to be the Faun. Not only was he in a creature suit with all sorts of things glued onto his face and speaking an unfamiliar language, but he had to do it all on stilts. “The Faun took a lot out of me,” Jones told Rolling Stone, “but again, every sacrifice you make when you're making a piece of art like that is so incredibly worth it.”