And The Dead Start To Walk In Their Masquerade: NVC Crew's Thriller custom
for the Montreal Custom Toy Show just, simply titled: THRILLER!
i had a long chat with Bao about the genesis and making of the custom,
and about their plans for the future, including their very own designed toys!
(hopefully to debut during the coming NYCC) /// CLICK HERE TO READ
TOYSREVIL: so what's The NVC Crew been up to lately? haven't seen your customs in a long while and was looking forward to them (online) for the Montreal Custom Toy Show tho
BAO: As you probably know, we've been quite busy recently, and so when we were asked to submit a BUD for the Montreal CTS-show, we simply refused to because there's no way for us to pull off a nice custom on a BUD platform in less than 1 week, especially with our heads focused away on other stuff that we were currently doing!
So I spent some time to think over what we could do that could still be cool, but at the same would not take an eternity to do. Finally I decided to go with a Halloween-theme since I think it's the perfect timing for that, but at the same time, I didn't want to do any commercial stuff - I mean, I didn't want to do anything related to Jason of Friday the 13th, Mike Myers of Halloween or a Freddy, things that people would easily expect when it comes to Halloween ... I really wanted to find something that people would not expect to see ... something that has been forgotten by people ... So we came up with the idea of doing a tribute to Michael Jackson's Thriller! .... I think everyone remember that videoclip in the 80's and I think it's a classic!
TRE: LOL a retro-Halloween indeed! so which platform toy did you choose? i couldn't quite figure it out myself (from the pictures you sent me) - and also do share with us why you guys chose this platform...
BAO: As a toy customizer, we don't like to use same platform as others, so we want something that people don't often use, but at the same time, we wanted this platform to be small because we don't have much time to work on it - and so it had to be something that we can do in a short span of time...
We finally decided to use Ubisoft's Raving Rabbid! ... Well, we took this platform for many reasons - First it has not been used by too many people. Secondly, I found out that if we flipped this figure in any position, we can get an unusual shape, and so we really went wild with the platform and flipped it like crazy!
TRE: you guys are insane! share and explain to us what you guys did...
BAO: You might not have noticed it, but we reversed the arms and used the toy on the opposite side ... I discovered that if we put it that way, the hands fall downwards and it really makes them look more like a zombie!
The most difficult part of the custom was how to render the Michael Jackson-character ... For me it was obvious that there's no way we could recreate Michael exactly like he was in the music-video ... And it wasn't our goal neither ... I was thinking how could we create a character that people could easily recognize it's MJ, even though it's not him ... and we decided to feature what characterized him in the video.
So after watching the clip over and over again, we found out that Michael's jacket, pants, white socks, black shoes are very unique to him, which stood a better chance of people recognizing him. Also he's the only zombie in the clip that has very black eyes and with that blue-green-greyish tint on his face, of coz not to forget this unique curly hair too!
TRE: i suddenly remembered that one time MJ's curly hair caught fire LOL (:p) ... how about the other 2 zombie dudes?
BAO: After doing Michael, the rest was an easier job - it was about doing some cool zombies! LOL - They were a pure pleasure to customize and we had lots of fun doing them ... and for the first time, we didn't have to really care if the figures were "clean", we can be "dirty" and work with "trash"! LOL
BAO: We decided on 2 zombies with different personalities. Spive wanted to do a freakout old man zombie, so he sculpted an old man that had been dead for a while and had just became a "fresh" zombie So he gave the guy a very white tinted face and hair ... and he just add this little touch that I like a lot = The big whole in the back of the head....!!!!
TRE: oh man, i lurved that touch Spive gave as well! nothing like a hole-in-the-zombie-head to start a night of zombie-rave :p ... what about yours, Bao?
BAO: On my side, I had this idea of doing this zombie that was really thrashed ... I saw an image im my head of that zombie with his head been cut and hanging only partially by the spine and shoulder - So that's what I did! But I have to admit that I didn't think about a particular detail, because once I cut his head and tilted it; the figures doesn't quite stand on his own feet! It kept on falling on one side! LOL
BAO: But finally I managed to find a way to make the figure stand fully stable on his own feet, and can also stand everywhere perfectly...... And more than that it has that crooked-zombie-stance! ... Not like a lot of production toys out there, where you're paying lots of money for the toy, to finally realize that it's not stable at all and keep on falling down!
TRE: oh man, i can totally understand the frustration of unsteady figures and shelf-divers! LOL and of coz, what's a NVC Crew-custom without a diorama! tell us what you guys did.
BAO: Once we finish all the customs, it was time to built up a coffin in wood for Spive's zombie ... And to wrap up the project we created a diorama in which a coffin popped out from the ground with a zombie in it ... So, that's it for this project!
TRE: a perfect Halloween-custom and dio, IMHO! lurved the little skeleton holding up the coffin LOL - how did you guys feel about completing this project?
BAO: It was simply fun for us to do this project because we had the chance to just go crazy with our sculpting and had tried to create some cool faces with expressions ... What was even cooler was that even if it was a "dark" project, we kept that cartoony look for the zombies, so it doesn't look gory, and I think they look kind of funny, especially with Michael looking simply dumb! LOL
And best of all? everything was made in 4 days!!!!!!!!
TRE: 4 days? YOU GUYS ARE INSANE! LOL
BAO: and you know what, I was surprised that I still had plenty of time to take the pics and do all the little touches before the day I had to bring it at the show. Usually, I end up completing the customs at the last minute and send for shows, but this time, there was no stress and everything was done so quickly.
TRE: good to hear, Bao :) ... with the little custom-work i've done myself, it has always ended up as last minute jobbies, quick clip of the camera and IMMEDIATELY goes into whatever box that it's supposed to, to go anywhere LOL ... so i remember we've had that (online) conversation about your guys being busy with numerous projects [ie: creating your own toys??!!] recently - how has it progressed thus far? and how has that impacted your customizing projects? because we've not been seeing much of NVC Crew's works recently and fans wanna know!
BAO: Well man, I have so many projects that are running at the same time, that I really don't know where to start! One thing's for sure is that in 2008, we will do less custom shows and we will be concentrating more on sculpting our own stuff. After all this time, we realized that sometimes it's just easier for us to build up everything by ourselves. It gives us much more versatility and the toy result is much more unique and has that style that can't be found anywhere else ... Of course it's a lot more of work, but when you look at it after it's completed, you can recognize it is something you've done yourselves :)
We're also currently working on a project that we want to present at NYCC this year ... it would be the first time people will get to see the completed version! This project is like our baby so we're taking our time and we're working on it between our other projects! ... Although I still have to look for a toy company or a toy store that will be at NYCC who would want to host our project ... anyone who's interested can drop me an email [firstname.lastname@example.org] for more details ... As for the rest, well you will have more details when the time comes!!! heeeheheh!!!!!
TOYSREVIL: fair enough dude! read that folks? any toy company or store interested to bug Dr. Bao NOW! (so we can all get to see their work by NYCC LOL) - good luck for your projects guys and will look forward to their completion! (and you KNOW ima gonna be bugging you about it, yeh? LOL)
and a little something to jog your retro-Halloween memories muahahaha: