Rob Bottin

By Michael Corvin

     Born in 1959, this would be master make-up artist grew up
on the classic monster and horror movies of his youth. Wishing
to create his own monsters, he started drawing pictures of mon-
sters and when he was just 14 years old, sent some of them to
make-up artist Rick Baker who himself was just starting to rise
to master artist himself. When Baker saw young Rob Bottin’s
work, he hired him to work with him. Together Baker and he started working on Hollywood movies such as
the Cantina scene in Star Wars where Bottin himself played one of the band members in full costume.

     When Baker had to turn down working on the upcoming
werewolf movie The Howling because he himself was already
assigned to another werewolf Project…..An American Were-
wolf In London, he asked that Bottin do the film on his own.
His solo paid off big time and under the ideas given to him by
Baker created one of the most love werewolf transformation
scenes in movie history.

     By using puppet body props, air bladders, latex facial appliance and a whole lot of trails and false
starts using all new make-up techniques, Rob Bottin’s werewolf transformation was the first of its kind.
Although Baker’s werewolf transformation won the artist an Oscar for American Werewolf, it was Bottin’s
man to beast effects was first seen when The Howling hit theatres a few months before Baker’s movie.

     From that point on, Rob Bottin became a force of nature in the movie biz turning out creatures for such
films as Legend with his devil like Darkness character and the alien creature in the remake of The Thing.  
Later he would go on to such movies as Robo Cop, Total Recall and Basic Instinct. He worked with
director John Carpenter on both The Thing and The Fog and was nominated for an Oscar, won two Saturn
Awards with five other nominations for his work over the years.

     Today in this over used CGI world, Bottin is still at it building monsters from scratch with the tried and
true effects that he learned from his mentor Rick Baker. His work on films like The Howling still holds up
today and is ranked as one of the very best werewolf transformation scenes in film history. As a master
himself in the special effects make-up world, Rob Bottin is top in his field and still proves today that make-
up affects still has their place in the CGI Hollywood world.
Making Monsters:
Spotlight on Hollywood's
Makeup Artists