Pirates of the Carribbean effect on a budget


Well-Known Member
Halloween is fast approaching and I thought I'd share this story-

When 'Pirates of the Carribbean' first came out in 2003, my friend OB10 asked me how could we pull off the moonlight effect where the curse takes over the crew and shows their true nature of being dead. I had said give me some time to think of something. Later I told him we could try to paint on the invisble handstamp ink that reacts to blacklight to get the effect we wanted. That Halloween, when we had attended a costume party at a friend's house, he came as a WWII Nazi soldier with the effect we had talked about. It was fantastic. In the house with normal lighting, he was just some guy in a Nazi uniform. But in the attached garage that had blacklighting, he transformed into a cursed being. The problem was it had taken him three hours to paint all the bones and details to get the desired effect. I had wanted to use this for a group effort for a convention, but at three hours per person -about a dozen of us, it would have been impossible.

Fortunately, for the next year, the conventions theme didn't match the effect I wanted to pull off. But by 2005, the theme was "When Things go Bump in the Night", I had to come up with some way to make it happen. I had created templates to place on our bodies to trace out teeth, cheekbone and jaw, arm and forearm, wrist, hand and fingers, neck, collarbone, shoulderblade, and a few ribs. An eyepatch was used to trace out the eyes and, if I recall correctly, the nose was freehanded. We got everyone done in the time OB10 had done himself at that Halloween party, three hours. Our party room was made into a cemetary and only lit with blacklight with a few low wattage nightlights to help with seeing our way around. I'm posting the best photo of one my friends that has the result to show. His left side is in blacklight while his right side is in normal light.

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Sr Member
Good picture! I don't think (m)any of the ones I took at the con probably turned out that well. That was the older camera, too. And actually, the first time I did it, I did it with the pirate garb. It was the year or two after that where I did the undead Wehrmacht trooper, ala the old Weird War Tales comics. Probably not an overly accurate WWII uniform, but the effect turned out well. And yeah, it still took a couple hours to paint on.
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