Garage FX Creators
Interviewed by Song River
A little of this, a little of that... and looked what 'spawned' forth! Garage FX Creators took some time out of their busy schedules as they prepare props and costumes for Amazing Comic Cons and other ventures of 2015 to talk with us today... and wow, this is going to be some year!
Thank you Guy for taking some time out to share with me yours and Jason's, well really the entire both sides of your family, along with friends and neighbors... your excitement to take well known Comic Book Characters and create extraordinary works of wearable art, props and fully animated icons including... cannon sheep ala Deadpool? As I understand the genesis of Garage Fx began with a character named, Spawn? How did creating and your day jobs connect to produce this 'spawning?”
Garage FX: Our very first creations were Venom and the Predator. They came about because I wanted to go to the Emerald city Comic-con in Seattle. I contacted my brother-in- law Jason and of course he said yes. Then we decided to make costumes. Our second costumes were; Gunslinger Spawn (me) and Ninja Spawn (Jason). Our Spawn suits were very popular and we even received an invite from his brand manager Joe to go talk to the man himself, creator of Spawn (And tons of more characters) Todd McFarlane. He was a complete gentleman. He talked to us for quite a while. He gave us a lot of cool things. And we gave him a blown up picture of us (in costume) with his full size Spawn character.
What was the response like when you first showed off your creation?
Garage FX: When we went to Emerald city we were not sure what to expect. We were overwhelmed. We were surrounded by hundred's of people wanting to take pictures with us. We were given our own security to follow us around. It was mostly for safety and to prevent us from blocking the fire exits and keeping the traffic flowing through the convention. We were excited just to be noticed.
What was your family's response?
Garage FX: My kids thought I was a big nerd. My wife said, “you can do what you want, but don’t tell anyone we are married” She was only half-way joking. Today things are much different. It is a full family business.
You took those early days, found a niche, and the creative juices for props, and costuming began. When and how did you choose the name, Garage Fx?
Garage FX: GarageFX was the logical choice. It took us awhile to come up with it and we did try other names, but we settled on GarageFX, because it is what we do and where we build.
Life has her ways of having people's paths cross. When I met Jason's family a year ago, did you two, let alone your families, have any idea where this was all going to lead?
Garage FX:We always “dream big,” but honestly this took off really fast and got much bigger than we expected. We love doing this. Thanks to a wonderful lady named Song River we were introduced to Jimmy with Amazing Comic-cons. Jimmy is a real down to earth man that likes having GarageFX at all of his conventions The comic-con crowd is an awesome group. They are always fun and it’s exciting to see them come into our booth and take pictures with our weapons and mannequins that we have put our past costumes on. We have the biggest photo op station around and the best part is it is free.
Amazing Arizona Comic Con came into the picture in 2014. Have you found a home in the realm of comic con's?
Garage FX:The Comic con crowd is a perfect fit for the Garage FX group. We work all the time creating new projects and costumes so people can come and enjoy themselves. Even though we are a small piece of a large puzzle we feel we fit in nicely.
Your experiences with Amazing Comic Con in 2014 (Las Vegas, Houston) opened doors for others to see you talents, and to even be asked to do some special ventures. Can you talk a bit about some of these?
Garage FX: We have been asked to make a lot of Zombie props. They are used for paintball facilities in Texas. We are currently making some things for Amazing comic cons that are based off Rob Liefeld weapons I am building a fully functioning sheep cannon that will shoot t-shirts and really anything, Jason is working on a 6’ assault rifle. We are also trying to get the “well zombie” (zombie in a well) put together as a display since the Walking Dead cast is usually at the Amazing comic-con shows. We are also working on a few really cool props from the Lego movie. They will be ready for this February Amazing Comic-con and will be another photo-op station.
Are there certain aspects each of you focus on, example: one is better at the drawing out blueprints, another carving, etc... or do each of you share and cross over to create?
Garage FX:Even though we all can do the creating and fabricating we sectioned it off into tasks that we are strongest in. This keeps everyone working and things flow much smoother.
What have been some of your most interesting creations, challenging?
Garage FX: Our fan favorites have been the TMNT which was also our most interesting. We created the Spawnettes and they were extremely popular too. The most challenging was putting together our kits for the weapons and helmets we make. We have it down to a science now, but we had to learn a lot by trial and error first.
Do you, Guy, have a favorite character in particular? Anyone that you yourself would like to create, as the possibilities are absolutely endless?
Garage FX: I really don’t have a super favorite character, because I like them all both heroes and villains alike. I like the story lines based around them and really enjoy the fact that technology has now caught up and we can watch them all on the big screen.
I have always wanted to build a huge 7-8’ robot costume based off of Todd McFarlane robots. So maybe someday that will happen.
Share with us some of the projects you are working on for 2015, special ones?
Garage FX: We currently are working on the design for Jaeger suits (Pacific Rim). Some characters based off the game Elflandia. The zombies and zombie weapons and Liefeld weapons. We are currently negotiating making some Halo gear and weapons for a small movie that will be filmed in 2015.
What are you bringing Amazing Comic Con so Amazing fans can be ready to explode with anticipation?
Garage FX:We plan on bringing all that GarageFX has created. This is our home turf so we plan on bringing everything. So, you will see all our past costumes set up with back drops and weapons so anyone can come and take pictures. We will be bringing the TMNT to Amazing Arizona Comic-con. The sheep cannon and big weapons will be there, and we will be doing panels explaining how we do what we do.
The investment side of building props and purchasing tools has to be quite extensive. If someone was just starting out what would you recommend they begin with?
Garage FX: Starting the way we did. Just use household items in place of expensive special effects materials. We would look up what the pros use and find the equivalent material in a much cheaper form. We would cut up used plastic buckets for armor and E.V.A. foam for weapons. I look at garage sales and Goodwill all the time for items to use. This is the best way to create and not go broke.
What have you learned Guy from this experience yourself, as a family, and as family/friends working closely together?
Garage FX: The best part of GarageFX is that it is a family business. We travel together, we work together. We create together. This is a great business for family bonding. When we go to conventions we see a lot of families bonding and fitting into the atmosphere that you can only find at Comic conventions. I have learned that if you want to make something you can. If you want to be recognized for your creations you can. This world of comic cons has room for everybody, and is an excellent outlet for creativity.
If someone is interested in purchasing your creations, and/or taking classes how would they reach you?
You can reach us at:
Facebook- Garage fx creators
Etsy- Garagefx creations
And soon to be on YouTube with how to videos.