Inside the Studio of Monster Designer Jordu Schell

Wired visited artist Jordu Schell in his Los Angeles studio to discover how he designs and sculpts such wonderfully imaginative and spooky latex monster masks for famous movies and video games.

Jordu Schell is a master of monster masks. He designs creatures for movies, television and video games, and has worked on countless projects that you’ve most certainly heard of.

Schell explained that he starts off with the general shape of the face on paper and then adds the details. When he’s got a good idea of the form, he starts the process that brings his design to life. Schell stated that it’s important that the finer details convey the character’s “personality”.

But what we’re always going for is what is going to bring us the most character? What is going to affect the viewer the most? If it’s adding teeth, it’s adding teeth. If it’s giving the eyes a more sinister feel, if it’s scrapping it and starting over, the whole point is to bring out the most and the best character you can.

Schell also made an excellent point about monsters of the imagination.

I think monsters represent a powerful being, but it’s something that is concrete and can be dealt with very directly. David slays Goliath. King Kong falls off a very tall building. These dangerous bad things can just be dealt with, and they’re gone, and it’s over. And that’s kind of a fantasy because rooting out evil in real life is much more complex and much more difficult than that.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.