Step into the captivating world of Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, where the talented makeup pros work their magic to create an array of fascinating creatures. This Netflix series consists of eight separate episodes, each featuring unique monsters and mythical beings. To bring these eerie and intriguing creatures to life, several character and prosthetic design companies collaborated under the guidance of Sean Sansom, the head of the prosthetics department, and Mike Hill, the skilled makeup designer. Together, they developed a world of haunting wonders.
Masters of Del Toro’s Creatures: Sansom and Hill’s Journey
Prosthetics department head Sean Sansom and creature makeup designer Mike Hill have crossed paths with Guillermo del Toro throughout their careers. Sansom joined del Toro’s crew during Mimic and later worked on Pacific Rim. Hill, commissioned for original artwork, became friends with del Toro and collaborated on The Shape of Water.
Their shared love for monsters and encounters at model-sculpting conventions solidified their names in the field. After completing Nightmare Alley, both were approached to work on Cabinet of Curiosities. In an early meeting with del Toro, he had a clear vision for each character, setting the stage for their creative journey.
Collaborative Mastery: Sansom and Hill Bring Creatures to Life
Hill designed prosthetics from his studio, while Sansom applied them on set in Toronto, working together seamlessly. Five design studios collaborated in a relay-like fashion to handle the extensive workload of the series.
For Emmy consideration, they submitted episode six, “Dreams in the Witch House,” featuring a terrifying tree witch portrayed by Lize Johnston. Hill sculpted various prosthetics, including facial pieces, dentures, and a crown. The application process took about an hour and a half, with additional costume fittings.
Their priority was to alleviate pressure on the actors. The chosen episode showcased their prosthetic artistry, with exceptional cinematography and lighting, making them immensely proud.
Sansom and Hill’s expertise remind us that behind every chilling and intriguing creature, there are skilled artists who bring our nightmares to vivid existence.