Makeup special effects artist Jeff Goodwin talks working on new “Scream,” David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet,” meeting Ghostface

Noah Levine, Life and Arts Reporter

Ghostface slashed his way back onto screens with 2022’s “Scream” sequel. Directed by Radio Silence, the new film follows another ghastly string of murders led by the infamous Ghostface killer. In a film filled with gross-out moments and spine-tingling sequences, one of the most important elements of production is the special effects makeup work.

The Texan spoke with makeup special effects artist Jeff Goodwin about his team “Bearded Skull’s” approach to “Scream,” his experience on other films and more.

The Daily Texan: How did you first get interested in the world of special effects makeup?

Jeff Goodwin: I always loved movies as a kid. Some of my first memories are movies. I fell in love with them right off the bat and gravitated towards, at that time, the horror films that I was seeing, especially late night shock theaters on Saturday night. My father took me to see “Planet of the Apes” when it originally released in theaters in 1968. When I saw the gorillas riding on horseback for the first time on the screen, I was probably bitten right then by the bug … That’s all I wanted to do after that, was figure out how they did this stuff and do it. I became very lucky that I was able to do just that.

DT: Since “Scream” is a part of a much larger franchise, how did you evolve the makeup while honoring the past?

JG: The gross effects are always the most fun to do, but I don’t want to glorify them. I want to show the violence for the ugly thing that it is. I believe we succeed on that (in “Scream”). Rick (Pour) and I felt very adamant in the beginning. We love the first ”Scream,” and we’ve known Kevin Williamson since “Dawson’s Creek,” so when we were approached to do “Scream” Rick and I both said, “You know we love ‘Scream,’” but revisiting these old films prior to us having these meetings with them, the one thing we both agreed upon was we needed to raise the bar on the killings. You don’t see that much in the other films, and we wanted to keep it grounded in reality.

DT: What was it like working on “Blue Velvet” with David Lynch?

JG: That’s still my favorite experience ever. I’ve joked that David Lynch ruined me for all other directors after that because he was just wonderful to work with. That’s one of those rare occasions for me, as far as you read a script and you know reading the script that (the film) is special.

DT: What is it like to be in the same room as the infamous Ghostface character?

JG: We were sitting on set one day … literally in the yard of the fake house (from the movie) on stage. All of (the makeup team) are sitting there, Rick, Jason and I. All of a sudden, the tent where the cast sits (for holding) opens, and Ghostface walks out. It was the first time that any of us had seen him in full costume. All of us were a little giddy. Like a kid, the first time he walks on it’s like, “Holy shit! It’s Ghostface!” It brings out the kid in everybody again.

DT: Could you talk a little about the dynamic between a director and the makeup team?

JG: One reason why I love “Blue Velvet” so much was that David (Lynch) let me do my job. He gave me total freedom … You don’t get that most of the time. I love working with a really good director who has a vision in his head that he wants to put on the screen. You gotta be able to communicate and get all the ideas out of his brain so that you both are on the same wavelength, making the same movie and putting his image onto screen.

It’s not as easy as it sounds because not all directors communicate that well. And unfortunately, not all directors have a vision of what the heck they’re wanting to do … If you have an idea, just like Tyler and Matt did with “Scream,” we pitched something, and they were like, “Let’s do it.” That’s the best for me when you really work together.