February 27, 2008

The Truth Of The Issue.

Pat B. asked me yesterday to remove an article about her on my blog and her link to her site, which I did. Her squatch was also used on the "Let's Talk Bigfoot" radio show ads, and those were removed as well. However, since Pat B. gave me the squatch as a gift for my blog and website, I told her that I would not be removing the art. A gift is a gift.

I do recommend though, in the future, that artists clearly state what their expectations of their work is (it's truly a gift; an agreement is in place before use; and/or they receive payment).

While I feel this issue is a private and personal matter between myself and Pat - Pat has chosen to take this public. Im not sure what a business arrangement has to do with the field of Bigfoot Research but none the less, she feels its important that everyone know.

This banner and the artwork on it has been proudly displayed for 2 years, and as such has become a recognized symbol for this site. I am sorry that Pat B. felt the need to use these tatics as a way of getting what she wanted, it truly is unfortunate.

Here are the actual unedited emails exchanged on this issue (I have nothing to hide). Again yes, Pat B. did create the artwork (the squatch) for my banner, but she did not create the banner itself, that was done by someone else. As you can see by reading the emails, I offered to pay Pat B. for her work because the artwork was going to be permanently associated with my blog and website as a recognized banner and logo, she declined more than once.

Melissa Hovey wrote:


Whatever you think you want to showcase :) I like your work - so I am good with anything..

Question.. How much would you charge me to create a logo for my blog? Nothing fancy - just a sketch type drawing and i can have the banner created. I think a pencil type sketch would fit in very good with the theme of my blog. Not even all the details - just a sketching of the basics from the shoulders up - does that make sense?

Im asking you because I really liked the non aggressive look you gave to the TBRC squatch -- excellent work pat :) I get so upset by the scary looking ones... :(

Fri, 2 Jun 2006 18:51:35 -0400 (EDT)
Re: Questions

Pat B.

Oh, sure, I'd be happy to do a sketch for you. I'll do the whole banner if you want, or just a sketch, either way ..... but no charge!

I don't want your money. I wouldn't know what to ask anyway, so don't even think about that. I haven't charged anyone for the work I've done on the web. It's all free stuff and I'm just happy to be doing it.

Just give me some parameters on the size, etc. What do you want the big guy to be doing? Do you want a straight on front

view, or something more 3/4 view, or something else? Do you want him to be looking at the viewer....I'm getting ideas right now....maybe a 3/4 view looking at the viewer a bit over his shoulder. It would show his sagittal crest and the nice cape of hair down his head and shoulders. Just brainstorming here. Or it could be more of a front view like in the poster.

Melissa Hovey wrote:

OHH I like the idea of the squatch looking back :) THAT IS AWESOME. 3/4 view of the face is great. I want you to have fun with it.. And please, in the bottom put your name or however you copyright -- as I do not want it misused by anyone, and I don't have the ability to put those things in :(

If you have the time - and really want to do the entire banner, that would be fine by me -- as that is something I can do,, but It wouldn't be as good as your work Im sure. -- I'm very computer slow - lmao.

The banner requirements for my blog are pretty much the standard size, my current ones are 468x60 - but if you can make it larger, that would be great :) my blogger editor will downsize anything too big, and wont just disallow.

You are very sweet to do this at no charge :) I didnt expect that, but I do appreciate it sooo much :) I do love your work - and displaying it for everyone to see daily on my blog -- will be such an honor --- OHHHHHHH (the lightbulb just turned on) Put at the bottom of the banner "Copyright (whatever you use) and then type in your website address :) You are very creative - have fun with it -- I am not picky when someone is doing something for me out of the kindness of their heart :) YOU ARE WONDERFUL to help me this way -- THANK YOU SO MUCH PAT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fri, 2 Jun 2006 23:18:28 -0400 (EDT)
RE: Banner

Pat B.

Melissa, can you give me your blog address again?

Is that 60 px height the highest it can be? Or is there some room for making it a bit higher. 60's pretty small. If not, I'll work with it. I'll stick within the 468 width measurement which is a nice size anyway. It's just that the height is a bit restrictive.

Oh, I wouldn't put my web address on your banner. No, no, no. That would be distracting. It's your site and your artwork so I wouldn't do that. I'll sign it, though. That will be enough.

Now just tell me what else you want on the banner. I have Photoshop and can add in type too.

I probably won't have time to get at this over the weekend, but early this week, I'll do up a rough or two and email them to you to see what you think.

Also, I expect you to give me constructive feedback. I expect to make changes to the rough until it's what you want. Don't think because I'm not charging you that you can't give me direction or say if you don't like something. I would rather you tell me exactly how you want it and not give approval until it's the way you want it done.

And, it can be more than just a pencil sketch if you want. I love painting, so I'm happy to do that too. You think about it and we'll discuss it some more after I do up an image or two. Okay?


Anyway, sure, and let me know pixel size for the height of the banner so I can send you something within that size range.

Then June 5th after reviewing the sketches (multiple sketches) provided by Pat, I asked her if I could use all of the sketches, or just ones she would select. This was her response:

I'm sending you copies of the two previous banners with no type on them, so you can add in your own.
Have fun!
Use all of what I've sent you, Melissa. They're yours. Of course, the originals are mine, but these images for the banner are yours. And all I ask is that you try to use the ones that have my signature and copyright symbol. I made sure these two have it, and the new ones I sent you earlier have it as well.
As far as changing up your banners, sure, do it if you want to.


I complied with that request, as I wanted to be sure someone else did not steal her work, and pass it off as their own original work.

When Pat B typed:

"It's your site and your artwork so I wouldn't do that. I'll sign it, though. That will be enough."

That gave me clear permission to use this work as I see fit. It had become my property the day she turned it over, and you don't need a law degree to know that.

I am sorry this has gone in the direction it has. I had no prior problems with Pat, and I always enjoyed her work.

I hold no ill will toward Pat, and I wish her all the best in her endeavors. :)

February 8, 2008

Bill Munns - Be Sure To Tune In.

Wednesday February 13, I will be speaking with none other than Bill Munns. If you dont know Mr. Munns, here is some information that will help get you aquainted with him.

Bill actually began his education in Hollywood magic as a teen, with a stuntman for a next door neighbor, and a special effects man across the Studio City, CA. He made his first movie as a class project at Hollywood High, and in 1966, started college as a film/theater arts major.

While learning just about every facet of the filmmaking craft, he gravitated toward makeup as a specialty, and became a working professional with Universal Studios when he was 20. With intense interest in prosthetics (masks, appliances and similar special makeup effects), Bill created the low budget but unforgettable "Blackenstein Monster" when he was

Teaching comes naturally to Bill (his mother was a college professor) and he respected the often unappreciated truth of the saying "we learn some from our teachers, more from our peers, and most from our student." So from 1972 until 1979, Bill focused on teaching makeup, as both teacher and director of the first makeup artist school in the world to prepare students for a Hollywood career. And during that time, Bill took it upon himself to recreate complete and faithful replicas of many classic makeups and monsters, to show his students not only the result but the process. A result of doing this gave Bill a unique perspective on the techniques and technology of the makeup industry, as it existed then, and provided a foundation for his studies now (35 years later) on the PG film and the controversy about whether the figure in the film is a human wearing a suit or a real animal.

Bill continued to look for new things to learn, and he had a lifelong love of animals. So when a famous movie animal trainer, Ralph Helfer, opened a school teaching people how to handle and work with exotic animals, Bill enrolled, just for the love of being close to the animals. But after taking all three phases of the training, Ralph started asking Bill how he could make his animals look different for a film project. How do you paint a chimpanzee green, to be an alien chimp? How do you put artificial tusks on a real elephant who's tusks have been cut to stubs. Can an orangutan be make to look half-human? How do you put a scar on a lion's face? And can any of these be done without tranquilizing the animal?

Ralph was preparing a film called "Savage Harvest" (a film about a family in Africa, terrorized by a group of lions) in 1979, and asked Bill to join the film as makeup effects supervisor, to handle the human makeups, the lion makeups, and the prosthetics to simulate some lion activities (a paw breaking through a window, etc.) Thus began Bill's next career phase, returning to film production as one of the makeup FX guys of the 80's, the era when makeup FX became a selling point for many movies.

During that decade, Bill designed the makeups and FX for "Swmp Thing","The Beastmaster", "Return of the Living Dead", "The Boogins", the revival of "The Munsters" TV series, as well as such specialized jobs as making a prosthetic for a chimpanzee to look like a laboratory specimen with shaved head and electrodes implanted in the skull (for "Brainstorm", Natalie Wood's last movie), make "Inflatable Dave", a love doll for "Where The Boys Are, 1984", make an assortment of erotic sculptures for an art gallery scene in Blake Edwards "Blind Date", and made a chimpanzee pregnancy belly prosthetic for "Paradise" (with Phoebe Cates).

But Bill's interest was in doing more realistic animal figures and scientifically respectable work, not just silly zombies and monsters. So he set out to start recreating superbly realistic replications of modern primates, as well as sculptures of human ancestors, based on fossil skulls. And that lead to one of the most iconic photos of Bill's career,and a photo that would gain worldwide fame in the studies of cryptozoology, and Bigfoot in particular. The infamous "Gigantopithecus" photo, with Bill standing beside it in a grove of banana trees, started simply as an extension of his work sculpting primates and ancestral hominids. He set out to create first just a head shoulder bust of Giganto (which now resides in the museum at the University of Iowa), but during that time, Bill was hired by a theme park robotics company interested in expanding into the museum exhibits market (where Bill's scientific sculptures were gaining acceptance).

That company, Creative presentations, agreed to take Bill's Giganto project one step further, allowing him to build a full body, full scale figure, for a showcase piece to promote the company's capability as museum exhibit designers. The figure of Giganto was built, and the infamous photo was taken in an off-exhibit area of the San Diego Zoo, before Bill moved the figure over to the San Diego Museum of Man for a temporary exhibit timed with the annual meeting of the Association of Physical Anthropologists. Once the picture was published in "Other Origins" about the search for fossils of Giganto, it was copied and launched onto the internet.

From that time, Bill's work continued on odd paths, doing sophisticated theme park and museum exhibit robotics, doing unusual prosthetics for the film industry, making the move to 3D digital computer graphics, and inventing a new software for lip syncing digital characters (for which he recently got his patent). Still very active creatively, he and some partners are seeking start-up funding for the lip sync technology software (to bring the patented process to market), Bill is writing and illustrating a book on Ancient Babylon, using his unique 3D visualizations of the ancient world for the illustrations, and has returned to the field of cryptozoology with his experience in movie prosthetics and suits being applied to the controversy of cryptids which are dismissed by some as just "a guy in a fur suit".

*Bio information provided by Bill Munns*