Toby Lindala Interview: ‘See’ special makeup effects
“We’ve got to rationalize visual interest in a world where people don’t have vision,” special makeup effects designer Toby Lindala tells Gold Derby in his exclusive interview about why “See” was “a tricky show” (watch the video above). He explains with reference to the group led by Jason Momoa‘s Baba Voss, “A lot of the Alkenny characters had scarification, but scarification was initially developed to identify tribes that were born under a certain king, so it was like a national census, but we had to find a reason for that that wasn’t going to be a visual need — a need to see it, so we went really internal.” This justification was supported by what Lindala learned from the show’s blindness consultant. He reveals, “Another thing that doesn’t happen for people with blindness is facial identification. They don’t do a lot of face touching; that’s a weird idea that people with vision get, so that was made clear by Joe Stretchay from the start.”
Lindala contends for his fifth Emmy nomination with this “groundbreaking show,” having been recognized by the academy initially for “The X-Files,” then with “Voyage of the Unicorn” and “Once Upon a Time” most recently. He is on the Best Prosthetic Makeup ballot for the the episode “Godflame” that opens the post-apocalyptic drama series for Apple TV+, which Lindala notes is “so high concept.” “Godflame” is a prelude that is set 17 years before the other episodes, so it features showier work in aging the characters down that would have strained production if this makeup had to be applied on an ongoing basis. “It was interesting because we ended up pulling the characters back. We had to start with that in mind because the majority of the show is going to happen 17 years along,” explains the designer. He laments that this first episode does not include the sequence that opens the next episode in which Baba Voss fights a bear. “I was essentially puppeteering it from within the bear,” laughs Lindala.