University of Bolton's special effects department turns our reporter into an ape
THE team at Rivington’s Go Ape adventure centre will be holding a “planet of the apes” day to celebrate Halloween. They will be wearing specially made ape masks — and Bolton News reporter Liam Thorp has decided to join in.
WHEN I volunteered to go along to the Go Ape adventure centre in Rivington on Halloween to dress up as an ape — I never imagined that several hours later, my face would be covered almost entirely in what can only be described as an orange goo.
Let me explain - when the guys at Go Ape decide to dress up, they don’t mess around, so tomorrow they will all be wearing personally made, prosthetic masks — and so will I.
This is because one member of the team, Richard McEvoy-Crompton is also a lecturer in special FX at the University of Bolton.
The special FX department of the university has kindly offered to donate resources and Rick will be sculpting each member of the Go Ape team — and one nervous reporter — into characters from the iconic film Planet of the Apes.
The 33-year-old said: “It’s great that the team are dressing up as characters from Planet of the Apes — the original film is one of the most important films for my industry — the prosthetics used were incredible for the time.
“For me there is nothing cooler than taking someone and turning them into someone else — as a species we are all fascinated by masks.”
Fascinated was certainly the word as I watched Rick preparing the algenate (or orange goo), which was then smeared liberally over my face, supportive bandages were then applied and as the algenate formed into a gum I could peel off a perfect mould of my face.
Richard will then pour a stone powder into the mould to create a stone head — which he can then mould on top of to create my monkey alter-ego.
The Go Ape team are “going bananas” about the Halloween event and manager Paul Brady said that the Planet of the Ape theme “just seemed to fit perfectly.”
He added: “It’s great to have Rick and the university helping with the masks — I just think it will provide that bit of extra fun to the course.
“We are also encouraging all our customers to dress up on the day and those who do will get a 25 per cent discount.”
The adventure centre will be open from 9.30am tomorrow and the last session is due to begin at about 1pm.
Entry costs £30 for adults and £24 for under 18’s — for more information visit goape.co.uk.