Create life-like reproductions with silicones for special effects

In the vast entertainment industry that incudes film, television and theater production, creating realistic or phantasmagoric effects and costumes is critical in captivating audiences. The use of customized silicone formulations in the creation of all sorts of special effects: background sets, props, make-up for characters and life-like animals, realistic masks and costuming enables artists to bring creatures to life and craft larger-than-life stories that delight audiences everywhere.

Special effects or SFX artists have long appreciated silicones as the material of choice for advanced molding applications because they are versatile, convenient, easy to mix, extremely flexible and durable. This means they maintain their accurate and spectacular physical properties in terms of library life as well as in an increased number of cycles or parts yield per mold. These are an essential requirement in feature motion picture and television productions and long-running theater shows, for example. These characteristics also apply to events-based uses where costumes and props must be believable and spectacular, in some cases wearable, and stand up to the test of time and multiple use.

When used for make-up or skin effects, performer and employee health requirements must be respected. This is why Elkem Silicones, with its vast experience in producing medical grade, food contact and skin care products, offers skin-safe silicones for a wide array of special effects. This includes silicone prosthetics, realistic masks worn for long periods of time, simulated wounds and other creative effects where skin contact is required. These considerations are particularly critical in the high-growth area of Cosplay events around the world, where silicones are used to make elaborate costumes, masks, and a wide series of props and accessories.

Silicones are ideal for these various applications because of their versatile technology:

  • From soft silicone SFX gels to medium and hard silicones that are perfect for making silicone molds and parts, enabling you to zero in on the exact design and production with a wide array of quality formulations. 
  • Complementary products and additives that allow technicians and artists to adjust the levels of viscosity, curing times, softness or hardness features, robustness, etc. 
  • Silicone processing can be adapted to meet everything from high demand industrial production needs to the artist’s specific, detailed requirements with hand-made creative work. 

Elkem Silicones is leveraging its experience, acquired for over 50 years in the field of screen and stage entertainment, to events-based entertainment such as Cosplay, Comicon conventions and theme parks to create innovative wearable costumes, accessories and make-up effects. This understanding of these very diverse needs and the company’s flexibility have been the basis for numerous partnerships worldwide with leading entertainment companies.

To serve other industries that want to leverage entertainment special-effects, Elkem Silicone experts are available worldwide to advise customers and offer complete support services including technical, regulatory, assistance to roll out productivity programs, training for teams and collaborative work on new developments.