Probably many of you are saying to yourself, "Who the heck is Bob Burns and why does he have a Hollywood Halloween website?" If you are a great fan of science fiction and horror movies and the creation of costumes and special effects and what not, then you already know who he is. But read on because the website I'm talking about is one that you will definitely want to visit.
Rather than me telling you about Bob, I'll let him explain exactly who he is and what he does with this little snippet from his official biography at The Official Bob Burns Web Site.
BOB BURNS has a long and varied career in the horror and science fiction field. He began as an apprentice to legendary makeup man Paul Blaisdell in the mid 1950s. Burns helped build the monsters in Invasion Of The Saucermen, The She Creature and It Conquered the World. In 1974, Burns starred with Forrest Tucker and Larry Storch in the Saturday morning hit Ghostbusters and in 1976 he starred as Major Mars in The Further Adventures of Major Mars, a favorite at Sci Fi conventions around the world. Considered the godfather of Halloween by his many fans, Burns spent over 20 years creating Halloween extravaganzas in his hometown of Burbank, California. The elaborate shows became the proving ground for some of today's biggest names in special effects including Academy Award winners Rick Baker and Dennis Muren. Burns remains an important force in the preservation of our Sci Fi memories. He serves as the technical consultant for the Discovery Channel's Movie Magic series and he co-hosts the "Bob's Basement" © segments on Sci Fi Buzz, the Sci Fi Channel's successful news magazine. He also produced The Time Machine--A Journey Back and Hollywood Goes Ape. Most recently Bob has appeared in Steve Wang's Drive and Halloween...The Happy Haunting Of America--Vol. 1, and numerous DVD supplements. Burns currently lives in Burbank with his wife, Kathy, where he curates the Bob Burns Museum which contains one of the largest collections of movie props and anitque toys in the country.
I had heard and read about the Halloween extravaganzas that Bob and his friends put on at his house for over 20 years, and they sounded like terrific treats for those that were lucky enough to see them. Well now, for those of you that are interested in them too, a documentary has been made about these productions, and Bob's web site is releasing it in weekly segments that will be complete by Halloween.
The first two segments, each containing four chapters are already up and they are absolutely fascinating for anyone who has ever had an interest in the world of Hollywood Magic. This document is amazing as is Bob and his wife, Kathy.
What I found to be really cool was that some of Hollywood's greatest makeup and prop artists got their start directly as a result of working on these neighborhood productions. Most notably for me is Rick Baker, a genius of make-up artists, who met Burns when he was 13 and worked on one of his Halloween extravaganzas.
Working on special effects makeup was one of my secret desires as a kid and along with Dick Smith, Rick Baker was someone that I really admired. Rick, by the way, has six Oscars® on his shelves thanks to his work on "An American Werewolf In London", "Harry And The Hendersons", "Ed Wood", "The Nutty Professor", "Men In Black", and "How The Grinch Stole Christmas".
You can check out these webisodes by either visiting http://bobburnshollywoodhalloween.com or going to http://bobburns.mycottage.com/index.html, checking out all of the other cool things he has to offer, and then clicking through to the documentary. Either way, you don't want to miss it. It is a fascinating story about a fascinating man.
And finally, while you're at Bob's official site, check out his links page where you will find a treasure trove of links to really cool web sites.