Filipino SFX artist seeks to ward off virus with horror-inspired face masks

1 / 5
TV prosthetics artist Rene Abelardo tries on a sample of his prosthetic face masks. (Reuters)
2 / 5
Rainier Abelardo, the 15-year-old son of TV prosthetics artist Rene Abelardo, helps his father’s team in molding prosthetic face masks in San Pedro, Laguna on June 17, 2020. (Reuters)
3 / 5
TV prosthetics artist Rene Abelardo airbrushes a prosthetic face for orders of his quirky masks on June 17, 2020. (Reuters)
4 / 5
TV prosthetics artist Rene Abelardo mixes paint while his team prepares to mold prosthetic faces for orders of their quirky masks. (Reuters)
5 / 5
Samples of prosthetic face masks, the latest creation of TV prosthetic artist Rene Abellardo, are displayed in his studio home in San Pedro, Laguna. (Reuters)
Short Url
Updated 18 June 2020

Filipino SFX artist seeks to ward off virus with horror-inspired face masks

  • Each mask takes up to three days to complete
  • Molded masks, from monsters and zombies, sell between $6-$10 per piece

LAGUNA, Philippines: With film and television productions halted in the Philippines due to lockdown, one special effects artist is maximizing his skills by making scary face masks to raise cash and a few smiles.
Prosthetics specialist Rene Abelardo, 50, has been out of work since March but hopes to stay afloat financially after discovering an appetite for the hand-made, horror-inspired masks that he initially created for fun.
With help from friends, Abelardo has sold dozens of the molded masks, from monsters and zombies to the devil and the Joker. He is now receiving hundreds of orders from all over the Philippines.
The masks extend down to the jawline and up to the ears and are lined with a conventional cloth mask. They were an instant hit when they first appeared on social media, attracting thousands of likes and shares.
“I tried wearing the mask I made just for fun, and my daughter saw me and asked if she can take a picture and post it online,” he said.
“A few hours later the post unexpectedly went viral, and the rest is history.”
The Philippines has recorded more than 27,000 coronavirus cases and in affected areas has made the wearing of face masks mandatory.
Each mask takes up to three days to complete and Abelardo sells them for between 300-500 pesos ($6-$10) per piece.
“We started making more masks since we currently don’t have jobs. It’s still money coming in and it makes people happy.”


Indian man wears gold face mask to ward off coronavirus

Updated 04 July 2020

Indian man wears gold face mask to ward off coronavirus

  • The precious metal covering weighs 60 grams (two ounces) and took craftsmen eight days to make

PUNE: An Indian man said he paid about $4,000 for a bespoke gold face mask to protect him from the coronavirus raging in the country.
The precious metal covering weighs 60 grams (two ounces) and took craftsmen eight days to make, said businessman Shankar Kurhade, from the western city of Pune.
“It is a thin mask and has tiny pores that is helping me to breathe,” Shankar told AFP.
“I am not sure if it will be effective to protect me from a coronavirus infection but I am taking other precautions,” he added.
When going out, the 49-year-old said he likes to adorn himself with gold jewelry weighing a kilogramme, including a bracelet, necklace and rings on each finger of his right hand.
Kurhade — whose company makes industrial sheds — said he got the idea for the gold face mask after seeing a media report about a man wearing one made from silver.
“People are asking me for selfies,” he said.
“They are awestruck when they see me wearing the gold mask in markets.”
India has made face masks mandatory in public places in a bid to control the spread of the virus in the country, which has around 650,000 confirmed cases and more than 18,600 fatalities.