Robert Bravo is BravoFX
My Name is Robert Bravo 'I've been doing this in one form or another for pushing 11 years now. I think there's something truly amazing about doing this for a living, there's only a small group of people in this world who can know what it feels like to draw a picture today and less then a week later see that picture walking around in the real world as a living breathing thing. The very nature of my job is to ignore and bend the rules of reality
A bit about my self… Well I suppose it makes sense to start at the beginning, I was raised in the entertainment industry, spending much of my childhood on tour buses with a number of well known musicians. It was Chubby Checker (The Twist, The Hucklebuck) who taught me what it means to be an artist. That it wasn’t all fun and games but a never-ending evolution of character, Discipline, and love for your craft, tools I carry on to this day. I believe that’s part of what led me to understand the business side of entertainment the way I do.
the early days
It's hard to believe it but the truth of the matter is I tried to avoid a job in entertainment. While I loved my childhood the music industry exposed me to a lot of shall we say dark stuff. I actually studied to become a classical chef. Finding my way into film was… nothing short of luck
I actually started in the industry as a producer; a friend of mine who is a director needed help on some productions, work with permits, locations things of that nature. He saw something in me. Set life seemed to come naturally. We went on to produce a number of MICRO budget films the first of which “TRAP” we finished when I was 21 years old
We were making features for about 30k which may sound like a lot of money until you realize how much it cost to make a movie. At these shoe-string budgets If the script called for special effects, the only option was my haveing to do the research and make it happen or lose the scenes, which is exactly what happened. We were putting together a very FX heavy movie and I had a moment of realization. I loved doing special effects! There's this amazing moment wen you can breath life into creatures that could never exist in the real world and that was it. From that point on I knew what I was meant to do with my life. I committed my self to learning the tools of the special effects trade and I never looked back
In most cases, I'm the first to arrive on set so I can get actors into their second skins depending on the nature of the film, I'm the one to pump them up read lines with them help them clear their minds as I manipulate their form. I spend the entire day just off camera armed with my trusty travel kit for quick touch ups and to cater to any changes the director may dream up as the day progresses and then I am the last to leave. after setting the actors free from their second skins using the utmost care to be gentle with the often difficult removal process ready willing and hungry to do it all the next day over and over again
Early last year I was approached by another special effect artist who was in need of a substitute teacher to cover his course in northern California. I had just finished a feature film and was hungry for a change of pace so after a brief dialog I agreed and before I knew it I was on a train (my first train ride by the way) I think in many ways I learnt as much as my students through what I was learning wasn’t about the craft but about myself, To see them advance day in and day out, to see them want to learn. How for many of them, their passion for the craft I've loved most of my adult life equaled my own It was invigorating. I dear say watching them doing there final projects utilizing all the skills they had learned rivled my first day on set for proudest moments.