Aussie Artists Behind Iconic Monsters and Suits in Film and TV


Summary: Adam Johansen and Damian Martin, co-founders of Odd Studio, have brought creatures and suits to life in films like Star Wars and Mad Max.

From Star Wars to Wolf Like Me

Adam Johansen and Damian Martin, the co-founders of Odd Studio, have made a name for themselves in the film industry by creating monsters, creatures, and suits for various iconic films. With a childhood obsession with franchises like Star Wars and Alien, Adam and Damian turned their passion into a successful career. They have worked on films like Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Aquaman. Their latest project involves creating a pregnant werewolf for the TV show Wolf Like Me.

The Early Beginnings and Hollywood Dreams

Adam Johansen’s journey into the film industry began with building animatronic puppets for theme parks. He never imagined that he would end up working on blockbusters from home. However, with the opening of Fox Studios in Sydney, Adam started receiving opportunities to work on international productions. He met his business partner Damian Martin during their work on the sci-fi show Farscape. Together, they founded Odd Studio and have been providing their expertise in practical effects for over two decades.

The Challenge of a Pregnant Werewolf

In the TV show Wolf Like Me, Odd Studio created a range of werewolf suits for the main character, played by Isla Fisher. For the second season, the character becomes pregnant, adding an additional challenge for the creature performer. The suits are made of silicone and punched hair, with meticulous attention to detail. Practical effects like these provide actors with something real to work with and contribute to the overall authenticity of the scenes.

The Role of CGI and Practical Effects

While CGI has become prominent in the film industry, practical effects are still highly valued. According to Damian, practical effects offer an aesthetic choice that can enhance storytelling. Practical effects are often a combination of skillful craftsmanship and the use of technology like 3D printing. Adam and Damian believe that a mixture of CGI and practical effects yields the best results, as it provides a tangible reference point for actors and adds depth to scenes.

The Impact of US Strikes on the Australian Industry

The Odd team has had the opportunity to work on international productions, which have a positive impact on the local industry. When there are strikes or disruptions in the US film industry, it affects the Australian industry as well. However, Damian remains optimistic about the talent and potential of the local crews. The current global pause due to the pandemic has given them the opportunity to focus on Australian content. They are confident that the industry will bounce back.

The Next Generation of Artists

The future of practical effects in the film industry is in safe hands, as the next generation is being trained by experts like Adam and Damian. Adam’s youngest daughter, Charlotte, has already started working with Odd Studio at the age of sixteen, showcasing her talent and passion for the craft. Damian’s seven-year-old daughter is also showing interest in her dad’s work. Despite the initial fear, she now embraces the world of monsters and aliens.

Tags: monsters, practical effects, film industry, Odd Studio, Wolf Like Me