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While scrolling through the entries of Instructables‘ Halloween-related projects, I recoiled from TrumpetNeel’s realistic depiction of his fake injuries before I realized that they were just that. A self-taught fake-injury-inflicter, he now has the right stuff to push all our buttons, and he wants to teach us how to push them back. Interview by Arwen O’Reilly Staff Editor.

How would you describe yourself?
I’m made up of a pretty even mix of swimming, music and computers. I enjoy playing the trumpet and (of course) thinking up interesting things to make.

How did you learn to make such realistic-looking wounds?
I got bare essentials the first time I bought a kit for such wounds, which used prosthetic rubber pieces plus some flesh latex and blood gel, plus a makeup compact. I wanted to find out how to do more (and make it look better), so I got some more tips from a Halloween shop owner. Eventually, I started developing my own techniques.

What interesting projects are you working on right now?
At the moment, I’m currently occupied with the development of a gunshot wound effect and a “pins & needles” skin-puncture effect.

How do you feel about Halloween?
I see Halloween as a wonderful time to have fun and get candy, spend time with kids, etc. But I also see it as the one perfect opportunity to hone the art of the scare. Halloween is the one time when all people get a chance to believe that it’s not just an illusion, that what happens is real.

Any other thoughts you’d like to share?
The only thing better than learning a skill is teaching it to someone else.