Need Help: Decapitation Scene for Student Film

Hey Everyone
I just got asked to do a decapitation scene for a student film. What are some steps to do the process? I know the lifecast and sculpting part. I'm a little confused on the sequence part. Should I make multiple masks for a different take? Please help!


  • There are many ways this type of effect can be pulled off, which one you choose will depend on time, budget, and the stylistic/narrative needs of the project.  How is the character decapitated?  Chainsaw? Sword? Knife? Monster? etc.  How would the Director and DP like to have it filmed?  Dark shot in silhouette?  All in one take?  Cutting between close-ups and a wide shot? 

    It can be done in multiple takes with makeup prosthetics for the initial damage, and cut to any number of options for the wide:  A dummy for full practical.  The same actor with their head covered in greenscreen material for a practical/digital hybrid. etc.

    My suggestion is to storyboard it out with the team, figure out all the shots they want, and then figure out what gags are required for each shot.

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