Has anyone made thick mud that isn't prone to moving/sliding?

I'm looking to create thick, dark mud that will stay put for a shoot (much like the mud in the image below) but I wanted to know if anyone else had successfully created or altered mud before doing so. Is it better to add something to real mud that will make it less sludgy and prone to sliding around?

Thank you!


  • Options
    Maybe this would help:(http://www.madcityhaunt.com/blog/guide/what-is-monster-mud/)I have never made any but this or some kind of oil based clay mixed with a methycellose  mixture could work.  Not sure though.Hope that helps. :)
  • Options
    edited May 2016
    First thing, you do NOT want to use real mud. In the vast majority of cases, it is far from what you would consider sanitary, (i.e.: it usually contains high concentrations of bacteria, mold, rotting biological matter, both plant and animal based, and of course fecal matter, among other various things I highly doubt you or your actors would prefer to handle). Unfortunately, "Monster-Mud" isn't likely to be what you are looking for either. "Monster-Mud" is usually a mixture of latex house paint and drywall joint compound. If your intention is to permanently apply it to inanimate props then it will work great. But, if you plan on applying it to living beings, then it is far from an ideal choice.

    What ever you DO decide to use, in needs to be hypoallergenic, sanitary, and safe to use on skin. There ARE a number of items you can use though. "Fuller's Earth" is a traditional standby that has been used for decades. It is available in a wide variety of earthen colors, and it is available from most of the cosmetic suppliers that service our industry, (i.e.: Cinema Secrets, Naimies, Frend's, Burman Industries, etc.). Diatematious Earth works, also. Basically, all you need to do is add distilled water. If you need it to be thicker and "gloppier", that is easy enough to do by adding Methocel, or "Ultra-Mud", (from the same company and brand that brings you "Ultra-Slime"). Both of these products are usually sold in a dry powdery form, that gets mixed with water, to your prefered consistancy. The Methocel is completely clear once mixed, the Ultra-Mud is a more or less white paste. How thick or thin you make them is completely up to you. But they both NEED to be properly colored to look like the mud you want, they will NOT  look like mud, until you make them look like it. If you want, you CAN use various colors of cosmetic powders and pigments to achieve the exact mud shade you are after, and leave the Fuller's Earth out, all together. To make your custom mud look more lumpy, and more granular, you can add painted styrofoam chunks, vermiculite, ground up cork, or ground up rubber. These are all considered relatively safe, and not likely to cause any adverse reactions to most people. Of course, ALWAYS check with your actors for any possible irritation or allergic reactions. No matter how careful you might be there is always the slim chance that your actors can have a bad reaction to something. 

    Another possibility, if all else fails, would be to make actual prosthetic appliances to look like a specific gloppy mud pattern. While it is rare that you would need to go to this extreme, it is a possible solution to keep in mind, depending on your particular needs.

    I hope this helps...
    - Jeffrey Warren Park
  • Options
    I would try using pigmented silicone (like the product "3rd degree"), with additives like sawdust or vermiculite for texture.  I would also create a few shade and texture variants to mix up so it looks nice and organic.  You can even try different shades to simulate various stages of drying.

    It could be sealed with prosaide and additional painting could be done on top of it to add more control over the look.

    You could also use latex (depending on performer allergies) or gelatin for similar effect.

    That's just how I might tackle it.  There are a lot of options out there, depending on what your specific budget, performance, environment, and time needs are.

Sign In or Register to comment.