John Schoonraad Amazes The Friends With Is It Real?

Saturday 2 March 2019

Although his name is not that well known outside of the film industry, his work is familiar to any film-goer who has seen strange happenings on screen – ghosts, werewolves, aliens – or battle scenes with exploding bodies and carnage.  Someone has to create all the special effects, and, if it involves bodies, then you can bet John is involved.  He told the Friends at their latest exclusive Evening, that he started as a plasterer 40 years ago and after moving to Borehamwood got a job at Elstree Studios where his talent led him to creating ‘lifecasts’.  If an actor had to perform a dangerous stunt, or to loose a limb or head, then he would make a cast of them from life which could be used for any sort of stunt.  Once it was all down to silicon on the skin, but now it’s done by laser scanning, which is quicker and cleaner.  His latest work is in the medical sphere where he uses silicon to create babies at different stages for teaching, and he passed a “baby” around for us to see his creativity.

A fascinating evening for anyone interested in films – the next time you see Saving Private Ryan you will know that John is in there pumping blood out of his lifecasts.  More details can be found on his website,

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