CATEGORIES Movies
When your movie stars Hollywood A-listers like Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, it's not often that the most heralded person on the film is toiling behind the scenes. Yet that will be the case on the set of 'Men in Black III-D' thanks to the addition of legendary makeup artist Rick Baker.

This according to a sprawling interview Baker recently conducted with The Los Angeles Times, which spoke at length with Baker regarding his recent box office flop 'The Wolfman.' That film, which was a personal as well as professional disappointment for the monster-mad Baker, is one of very few downers on Baker's resume, which includes a whopping 10 Oscar nominations and six wins. When your movie stars Hollywood A-listers like Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, it's not often that the most heralded person on the film is toiling behind the scenes. Yet that will be the case on the set of 'Men in Black III-D' thanks to the addition of legendary makeup artist Rick Baker.

This according to a sprawling interview Baker recently conducted with The Los Angeles Times, which spoke at length with Baker regarding his recent box office flop 'The Wolfman.' That film, which was a personal as well as professional disappointment for the monster-mad Baker, is one of very few downers on Baker's resume, which includes a whopping 10 Oscar nominations and six wins.

Baker is no stranger to the 'Men in Black' universe, of course; one of those gold statues was earned for the original 'Men in Black' back in 1997, and he also provided makeup for the 2002 sequel. But in a moviemaking world that is turning more and more to CGI for its effects, Baker is a bit of a throwback to the days when craft was more important than just razzle dazzle.

"I embrace [CGI] technology and I've been doing my designs on the computer for 22 years now. It's another trick in your bag of tricks. There are things you can do [with computers] we can't do with rubber and animatronics," Baker told the Times. "But I hate when the computer stuff just makes for sloppy filmmaking, and it has. The common thing you hear now is, 'We'll fix it in post.' 'There's a C-stand in the shot; well, we'll take it out in post-production. We'll have somebody paint it out.' Well, why don't you just walk over, grab it and move it out? It makes so much for sloppy filmmaking. It also annoys me when people now think it's the only way to do things. That's why I was really glad they actually wanted to go with a person in a makeup on ['The Wolfman']."

How much CGI Baker will turn to in creating monsters for the newest fad, 3D, remains to be seen. But if there's one thing that Backer has shown with his groundbreaking work on projects like 'Star Wars,' 'An American Werewolf in London,' 'Tropic Thunder' and Michael Jackson's acclaimed 'Thriller' video, it's that regardless of the technology used, what matters most is the artist holding the brush.

We think Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones can breathe a little easier.

'Men in Black III' in 3-D hits theaters May 25, 2012.

For a look at his work on 'Wolfman,' check out this behind the scenes peek at the makeup process: