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The Dumping Ground

The Dumping Ground

The BAFTA award winning CBBC series the Dumping Ground has been going for several years as a follow up show to the incredibly successful Tracy Beaker program. I have been asked over the course of three series to provide a variety of action props from the realistic to the bizarre. Props include a controllable robovac, a marble run to papier mache frogs! Below are some images of action props made for the show.

Latex/polystyrene rocks made for ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Christmas special.

Sand sculpture, one of four identical sculptures used.

Safe and ‘safe cracker’. I fitted the safe with electronic lights and built the ‘safe cracker’ to look like one of the children had designed it with the ability to manipulate the dial and crack the code displayed on an electronic screen.

Miniature background locusts to pin onto cast members.

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Wolf Blood


Wolfblood is into its 4th series, currently airing on CBBC. I have been fortunate to have been involved in this series since it began. The first series I was involved with creating fog effects for the special effects department and also helping the makeup department with their transformations makeups that were scaled down to claws, wolf teeth and eyes. My role was to take finger casts of our actors and under the direction of makeup designer Michael Birtley, whom I had previously worked with on Ghost Street, I assisted in building the false nails/claws to be worn by our young cast.

More recently it has been the art department who have called upon my skills to create various action props and set pieces to be used during filming.

Latex rocks for a cave in sequence.

Fracking model for school display.

Engraved ‘Wolfblood’ goblet.

Segolia laser pens, first generation.

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Why Hide is an exciting new horror comedy from talented young film makers, Director James Cook and Karen Taylor.

I came on board to create some scary finger extensions for the ‘demon’ character. Due to the tight time constraints my role expanded to take on the makeup effect duties to create one of the haunted visions, a character called Kwaku Anansi.

James sent me across some concept art and mood boards that were invaluable to help me create this wonderful creature!

I began by doing my own drawings to make the earlier concept art work as a makeup. I also created the articulated finger extensions and will post videos of the hands in the near future.


Concept design sketch drawn by M Danbury


Mould Making

Various moulds and lifecast

The mask

Performer Jez Hunt getting into make up

Finished Character with articulated fingers just requiring a few finishing touches.




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Bruce Forsyth study

I decided to do some sculpting practice, what better than portrait sculpture.

So I printed off some reference photo’s of genius entertainer Sir Bruce Forsyth. The sculpture has been moulded and I hope to cast out the finished head in the near future.


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Horror from the mind of Paul Gerrard

I have been collaborating again with visionary artist Paul Gerrard. Below are some images of a dark twisted demon.

Paul Gerrard is an incredible artist known primarily as a concept artist for film, television and the computer games industries. Check out his website at to see his fantastic work.

This project is in development and is a more traditional horror with a terrible body shock twist. Below are a few pictures of a prototype demon creature that I made for the proof of concept.


Concept art by Paul Gerrard used to base makeup design on.

The finished prosthetic makeup on set.


Work in progress shots, helped by makeup assistant Claire Golding.


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2011 Showreel

Mark Danbury’s Special Effects Showreel from Fantome Line on Vimeo.

So here it is…. my showreel.

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My Site is Finally Live!

Okay, it’s taken a little while, but my site has finally gone live. Bear with me over the next few weeks while I fill it up with meaty goodness!

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I was a member of the special effects team who created the spectacular Fire for the hit ITV soap Emmerdale that aired in January 2011.

I assisted Ian Rowley Special Effects to create the various fires with the use of flame bars, smoke and a spectacular fire ball at the Emmerdale Post Office.

We filmed in November 2010 during the heavy snows that engulfed the UK. If you watch the scene closely you can see the continuity nightmare that was to hinder the crew. snow etc. Thankfully much of the scene was shot in sequence so it appears that not only did the good folk of Emmerdale have a raging fire to contend with but horrendous arctic conditions too.

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One More Day

This is a wonderful short film that was adapted and directed by the very talented young film maker Alex Nichol. The film is an emotional little drama with a healthy dose of the blackest of humour. It is based on a short three panel cartoon created by the genius of Nicholas Gurewitch.

I had great fun creating the production design for the short, finding suitable prop items, creating the illusion of a real fire and providing the simple make-up. Even the grave stone is fake. Enjoy.

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I provided some nasty ‘out of the kit’ make up effects for newcomer James Cook’s psychological horror “Together”.

My involvement came late in the shoot of this new short film. I was asked to create two main make-ups. The first being a facial acid burn, the second was to create the effect of letters being carved into the victims skin.

James hopes his film gets to have it’s premiere at the Berlin film festival next year. Fingers crossed that it’s a huge success.

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