Dan Morgan and Tom Rubalcava have been friends since childhood. Their foray into makeup effects and stop-motion puppet creation began the moment they saw the films of Willis O’Brien and Ray Harryhausen. Dan and Tom clocked in many hours of experimentation with 8mm film creating crude stop motion and early makeup fx of their own in the mid 1970s.

They even created an old-age make up on Dan when he was about 12 or 13 years old. The receding hair line was achived by soaping his hair and a nylon stocking cap covering. The cap was also soaped and dried and covered with flesh-toned grease paint. Some of Dan's own hair was pulled through a slit at the top of the cap and the back half of the nylon cap was removed leaving his hair exposed. It was then streaked with white hair coloring to add to the effect. Bags under his eyes and jowls around his mouth was done using the cotton and latex technique used by make up artist Jack Pierce on the Frankenstein monster in 1931. The makeup ended up resembling Nixon unintentionally. Other early makeup experiments included Planet of the Apes.

Then in the early 1980s, through very fortunate circumstances, Dan and Tom met a local independent, stop motion filmmaker, J. Daniel Baldocchi and he offered to help make their first real stop motion puppet by fashioning a ball & socket and aluminum wire armature.

They suddenly found themselves helping out in many facets of independent film production in the Bay Area, from makeup effects to set and prop construction. Ever since then, their technical skills developed and they moved on to professional status in film and television, landing positions on the crew of the Gumby Adventures TV Series and "The Gumby Movie". They are the perfect team as Dan Morgan brings forth creative and technical discipline, while Tom Rubalcava offers artistic talent and skill to the mix.

An actor with experience performing in full makeup, Dan reassures and helps guide other performers when they are required to dawn prosthetics for their own roles. A true makeup technician, seeking out the best materials from foam latex and silicones to mold making and casting, Dan immerses himself to find solutions to each project and helps to develop the right approach for the best results.

Tom’s design sensibilities and sculpture techniques allow for variety, tailoring the look of the end result, whether it calls for realism or a highly stylized approach. He and Dan have a keen grasp of physical effects and are equally experienced in the application of both prosthesis and cosmetic film and stage makeup. Tom is also an animator and understands the importance of a quality stop motion puppet or prop; as a result, what he delivers he does so with the utmost pride.

Early 1970s Cyclops experiment on Dan using a flour putty mixture.


13 year-old Dan Morgan in latex & cotton makeup.


Baldocchi's armature for Dan & Tom's first stopmotion puppet.


The clay sculpture of the puppet.


1980s attempt at "Planet of the Apes" using R&D foam Latex. Read a blog entry about this early "Planet of the Apes" make up.

Have a look at their more recent Makeup FX.

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©2008 Dan Morgan & Tom Rubalcava - All images are copyrighted - No unauthorized reproductions permitted.