Aug. 28th, 2009


Aug. 28th, 2009 03:40 pm
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I was on Facebook today searching for some long lost school mates when I remembered a high school chum named Joel Harlow. So, I typed his name in and saw a picture of him but couldn't be sure if it was the same guy. We are all a bit older now. Him and I hung out for a while in high school and both loved drawing and scary movies. My name was in the Grand Forks Herald with a few others that were working on a "movie" Joel had envisioned. I still have that paper today. I knew that when we graduated he would no doubt be successful. I just didn't know how much until today. The last time I met Joel was when I was working at Albertsons grocery store in the late eighties and he came in to pick up some pictures he had developed there, and we ran into one another. He was currently in New York going to a renowned special effects school. He showed me some of the photos of New York and new friends and colleges. I remember he said to me, I used to make fun of you because you had this earring and would shake everybody's hand all the time. Now here I 'am with an earring and shaking everybody's hand too. I took that as a compliment. It was great seeing him again and we shook hands, haha, and went our separate ways. Not too long after, another article about Joel hit the Grand Forks Herald, this time it was of Joel receiving an Emmy award for his make-up effects on Steven King's "The Stand". I thought: good for you Joel. News of our home town celebrity seemed to wain and I did not keep up with Joel's career. It has been many years since I have even thought about him and how he was doing. Then, today, I was completely awestruck at what I found out. I don't want to type all the accomplishments of Joel here, it would take too long. But I will say this: he has worked on movies and tv shows that we all love. He was make-up artist on a lot and also for several movies he was the make-up supervisor! For instance Pirates of the Caribbean 1,2,3. Bootstrap Bill was his creation and had influence on many other characters from that movie. He was make-up artist for Buffy the Vampire Slayer! He started his own special effects company called HarlowFX to handle the work load for Buffy.
Here is just a few major motion pictures that feature his creations:

JJ Abrams Star Trek! Vulcan and Romulan prosthetics and Leonard Nimoy's make-up
Currently is working on: Alice in Wonderland with Tim Burton and Johnny Depp.
The Matrix sequels
National Treasure Book of Secrets
The Sandlot
Bicentennial Man
Lord of Illusion, with Scot Bakula
The Chronicles of Riddick
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
War of the Worlds
Christmas with the Kranks
the list goes on.

TV shows include:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The Stand
The Shining
HBO's Carnivale

Whew! I can't even begin to imagine the life he has already had. His website is:
You can peruse his freaky mind there.
I remember how much he ate, drank, breathed, slept, and down right lived his passion for art, sculpting, and movies; especially horror.
I sent him an email today, but I'm positive that his team will weed it out as someone trying to reconnect from his past and not forward it along. That's okay though, I just dropped a note to say how happy I was for him.
One thing that really bothers me, and did back then, is I lost my school yearbook that had Joel's writing in it to me. He also drew a little werewolf under his signature. Wish I had that back.

Completely blown away,


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