While some may not think a sci-fi show and Marvel Cinematic Universe film could have anything in common. However, when referring to make-up and character prep, Captain Marvel and Stranger Things have something fascinating in common.
The right eyes are key to completing a character with non-human abilities or making a trauma heavy scene more realistic. Kevin Carter is the contact lens painter behind these two and hundreds of other popular works.
Let’s take a closer at his work and see if you can spot painted lenses the next time you’re watching your favorite show or movie.
Kevin Carter, the contact lens painter
Kevin Carter is a contact lens painter for many of the characters we see in top-ranking movies and TV shows. According to Carter’s IMDb profile, he is best known for his work on The Revenant, Atomic Blonde, and 300.
As a contact lens painter, he paints the lens to allow the characters to have unique eye features ranging from outrageous to simple. He handles tasks from complex, colored glowing eyes to lenses that makes characters eye bloodshot. Carter has been hand painting contact lenses for over 20 years. Carter’s interest in custom contact lenses steamed from working with his father making therapeutic contact lenses.
Kevin and Ginni Carter founded 9mm Sfx in 1999 and have been providing high-quality hand-painted contact lenses for hundreds of films and television productions, according to the bio on their website.
In an interview with The Oregonian, Carter revealed some about his painting process by saying, “They’re soft contact lenses, regular day wear. We use a tiny paintbrush and we actually use dyes, not paint.” The process is very time-consuming, taking several hours per pair.
Carter’s work in ‘Captain Marvel’
Some of Carter’s most recent work is seen in the 2019 movie Captain Marvel. Carol Danvers (Vers) is the heroic character known as Captain Marvel, played by Brie Larson on the big screen. The 2019 superhero film was a huge success despite some harsh critics of Larson.
The MCU film follows the story of Vers, who we learn from the beginning suffers from amnesia and recurring nightmares. During experimental testing in the U.S. Air Force of a light-speed engine, she was discovered by the Kree after an explosion of the engine.
Vers was then trained as a member of the elite Starforce Military under commander and mentor Yon-Rogg. Six years later, she escapes back to Earth, which was under attack by the Skrulls.
After reconnecting with a former pilot in Louisiana, she learns that her name is Carol Danvers and remembers the crash that caused her amnesia. Her destruction of the experimental engine was necessary to keep the Kree from recovering it, which caused the absorbed energy from the explosion to give Danvers powers. She is able to remove the implant placed by the Kree that had been suppressing her powers.
This allows her to reach her full potential ending the war of two alien races on Earth and becoming one of the universe’s most powerful heroes.
Carter provided a few lenses for Captain Marvel. This includes the large dark eyes for the alien Talos and Jude Law‘s captivating hazel eyes.
Carter’s work in ‘Stranger Things’
Stranger Things has been a well-loved Netflix show for the past four years. It is a sci-fi horror series that has fans waiting for the release each year. The series offers nostalgia being set in the 1980s while following a group of kids as they face the Upside Down.
The small town of Hawkins, Indiana had never seen so many twists and turns until the fan-favorite Eleven shows up in town. The disappearance of Will Byers was the first sign of something being off in the small town. Together, his friends, family, and chief of police Jim Hopper work to get to the bottom of recent strange occurrences.
With any sci-fi show, you can expect unique needs for eyes, and Carter was the one for the job. In Stranger Things, he provided hand painted contacts for the large brown circle lenses for Eleven to trauma eyes from an attack of the Mind Flayer or Demogorgon.
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