Bill Bryan was born in Newport News Va on Sept 20 1954 to an opera singing artist/engineer father who taught him to draw and sing and a choir directing ball-of-fire preacher’s-daughter mother who taught him to pattern, to sew, and to smile.
The middle child of seven, he grew up on seven acres of Piney woods in Bedford Mass, making art and music from an early age.
Inspired by Jim Henson and the Muppets, he started building and performing puppet shows while in High School.
At Syracuse University, where he earned a BFA in Metalsmithing, he was told by the Lost-In-Space Robot to “Go west, young man”, so he stuck out his thumb and hitch-hiked and hopped freights to arrive in Los Angeles on July 18, 1976.
Within two weeks he was building a banana costume for Elton John’s tour, and he’s been working fairly steadily ever since.
Five years at NBC Wardrobe Department prepared him for the hectic pace of the movie effects industry.
He was also introduced to the Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, where he lived and performed in various Shakespearian productions, including “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in which he played Puck, (after building an ass’ head for them, to insure that they would do the play.)
After leaving NBC in 1981, Bill served a short term at Sid and Marty Krofft’s shop where he met Mark Siegel who subsequently recommended him as the one to design and construct the still suits for DUNE.
After that, he was offered the task of fabricating and portraying the Staypuft Marshmallow Man in GHOSTBUSTERS at Richard Edlund’s Boss Films.
There Bill met and befriended fellow department heads, Randy Cook and Steve Johnson, who each eventually employed him at their respective FX houses, Ruckus Inc. for 3 years and XFX, (later Edge FX.) for over 15 years, where Bill might be foam fabricating on one job, then inventing a new art form on another, designing and constructing at the beginning of a job, and supervising and puppeteering at the end of the job.
Bill spent most of a year working for Stan Winston on AI and JURASSIC PARK 3.
While there, Stan described him as “A great find! Taking us places we’ve never been before!”
Several jobs with Carlo Rambaldi, several more with KNB, All Effects, Alterian and various other independent FX shops have rounded out his career as a problem solver and innovator.
Characters with which he has been associated include:
Mr. Staypuft, SIL, The Pit Bitch, Doc Ock, Andrew Martin, Captain Eo, Teddy Ruxpin, King Kong, Chucky, Rex, The Ninja Turtles, The Puttermans, The Energizer Bunny, The Shit Weasel, the Cat in the Hat, and The StubHub Ticket Oak, among others.