Area man has ties to hospital drama

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Surgery on television shows can get pretty ugly, but to some, it is an art.

Drew Pierce of Cutthroat Studios creates artificial internal organs, wounds, and creepy creatures for television shows, movies and even haunted houses.

Pierce, a native of Brazil, has had his work featured on ABC's primetime drama, "Grey's Anatomy."

In addition to being the exclusive blood provider for Seattle Grace's finest, Pierce paints sets for the show "Heroes," and creates special effects for "American Misfits."

Pierce says his interest in special effects started early on in life. Some of the influence came from being around his dad's store, Video Specialists.

"It all started with 'The Creature from the Black Lagoon.' I went to the mall in Terre Haute and picked up a magazine called Fangoria in 1985. I was 11 when I got interested in effects," Pierce said.

Pierce got his beginning working with people in the area who earned all of their revenue from one day a year: Halloween.

He worked on several haunted houses in the Indianapolis area with a man from Mooresville, who was featured in an article in Fangoria.

He took that training all the way to Hollywood, where he now has his own blanket company, Cutthroat Studios.

Before starting his company, though, Pierce got his "in" into the business by set painting, where he was able to join the union.

"It's a big decision to go out there and do that. When he first went out there, he had no good connections. He's been out there since 2001. It's what he wanted to do, and he was able to make it through the lean times," Larry Pierce, his father, said.

Under Cutthroat Studios, Pierce creates custom jewelry, various body parts and his own blend of fake blood called Bad Blood from his home.

"I have 15 different formulas and eight colors of blood. Well, there's a lot more now because I've started to custom mix for shows," Pierce said.

The liquid is the only blood "Grey's" uses, and will also be used on the spin-off, "Private Practice."

Bad Blood earned Pierce a feature in the new Los Angeles-based magazine, H. From that article, Pierce was contacted to be the special effects coordinator for a new horror movie called "Remains."

"It's cool to be special effects coordinator, because with, say, 'Grey's Anatomy,' you're there for one tiny scene. But with being coordinator, you get scripts," Pierce said of his new role.

Another project Pierce spends significant time on is the show "American Misfits."

The skateboarder sketch comedy is near to his heart -- Pierce has been skateboarding since he lived in Brazil.

For an upcoming episode, Pierce created an evil skateboard that comes back from the dead.

Pierce also does effects for the sketch comedy show "Stupidface" on Fuel TV.

His artistic talent has not escaped notice.

"His younger brother went out there and said how amazing it was that he could paint a piece of wood to make it look like steel," Larry said.

With such a busy schedule, Pierce still makes time for his family.

He's taken his brother to the set where "Back to the Future" was filmed, as well as showed his mom the set that "Grey's Anatomy" uses.

Pierce is trying to find some time to get back to the Brazil area, but his schedule hasn't allowed it.

"It's Murphy's Law or something; right when you want to leave, they pull you back," he said.

Pierce's schedule is rewarding, though.

When "Grey's" and "Private Practice" debut next week, there's a little bit of Brazil in every patient.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: