Drew Pierce, who grew up in Brazil before moving to Indianapolis during his seventh-grade year, has found success in Hollywood with his special effects company Cutthroat Studios, creating effects such as blood and various pieces of jewelry for various film and television shows. His work has been featured on programs such as "Grey's Anatomy," and "Heroes," and films such as "Mr. and Mrs. Smith."
Pierce moved to Hollywood in 2001. He said his intention when making the trip wasn't to make blood. But when he was asked to make blood for an online Nike commercial (an ad Pierce confessed he has never seen), various opportunities started to arise.
After years of different projects, Pierce earned his first movie credit in 2005, when jewelry pieces he created were used in the Rob Zombie horror film, "The Devils Rejects."
Pierce's most notable creation is "Bad Blood," a type of non-staining fake blood that can be made into any shade of red and can be put into an actor's mouth and even washed out of their clothes.
He seemed to still be a bit surprised at how far he has taken Cutthroat, but expressed a quiet pride in the work he's done in the industry.
"I didn't think I'd come (to Hollywood) to make blood, it just happened," Pierce said. "There are times when it's frustrating and things don't always go right. But when you've worked really hard on a project and it works, those moments make it worthwhile."
Pierce took an interest in effects at a young age. His interest only increased when he started renting "How To" videos on special effects from Video Specialists, a store owned by his father Larry.
Pierce's father shares his son's interest in make-up effects and expressed excitement about Drew's achievements in a field he himself would have liked to have worked in.
"I kind of feel like I'm living through him," said Larry, who still operates Video Specialists, 717 E. Jackson St., Brazil. "I would have loved to have done what he's doing, and I think it's great he's been able to make all the connections he's made."
Drew still has several ties to Brazil and visits regularly. Aside from his father, he has a brother Brian, a half-brother Brad, and a half-sister Ashley, who currently claim residence in the city.
Drew even came home to Brazil during the well-publicized strike of the Writers Guild of America, which shut down production of nearly all major Hollywood facets from Nov. 5, 2007-Feb. 12, 2008.
Events such as the strike, mixed with what seems to be a general need to continue trying new things, have caused Drew to branch out into other realms. He recently provided his talents to new uses, as he began working with the Medical College at Florida State University, to create surgical procedure organs for medical students to work with.
He said the expansion was necessary, acknowledging that in a system as fickle as Hollywood, there may not always be steady work to be found.
"Things change all the time," he said. "You always have to diversify on a more worldwide basis."
Another way Drew is hoping to branch out is through another industry he has a great passion for: Halloween.
He already has experience, having put his talents to use for various haunted houses.
Currently, he said he is working on a collectible line of masks he hopes to market to major distributors such as Walmart and K-Mart.
Whatever industry he is partaking in, Drew said he will continue putting his strongest efforts into the work he's doing, expressing a quiet pleasure in being able to make a living in a line of work he's very passionate about.
"I'm ready for whatever comes up," Pierce said. "I've always been doing this (type of work) and I'm going to continue to do it as long as I can."