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Tattoo TV with PRISON BREAK
Now running on the Fox network is the television show PRISON BREAK. The basic premise of the plot is that engineer Michael Scofield's brother is sent to jail. Unable to appeal any further, Scofield hatches an elaborate plot to break his brother out of jail and prove his innocence. This plot involves him getting himself sent to prison too.
The breakout plans are really the star of the show. Engineer Scofield planned his brother's breakout for a year. His firm was responsible for remodeling the prison where the brother is imprisoned. Blueprints of the prison and all the escape plans were conceived of as a highly elaborate upper body tattoo. This tattoo supposedly took four months to get tattooed before Scofield purposely got himself sent to prison.
As a theatrical tattoo, this is one of the most impressive ever conceived. The tattoo design work is credited to tattooist Tom Berg, currently tattooing out of So Cal Tattoo in San Pedro, CA. Berg was the artist who turned actor Ralph Fiennes into a tattooed villain for the movie RED DRAGON.
The tattoo is made from the state-of-the-art makeup technology that lets the design be applied in highly complex decals that piece together. Christian Tinsley's makeup effects company, which did Vin Diesel's tattoos in "xXx" and blood/wound special effects for "The Passion of the Christ" created these tattoos. The designs are touched up by hand, then the surface is sealed, and for all puroses, the images then act like tattoos, staying in place despite physical contact and water. The tattoo can stay on for a few weeks unless special makeup solvents are used to remove them. Actor Wentworth Miller, who plays Scofield, has described the process as taking between four and five hours if two makeup artists are working on him at the same time.
The tattoo design appears as a large gothic long-sleeve shirt, with the blueprints and escape plans hidden in and around scenes of angels and demons. The style of the tattoo is all in black and white, with lots of thin lines and find shading. This is a good example of the "fineline" style found in the tattoo world that originated in Southern California. The chest image shows a large demon, but also the prison's underground network if you know what to look for. The back shows a view of the prison from the air, and features an angel as the primary image. The sleeves of the tattoo shirt are a mix of clues and reminders, chemical formulas, and other elements necessary to the escape. Fan sites and message boards are good places to find discussions of all the tattoo details and potential meanings, with fresh discussions starting up during and after each new episode.
PRISON BREAK airs Monday nights on the Fox network, check local tv listings for times and stations. You can also visit the official PRISON BREAK web site.
Season One of PRISON BREAK is available as a box sex of DVDs too!
Content copyright © 2013 by Rae Schwarz. All rights reserved.
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