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Thread: Behind the Scenes of Splash with Thom!

  1. #1
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    Behind the Scenes of Splash with Thom!

    Thom was part of a team of people hired by Disney to create the tail for Splash. Disney, couldn’t use the name Disney at the time because of naked mermaid bum and boobs (seriously) and they branched out into “Touchstone” pictures so they could put out Splash without causing backlash. There were several people on the team. Thom headed up the physical making of the tail along with some of his friends, while Robert Short create the design and gave input on how it should be done and helped with hands on, chose the colours, and Madison’s over all look (as he told me himself in the comment you can see) Mitch Suskin (seems to always be forgotten) was the visual effects supervisor, who made sure the work of Thom, Robert, and the others, came to life on screen in the way it was envisioned.


    After Splash, Mitch and Robert went on to continue working generally in the special effects world for films, doing many different projects. Thom however, stuck with mermaids, and was the main mermaid man for Disney for decades. His other most memorable Disney work was his work with gold medallist Michael Phelps. However, an agreement was signed that he and the others would not remake the Splash Tail in the way it was originally made. Thom always tends to get the credit for Splash, likely because he’s the only one who actively still talks about the project.

    To this day, Thom’s main project that he is the most proud of, is his consistent work with make a wish foundation. Thom has been named, by the community, as the tail man. While the other artists involved indeed are spfx artists, Thom was the one to become the TAIL MAKER. Because he was the first, 30 years ago, to start a tail making business, before most current tail makers were even born. He has undertaken many commercial and TV/Movie projects, he’s also mentored many professional and amateur tail makers.Though, he was not the first to ever make mermaid tails as we've seen from old movies


    A few years ago, Thom suffered a serious reaction to an immunization, and had 6 mini strokes. He has recovered very well, but he struggle to physically type. He instead opts to use the Dragon Speech program to dictate what he’d like to say. You don’t see him as active online as he is in person, because of that barrier.


    This year marks 30 years since Splash came out. I think I’ll post loads of behind the scenes

    While Thom was not directly credited in the credits (a studio admitted mishap as explained in the ultimate splash fangroup where some of the actors still frequent [like the guy who said pee down the air hose]) this often happens. A perfect example would be, Jim Henson studios is simply credited as thus and doesn't list every person working. Merwrangler Sean's brother in law also works in movie production and it really depends on who he is working under whether he shows up on credits.

    Regardless, you can actually see Thom working away here
    Here's photos of Thom working away!










  2. #2
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    Thom also did Splash Too and told us so many funny stories about filming both. He was saying for Splash Too the sea life was afraid of the girl playing the mermaid and wouldnt come around her lol

  3. #3
    Thank you for sharing, Raina. I intended to look some of this up the other night after seeing something about it on facebook, but it slipped my mind.
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    Senior Member Pod of Cali Sirenade's Avatar
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    Thank you for compiling this. Thom truly commercialized the tail making business when he started Mermaid Rentals decades ago and did tails for commercials, TV shows, music videos and other events. I am a close friend of Thom's (gave him the Dragon Speech program as a gift last Christmas!) and have seen the Splash molds in his garage and the Madison necklace hanging on his wall. He has directly inspired everyone who is in the mer-community today whether they know it or not. His tails have a longevity that outlast anything else that is out there for purchase. Some of the criticisms of his tails are that they are ill fitting or look baggy, but that is just due to them being generic sizes for rentals (and undergoing many re-sizings and beatings by customers). The tails that are made for a person are better fitting than any other tails out there.
    Last edited by Sirenade; 01-16-2014 at 12:54 PM.

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    if it's not super clear based on emails I'm getting from he who shall not be named, the first sentence of this thread says "Thom was part of a team of people hired by Disney to create the tail for Splash" nowhere does it say Thom was the only person, nor does it say Robert did not contribute. Some one is continuing to take a mer-tantrum.

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    Senior Member Pod of Texas Seatan's Avatar
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    The funny thing is that I have STILL not watched Splash! I have GOT to see that movie!!!!!
    Once upon a time I was known as Seavanna. Going by Seatan these days. I always wanted to be the high lord of underwater hell.

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    I watched it on the plane to merfest!

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    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod lynsea's Avatar
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    I highly recommend the 20th anniversary DVD. It's got some GREAT behind the scenes footage and interviews. It might be a bit dull to some, but if you love the production side of everything that goes into making a film, especially mermaids , then definitely get it.

    You can buy the video on Amazon HERE.

    Also, "mer-tantrum"... loving the image I have in my head right now .
    “I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.”
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    Senior Member Pod of Cali Sirenade's Avatar
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    Raina- he is STILL tantrumming? Yeesh.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by AniaR View Post
    if it's not super clear based on emails I'm getting from he who shall not be named, the first sentence of this thread says "Thom was part of a team of people hired by Disney to create the tail for Splash" nowhere does it say Thom was the only person, nor does it say Robert did not contribute. Some one is continuing to take a mer-tantrum.
    For someone spying of the forum thanks to alt accounts, he sure can't read a sentence as simple as that. What a baby...


  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Seavanna View Post
    The funny thing is that I have STILL not watched Splash! I have GOT to see that movie!!!!!
    WTF did I just read there???

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    Girl, you gotta do it TOMORROW!!!


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    Quote Originally Posted by AniaR View Post
    Thom also did Splash Too and told us so many funny stories about filming both. He was saying for Splash Too the sea life was afraid of the girl playing the mermaid and wouldn't come around her lol
    It's like they KNEW how awful that movie would be. (Your movie mileage may vary, of course.) You can find it in parts and one bad full copy, on YouTube.

    I agree, the 20th anniversary DVD is totally worth the $. And thanks for posting the images of Thom working on the tail. That movie (Splash, the original) came out at such a pivotal time in my life. I was already a mermaid nut, it just fed the love.

    (Also, when that tv show came out here, Splash, I have never been so disappointed in my life. Not about mermaids. A celeb diving competition show. smh.)
    Last edited by deepblue; 01-16-2014 at 11:32 PM.

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    This year I hope there is a 30 year dvd

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk

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    If they don't, maybe it can be petitioned for. Really.

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    Senior Member Pod of Cali Sirenade's Avatar
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    Raina- I saw your comment in the NCMerfest thread about Eric sending you and e-mail on behalf of Robert Short to remove the picture of the baby Madison tail. It seems silly to have TWO middle men (You and Eric) to share information between Robert and Thom. It seems just silly. :/

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    I'm not going between
    He stalks everything I do online and sends me emails. I dont engage. He's been doing this for years. He's reading this now...lol

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk

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    He's also contacting people who went to merfest to try and find things out about me. Loads of people have been forwarding me his messages. Its what he does.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk

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    Senior Member Rocky Mountain Pod Mermaid Dottie's Avatar
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    I don't know how you deal, Raina. That exhausts me just thinking about it. *faceplants into seabed*

    The other thing I don't get is why people pinpoint you. Just because you're outspoken? It could be a dozen people telling someone the same thing, but if you joined in, you would suddenly be a mastermind hell-bent on disrupting peace in the galaxy, and everyone else would be your puppets. I honestly don't understand why people always get mad at you, in particular. Doesn't make any sense to me.
    Mermaid Dottie
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    omg, these people... Raina has a great reputation for a reason, it's based on who she is. I don't know her personally but I see it everywhere mer-related- if she's mentioned, it's good, and if she's the one talking, she doesn't' say anything effed up. The other thing you see is that the crazy actions of other people get them a reputation, also. Somehow they're not making that connection that they create their own crap. Evidence everywhere, but nope- it's not their fault.

    omg I love that baby Madison tail. <3 It was only on a stick, but it has the cutest flukes!

  20. #20
    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AniaR View Post
    he who shall not be named
    Quote Originally Posted by AniaR View Post
    He's also contacting people who went to merfest to try and find things out about me. Its what he does.
    meh, now I'm stuck with this image:
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