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Masks create serious drama

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BATON ROUGE - A special effects company says they're out thousands of dollars after producers of The Walking Dead Escape canceled their order at the last minute.

The Walking Dead Escape, a zombie-theme obstacle course inspired by the hit television series, made its first stop on a national tour at the River Center Thursday night.

Composite Effects, or CFX, says it was contacted by someone at "The Walking Dead Escape" who was looking for makeup artists, but were asked to make silicone masks instead. Artists at CFX agreed to make 300, finishing 245 by The Walking Dead Escape kickoff.

The masks run about $560 a piece, according to the company's website.

David Isaacs, the president of the organization planning the event,  says "wires were crossed" in the agreement with CFX.

"I think things just didn't work out and so we used different makeup artists," said Isaacs. "That's just what happens sometimes with a live event."

CFX and a team of 30 began making the hand-made masks in mid-March and after a number of meetings eventually agreed on payment. But, CFX Creative Director Diana Branton says her company never received a down payment.

"I don't know if it was a panic over dollar amounts, or whatnot, but the absolute abandonment of a commitment was very shocking to all of us," said Branton.

Branton says they had a six-figure agreement, but there was never any paperwork signed. Event organizers said they went a different route with their production.

The Walking Dead Escape will be in Houston this weekend.



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