by Jack Minor –
A local businessman who is well-known for masks and other monster paraphernalia has been featured in his own reality show.
The show, “Making Monsters” is currently showing on the “Travel Channel,” Sunday evenings at 6 p.m. and features Ed and Marsha Edmunds, founders of Distortions Unlimited and their team.
The company was founded in 1978 and over the years the company has been in several locations in Greeley, Evans and Kersey.
Edmunds said the company has changed several times over the years. “We started out with masks and hands, and then we went to props.” Edmunds said the company moved away from masks when low-cost masks manufactured in China started being introduced into the country. Distortions Unlimited masks are typically high end quality products.
The company eventually began to get involved in animatronics, monsters and other creatures that move mechanically. Distortions is one of the largest creators and producers of animatronics in the world.
The latest line of business involves what is called Shocktronics, which consists of integrating a live person with animatronics.
While it might be easy to assume that Edmunds and his wife Marsha are involved in the occult because of the macabre nature of their work, nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, the couple initially met in church and both are Christians. The Edmunds are actively involved in social issues including pro-life issues.
The Edwards are well respected in the industry for their honesty, integrity and being willing to help people. Chris Corman, founder of the Battle of the Haunted Houses in Ft. Collins said he would have never been able to succeed if it were not for the Edwards. “Ed helped us get going 22 years ago. He is a great person and will do anything to help you.”
Most people tend to think of masks and monsters only around Halloween, but for Distortions, the monster business is year round. Edmunds said, October is actually a slower month for the company. “We actually slow down for awhile after October 1st.”
The reality show is produced by Warmsprings Productions, a media company based in Missoula Montana.
Warmsprings Senior Producer, Nathan Charlan first met the Edwards several years ago and thought the company would be a perfect subject for a reality show. “I knew even back then this company was unique and they should have their own reality show” Charlan said.
After Charlan began working with Warmsprings, he pitched the idea to his superiors. They were intrigued by the idea and approached Edmunds. Warmsprings made a seven minute sizzle reel to help gauge interest among media sponsors. The reel was shown to the networks and to people in the industry.
Edmunds said Warmsprings came back to him and said that insiders loved the reel. “Even Animal Planet was interested because we have creatures. One of the networks said it was the best thing they had seen in over a year” Edmunds said.
Charlan said while several networks wanted the show, in the end The Travel Channel made the best offer and wanted to order four episodes. As part of the agreement, the Edmunds and their team needed to travel to two different locations per episode.
If the show does well during the four episode run, it could get picked up for a regular production run.
The first episode ran on Oct. 2 and featured Distortions attending the annual Transworld tradeshow in St. Louis, Missouri.
Sunday evening, the 9th, the Distortions crew and friends met at the Kress Theater to watch the second episode and celebrate the series. The episode featured the Edmunds and their crew making a “FrankenAlice” monster for Alice Cooper.
The ratings for the first episode were impressive, with the show garnering over 500,000 viewers. The ratings were even higher for the second week.
The third week will have an alien focus, with the Distortions crew travelling to Roswell, New Mexico for the UFO Festival. The final week will feature two of the country’s most popular haunted houses, the Eastern State Penitentiary and Bennett’s Curse.
Over the years Distortions Unlimited has worked with many well-known names in the entertainment industry including Michael Jackson, Woody Allen, Dick Van Dyke, David Lee Roth and Brett “the Hitman” Hart.
Edmunds said while most reality shows are featured in big cities like New York, he is humbled and amazed that he is part of a show being made in Greeley. “I am amazed at what God has done for us over the years. I don’t know what God has going on with this show, but I truly believe his hand is in this.” Edmunds went on to say that the show is the most exciting thing he has ever been involved with during his many years of making monsters.
One thing that sets the show out is it is a true reality show. “I told them from the beginning, we are not good enough actors to do anything fake and we don’t want that.”
The first episode involved an order of “evil trees” to a Monster Mini Golf. Upon arrival the trees were damaged during transportation and the Distortions crew was working until seconds before opening to get the trees ready.
“We had a commenter saying he thought that was staged for the TV show. That was not staged at all, it really happened that way.”