Dr. Martin Osler’s alien contact lenses scare George Romero movie fans

by Jason Wong

Zombies, despite their apparent frailty, are much more resilient than the Titanic. For this reason, Toronto optometrist Dr. Martin Osler believes his business can sail around the looming recession.

            Having supplied cosmetic contact lenses for films such as “Dawn of the Dead”, “Resident Evil”, “Ginger Snaps”

Dr. Martin Osler at Centennial College Journalism

Dr. Martin Osler at Centennial College Journalism

and many more, Osler feels confident that production companies will continue to employ his services, especially with the changing economic climate.

            “It’s much cheaper to produce a coloured cosmetic lens than to use computer graphics. Once the lens gets made, we can use it over and over,” he told students February 25 at Centennial College’s journalism program in Toronto.

            As for the movie industry itself, according to Osler, there is a good chance Toronto’s film businesses will continue to operate despite budget concerns.

            “Here in Toronto we have soundstages which are as large as anywhere else in the world. We can handle any production. Also, the dollar is more favourable now, it’ll bring in production,” he said.

            Osler admits the movie business is ever changing, and he may not maintain his current monopoly on price. A set of lenses costs him about $800 to make.

            “It helps to a certain degree, but only until they bring the cost (of computer graphics) down.”

            He is confident, however, that he will continue to be a big part of the film industry, citing another card up his sleeve.

            “Contact lenses look better than computer graphics because of the way the light reflects off them, and they just look more natural,” he explained.

            Even if the movie side of his business eventually does fold, there will be no shortage of people who simply need an optometrist.

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