Special Effects Makeup Artist (Episode 90)


It takes a lot of people to put together a feature film or a TV show. There’s lighting, set design, costumes and many more. Well today, we meet a key player— the special effects makeup artist. Hi Viviana! Hi! Oh my goodness, nice to meet you too. Welcome to my monster world! wow this is phenominal. Want me to give you a tour? Yes please, let’s go. My name is Joel Echallier, the job is special makeup effects and we are here in Coquitlam today. A special makeup effects artist is someone using special tools and creative tools to change someone’s face into a master or into someone else. And we create everything that cannot be created with regular makeup. So transformation, bloody mooned creatures… Yeah, it’s time to put gloves on. So what are we looking at? This one is a prosthetic, it’s a puffy eye that I’m about to de-mold. I’m going to do that right now for you guys… There we go, it comes out. Wow! So this is after lots of hours of creation, we went from the sculpting part down to the molding down to the injection with chemicals, that’s why we’re wearing gloves. And then we get the prosthetic final product, they’re going to be handed over to the makeup artist and it will be applied on the actors face. And we’re gonna see somebody with that today. Yes indeed, I’m going to do the application today. A typical day in a workshop is a long day first of all, we usually do a 12-hour day, that’s a standard. We start in the morning, we put some music on and everybody goes to creative mode and we sculpt and we mold and it’s a happy environment and it could be sculpting the whole day. We will do mould making so if a sculpture is finished, it needs to get molded. So you’ve got to be pretty good with your hands. Yes indeed, so you know we need precise work trying to paint that so you got to be really good with your hands and visualize what you’re doing with your colors, mixing your colors, it’s really a fine art. I have my certificate for traditional makeup. After that I had to learn on my own in Canada. You have a few schools that will teach you the craft, everything from regular makeup up to the creation of prosthetics in a shop and this is really really good. The schools are usually between six and eight months. To do this job you need to be innovative, definitely innovative, problem solving, we’re facing every minute of the day a challenge. So how long would it take to do something like this on set? Well it took us about 40 minutes for a puffy eye and a massive injury on the forehead so I can imagine how long it would take to get a full head and maybe a costume, about three or three and a half hours. Communication is very important, we need to clarify what’s going to be every step of the way so everybody works towards the same goal. When I introduce myself as a makeup artist, people think I do regular makeup, I do beauty makeup and Bridal makeup and I have to always say no no i do special makeup effects which is a completely different world. So when you start in the effects business, you start in your creating world and and you create the new or in a little bubble and you create. And after years of experience you can slowly step out of that and then become a key person running effects entirely for the movie and then if you want to move even higher you can become a manager of the shop and you get into a little bit less than the artsy part of it but more on the business side of it and you can take care of scheduling and talking to the production and producers. If you have the passion, just keep keep going into your passion and you’re going to succeed. It’s really about really wanting to do it. The best part of the day is when we finish a product and we test it and we have these big giant nine food creatures walking down the parking lot and and all the team is looking at it and I look at their faces and they all smiling and that makes me happy, That’s the best part of my day. Well, thank you Viviana, I hope you learned something today I sure did and I had a lot of fun too. Well, we’ll see you next time! Once again this is Career Trek and I’m Viviana reminding you that this career could be yours. We’ll see you next time.

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