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How does one get started in special-effects make-up


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#1 split63

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 10:19 AM

How does one get started in special-effects make-up
Are there specialized schools and/or do various companies take on people as apprentices with little or no experience?

Thanks

#2 ShopMonkey

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 12:17 PM

How does one get started in special-effects make-up
Are there specialized schools and/or do various companies take on people as apprentices with little or no experience?

Thanks


Unless you know someone its virtually impossible to get an apprenticeship. I got in because my next door neighbor was a special makeup artist and I would hang around, watch and learn.

There are several schools out there but Ive never been to one so couldnt really comment on how good they are.

Ill tell you what my neighbor told me. Its a very long road with long hours and low pay. There is little stability. Do it only if you are passionate about it and cant imagine life otherwise. Most people dont last in the industry for more than 5 years...they eventually give up and go on to something else.

#3 split63

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 08:01 PM

Unless you know someone its virtually impossible to get an apprenticeship. I got in because my next door neighbor was a special makeup artist and I would hang around, watch and learn.

There are several schools out there but Ive never been to one so couldnt really comment on how good they are.

Ill tell you what my neighbor told me. Its a very long road with long hours and low pay. There is little stability. Do it only if you are passionate about it and cant imagine life otherwise. Most people dont last in the industry for more than 5 years...they eventually give up and go on to something else.


When there is an epic film like Lord of the Rings, Hobbit, etc., I would imagine there is a tremendous shortage of skill make-up artisans.

#4 ShopMonkey

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 09:24 PM

When there is an epic film like Lord of the Rings, Hobbit, etc., I would imagine there is a tremendous shortage of skill make-up artisans.



There is never a shortage. A good 30-40% of special makeup effects artists are out of work at any given time. When a huge project like LOTR shows up then it probably goes down to 10% out of work...but once that project ends the unemployment rate skyrockets again.

The Hobbit is starting right now and I know plenty of makeup effects artists out of work. of course they are usually the less talented ones. If you are great you will always be working.

Over the past ten years Ive watched this phenomenon. A bunch of young people get into the business while a bunch of the older folks find something else to do. When you are in your 20s its okay to work sporadically and not make much money. When you hit 40 you need stability. The cycle continues.

A lot of this has to do with schools. Back in the 80s and early 90s there were no schools so you had to be very very dedicated and passionate about this craft to make the sacrifices necessary to get into it. That usually meant you were talented.

Once the schools opened anyone with $10k could learn the basics and think they were going to make this a career. It flooded the industry with mediocre talent. Now the schools churn out far more students than the industry can support. I mean, realistically how many people are going to make a steady living making monsters ? Not many.

i was lucky in that i got in in 1985 when there really was a shortage of talent. I became quite successful and retired in 2001. I dont envy the kids trying to break in today.

#5 split63

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 11:45 AM

Are there any notable schools with targeted programs?
The true test of the value of such schools is if companies in the industry actually recruit directly from them.

#6 ShopMonkey

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 01:29 PM

Are there any notable schools with targeted programs?
The true test of the value of such schools is if companies in the industry actually recruit directly from them.



There is a new school that opened last year. It is endorsed by many of the best in our field so it is probably the one they would look to for recruiting.

http://www.stanwinstonschool.com/

Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with it

#7 danny4

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 10:10 AM

There is a new school that opened last year. It is endorsed by many of the best in our field so it is probably the one they would look to for recruiting.

http://www.stanwinstonschool.com/

Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with it


i could be wrong but, i think the stan winston thing is just online courses and stuff.

#8 split63

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 10:28 AM

i could be wrong but, i think the stan winston thing is just online courses and stuff.


Based on the website it does not appear open for business.
Also, it does seem semi virtual, as there appears to be no physical campus.

"Hands-on Workshops in association with our World-Renowned Partners."

#9 ShopMonkey

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 02:20 PM

i could be wrong but, i think the stan winston thing is just online courses and stuff.


In all seriousness, it doesnt matter where or how you learn. All that matters are the pictures in your portfolio showing you have competent skills.

Everyone I know in the field who has achieved notable success learned on their own with no schooling.

#10 LikeAG6

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 03:24 PM

It really depends on what you want to do.

If you just want to be a part of the machine, you call them up, tell them you will work for minimum wage and do whatever it takes.

If you want more, you can look into the most recommended course in Special FX.... the **** Smith Course.

I would advise against going into FX all together. It's neat and fun, but if you want to live a life, own a home, not go into debt... do something more solid.

Put your hands up

#11 ShopMonkey

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 11:12 PM

I would advise against going into FX all together. It's neat and fun, but if you want to live a life, own a home, not go into debt... do something more solid.


I used to tell people that as well. But then I realized its not fair to ruin people's dreams. They need to learn for themselves if its for them or not. Im really glad I didnt have anyone around me to dissuade me or I might not have pursued the industry and the 17 years I spent in it were the best time of my life.

PS - Before CGI we all made a very very nice living. I have a super nice home thats paid for. I used to make close to $100k year in puppeteering residuals alone. Now makeup fx is like the ******* stepchild that gets the cheap leftovers the CGI guys dont want. Shame.

#12 LikeAG6

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 02:54 AM

I used to tell people that as well. But then I realized its not fair to ruin people's dreams. They need to learn for themselves if its for them or not. Im really glad I didnt have anyone around me to dissuade me or I might not have pursued the industry and the 17 years I spent in it were the best time of my life.

PS - Before CGI we all made a very very nice living. I have a super nice home thats paid for. I used to make close to $100k year in puppeteering residuals alone. Now makeup fx is like the ******* stepchild that gets the cheap leftovers the CGI guys dont want. Shame.


Not many in the industry made that much puppetteering for anyone other than Stan, and even then...
I'd like to discourage as many newbies as possible, because it is far from how it used to be. When you thought you had it, You made sure you did... you didn't go to some crummy class or school... you were hungry. Nowadays, these kids think they deserve a shot because some drunk Savini gave them a thumbs up or a "diploma" says they are ready.

#13 Brownielocks

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 11:39 AM

Ill tell you what my neighbor told me. Its a very long road with long hours and low pay. There is little stability. Do it only if you are passionate about it and cant imagine life otherwise. Most people dont last in the industry for more than 5 years...they eventually give up and go on to something else.



Well, after hearing this I have less regrets about not going into this. :P
"Be who you are and say what you think because those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss

VISIT BROWNIELOCKS.COM

#14 ShopMonkey

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 12:41 PM

Not many in the industry made that much puppetteering for anyone other than Stan, and even then...
I'd like to discourage as many newbies as possible, because it is far from how it used to be. When you thought you had it, You made sure you did... you didn't go to some crummy class or school... you were hungry. Nowadays, these kids think they deserve a shot because some drunk Savini gave them a thumbs up or a "diploma" says they are ready.


You might be surprised how the residuals added up for some of the other shops like Lazzarini

#15 shysf

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 04:09 PM

May be the winner will see as a group they are stronger together. Perhaps use the money to start a company of make up artists. Face off SFX perhaps. Then they could teach others, be sent out for worki on projects. Some may want to work together others not. An idea.

#16 NinjaCarm

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 11:20 PM

I used to tell people that as well. But then I realized its not fair to ruin people's dreams. They need to learn for themselves if its for them or not. Im really glad I didnt have anyone around me to dissuade me or I might not have pursued the industry and the 17 years I spent in it were the best time of my life.

PS - Before CGI we all made a very very nice living. I have a super nice home thats paid for. I used to make close to $100k year in puppeteering residuals alone. Now makeup fx is like the ******* stepchild that gets the cheap leftovers the CGI guys dont want. Shame.


Puppeteering residuals??? Holy hell that's awesome! How does that work!?

Also, thanks for your responses, nice to get feedback from someone in the industry. I grew up watching films from the 80s and on, there's nothing like actually seeing something tangible (i.e. makeup, monsters, prosthetics, puppets, etc.) vs. dime a dozen CGI creations, which, BTW, why can't good CGI be replicated from films like Jurrasic Park or Terminator 2 that were from the early 90s???

I'm a big Spider-Man fan, am hoping for the best for the reboot. I've heard The Lizard will be the main villain, I wonder what they come up with with that, practical or CGI?

Also, I am hoping for another iteration of the Green Goblin with an actual moving mask and that is scary. The Green Goblin we got muted all the scariness and tamed the design possibilities one cool *** *** villain.I guess they didn't want to scare all the kiddies : P

#17 ShopMonkey

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 06:07 PM

Puppeteering residuals??? Holy hell that's awesome! How does that work!?

Also, thanks for your responses, nice to get feedback from someone in the industry. I grew up watching films from the 80s and on, there's nothing like actually seeing something tangible (i.e. makeup, monsters, prosthetics, puppets, etc.) vs. dime a dozen CGI creations, which, BTW, why can't good CGI be replicated from films like Jurrasic Park or Terminator 2 that were from the early 90s???

I'm a big Spider-Man fan, am hoping for the best for the reboot. I've heard The Lizard will be the main villain, I wonder what they come up with with that, practical or CGI?

Also, I am hoping for another iteration of the Green Goblin with an actual moving mask and that is scary. The Green Goblin we got muted all the scariness and tamed the design possibilities one cool *** *** villain.I guess they didn't want to scare all the kiddies : P


Puppeteers are considered 'actors' so they get the same perks which are very lucrative. I honestly dont know how it is factored but if you puppeteer on a union movie/commercial you get paid for every time it airs.

There was a point in my career where I was doing lots of commercials and each one would result in between $5-10k year in residuals. It adds up quickly.

Production also had the option of buying you out but I can only remember that happening a few times. Usually we got residuals.

#18 LikeAG6

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 05:10 AM

If someone really wants to get in the "biz"...
Get ready to go in debt and lose a lot of dough.

For example, if you move to LA to chase the dream... you NEED to sustain. In order to sustain, you need to make at LEAST... LEAST $40K annually. AT LEAST.

And remember, you may not be working for more than a week or 5 at a time with plenty of downtime. Unless you slide in at $12 per hour with no chance of correct OT pay.

But then again, what will you end up doing for $12 per hour? Better hope you have a pickup truck or van... for fulfilling your duties as a runner/gopher. Some people start there.

Have a backup, Plan B and C. When your dream fades, earn the dimes to move back home.

#19 Cmoe1969

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 09:23 AM

I've been interested in special effects since I was a kid; I really enjoy this show. I am 42 years old and at a turning point in my life. I've been any good at anything but thinking creatively. Would it be insane for me to consider trying to go to school for this? Or should I compromise and try my hand at CGI and visual effects? I know the basics, but I need to know if I have a future in this field.



#20 elisgirl2

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 07:58 PM

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Sent 30 May 2011 - 10:23 AM

whats up? hey whose pic is that on u'r page?

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themaingmaster

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Sent 30 May 2011 - 10:46 AM

Hi there... well ... that poor unfortunate soul is ME ... I didn't want to do that avatar thingey.tmgm



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elisgirl2

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Sent 30 May 2011 - 11:32 AM

Hi there... well ... that poor unfortunate soul is ME ... I didn't want to do that avatar thingey.tmgm

thats cool--nice picture you look so professional!



elisgirl2



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Sent 18 June 2011 - 05:25 PM

themaingmaster,on 18 June 2011 - 03:16 PM, said:

I know you're the picture of a "busy" person, but when youget a chance here is a Facebook site you should visit...





http://www.facebook....130861693660162



It's my own little creation! CIAO for now ... nice photo .. you r a babe!

J.S.





well thx! thats so sweet!!! if you ever come to chicago--like for acomic con or somethin'-you should come to the Pink Monkey after 11 pm--thatswhen I work-but only till september

i'll go to ur FB pg now

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elisgirl2



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Sent 18 June 2011 - 05:42 PM

i found you there (on the FB page)--Joseph I sent a friend request toyou--

Maggie



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Sent 19 June 2011 - 10:58 PM

Hi Maggie!

I think we may be having a positive effect on these folks 'cause forthe first time in a while I'm seeing more lovers than haters! It may be largely due to your presence! …That's just too /<ewl !! .. Hey when you get a chance really must fix upyour facebook page. May I suggest that if you don't know how, then you shouldhave a friend who is well versed in FB help you with it. Cheers for nowcutie pie and have a great (not too busy) week! J.S.



elisgirl2



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Sent Today, 12:55 PM

hey whats up? ya know a lot of these new ppl on here sound a lot likeu--r u fudging? : ) : )

cool with me if it helps get back what we want!!!

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themaingmaster



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Sent Today, 01:28 PM

Indeed! ..






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