February 1, 2008, Newsletter Issue #252: Special Effects Makeup

Tip of the Week

As a special effects makeup artist, Rick Baker is known for his work in creating realistic looking creatures. Two of his most notable movies are Star Wars and An American Werewolf in London, for which he won his first of six Academy Awards for “Best Makeup”.


If you have aspirations of being the next Rick Baker, start with school. Special effects makeup is not at all like doing regular makeup. The techniques and oddities of special effects makeup takes intense training to master. Your best bet is to find a school that specializes in this art form, but in this case, location is also key . You need to be in the location that is eventually going to get you the most work.


The Cinema Makeup School, Studio Makeup Academy, or Elegance International are all located in the Los Angeles area and specialize in teaching special effects makeup. Your classes will include advanced work in character makeup, prosthetic applications, sculpture breakdown, and digital FX makeup. These courses help prepare students to work in the film and television industry. Could you be the next Rick Baker?

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William Pirraglia