Tuesday, 4 October 2016


This is a long, long overdue blog but something I definitely wanted to review. Earlier this year I attended a three day course at Creative Media Skills in Pinewood Studios. The course was Intro to SFX Makeup and Prosthetics and the tutor was Stuart Bray, a freelance special effects makeup artist working in the film and television industry since 1994. During that time he has worked on a number of features including Saving Private Ryan, The Mummy 1 & 2, Gladiator, Blade 2, Shaun of the Dead and Stardust, 47 Ronin and most recently on the HBO show Game of Thrones working for Barrie Gower. Stuart specialises in all the processes involved in making prosthetic appliances and make-up effects from design, sculpting, moulding, casting and application. Over the last several years he has also been a visiting tutor for a number of makeup schools as well as running his own special effects workshops. The main things that drew me to this course was Stuart himself and the location, Pinewood Studios has produced many of the best films ever released, and learning in the heart of the British film industry seemed like an amazing opportunity.

Day 1 covered using Alcohol Activated paints to create simple wounds and bruising, using Sculpt Gel Pro to create wounds straight onto the skin, and how to mix flesh tones within the product.

Day 2 we learnt how to fill moulds to make wound appliances and how to apply and skin match them, and then how to gore them up!

Day 3 was a quick introduction to sculpting and then a more in depth info on how to make the silicone moulds we used the previous day. We then had a demo on burns makeup, from painted burns to built up sculpt gel wounds, which we were then able to practice on ours models and also apply any left over appliances from yesterday.

The amount of information packed into those three days was staggering, I came away having learnt so much, and having had hands on practice with all the methods was fantastic. Stuart is a great tutor, with a relaxed and open style, I really felt I could ask any question no matter how stupid! He also provided us with detailed notes on all the subjects covered, which is a great resource to refer back to, especially with all the technical points of mixing silicone etc. We were also able to have professional pictures of our work taken, which is great for adding into your portfolio.

Creative Media Skills and this course in particular is absolutely fantastic for someone looking to learn or refresh their skills, their courses range from 2-5 days so great to fit in whilst working and they now offer funded courses so they are definitely something to look into if you are on a budget, professional make up courses can run into the tens of thousands so to have these short courses available and run by current industry working make up artists is an absolute god send. Also if you aren't into make up they have all manner of film industry courses available, from props to costume to assistant directing, so go and have a look at their website for all current courses, I know I'll be going back soon to learn more!