A Bit About Me

Hi everyone, I’m basically a huge film nerd, horror in particular, and can’t get my hands on enough dvds, books, comics, basically anything I can on the subject. My thirst for more input can never be quenched it seems!

I’m currently incredibly excited and privileged to be doing the  Dick Smith Advanced Professional Make-Up Course which has been a life long dream for me being obsessed with the art of practical special effects, animation, animatronics and puppetry for as long as I can remember. Watching Harryhausen’s skeletons and cyclops on The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad with my Grandparents at Christmas was a BIG deal to me 🙂

The course is amazing and very complicated, covering all aspects of the industry including life masks and body molds, mold making, sculpture techniques and materials, all prosthetic molding and casting material  techniques, ageing and character make-up, appliance make-up and mecanical and radio controlled masks and puppets to name but a few … Tricky stuff but very exciting for a nerd!

I’m hoping to make a record of my ongoing projects on this blog as well as all my previous drawings, paintings etc so anyone who is interested can see what I’m up to and give me their feedback. I’ve only recently started doing this work, both the course and other art, in the past couple of years so am very new to it all and have very little experience having no formal training so I’ll be very interested to hear all your thoughts, good or bad it’s all incredibly useful …

Hope you enjoy my efforts … 🙂

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13 thoughts on “A Bit About Me

  1. I found your blog when I was searching for reviews of Dick Smith’s SFX basic makeup course before I went ahead and enrolled. How did you find the basic course? I see you’re really enjoying the advanced course! Kudos to you for going through with it. I’d appreciate it if you could share with us your experiences.

    Thanks!

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    1. Hey Lina,

      Thanks for getting in touch. I’ve had a look at your site and your work is really gorgeous! I have no experience with this type of make up so I’d really appreciate us being able to share experiences …

      I loved the Basic course. You basically get a booklet, written by Dick Smith, that contains everything you need to create a complete face prosthetic from gelatin.
      This includes making a face cast, designing and sculpting the prosthetic, making molds and prosthetic pieces and finally applying the prosthetics and make up. He includes a detailed list of all the materials you need as well as where to buy them. He gives you lots of tips and advice but apart from this you are on your own. I found some of the stages really tricky but thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. I did use lots of books and sites for that extra help but I am obsessed with special effects so would have been doing that anyway. The materials aren’t cheap either but you can buy them in stages.

      It’s a great course and allows you to decide if you want to pursue the art of effects further and also if you have the ability of course, as you get a detailed review of your work at the end from a professional in the business.

      I hope this helps? I’d love to hear if you decide to go for the course and how you get on. It’s really useful to share experiences as you mentioned.

      Good luck 🙂

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      1. Thank you very much “zombie girl” … you are so helpful in understanding the internals of makeup.

        regards,
        Chap from India

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      2. Hey 🙂
        Thanks for the kind words!! I’m very glad to be able to help a bit, I’m just learning myself so it’s all new to me too. Please get in touch and let me know how you’re getting on 🙂

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  2. Hi
    I thought for having no training you did some good work. I am debating on doing the course myself. I have no previous training whatsoever, is the basic course very hard? I’ll be able to dedicate about 20ish hours a week. I was also wondering how much, roughly, supplies cost? Overall do you gain any real amount of skill and would you rec. it to a fellow novice/horror nut like myself?

    thanks for the time
    Paul

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    1. Hey Paul I’m so sorry for not replying earlier, I’ve been hopeless at updating my blog over the Christmas period. The Basic Course is perfect if you have no prior experience. I didn’t either and I managed it so it’s a great way to work out if you have the skills to progress further. You basically design, sculpt, mold and cast a character prosthetic from start to finish in Gelatin (Gel Foam Cubex) as well as application and makeup. You have all the instructions and equipment lists you need but there are parts where I kind of had to make it up a bit where I wasn’t sure. I haven’t got the equipment list with me but maybe £450 altogether possibly less i can’t really remember, I’ll try and dig it out for you. You can pay as you go though as there are definite stages so that might help. At the end you take detailed photos and submit them via email and they are assessed and critiqued by an expert special effects artist in Hollywood. You learn all the basic skills for a prosthetic makeup so it’s highly recommended. You have to pass the Basic before you can move onto the Advanced course which covers EVERY aspect you’ll ever need to know of the art of special effects so this is a great place to start. If you have a passion like me you’ll love every second … Please get in touch and I’ll help as much as I can. I’ll answer much more promptly from now on too 🙂

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      1. Hi,

        I just want to say that you do not have to do the basic before the advanced if you have a portfolio of work and it is assessed as being good enough to do the advanced. Another great source of information on FX MU is theeffectslab.com, loads of tutorials and if you need advice just ask and you will get assistance from someone there, I find the lab absolutely invaluable and its completely free.

        Sian

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      2. Hi thanks so much! I actually knew that and should have made it clear but I often forget to include things of importance when I’m rambling on so I will add the correct info 🙂 And thanks also for the recommend. theeffectslab.com is an incredibly useful source of information for me too, I totally agree. I should maybe write a post about all the useful places I’ve been recommended or have stumbled across for fellow SFX nuts 😀

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  3. Your blog is SO very helpful and interesting– I’m enrolling in the basic course with Dick Smith. Do you have the list of items I’ll need? I’ve tried to generate a list by reading your blog, and I’ve emailed Dick Smith but have yet to hear from him/them. Can you post or email a list pretty pretty please? 🙂 My work will pay for my supplies if I buy them before Wednesday.

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    1. Hey Gordon, I’m so sorry for not replying earlier, I see I missed your deadline :S I’ve been away for a while and haven’t been to the studio where all the info you need for ages. I should be going this week sometime however and wondered if you still need the info? I think I have the page you need somewhere and would be more than happy to send you it if you still need it. Please let me know and I’ll get on it.
      Many apologies again and thanks for the kind words. I’m very glad the blog has been useful 🙂 Zoe

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  4. You replied! Thank you 🙂 I’ve started the course and am photo-documenting the process. I’m happy to field questions for those of you reading this blog– and to tell you more about the course.

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  5. Hiya, I have signed up for the Dick Smith Basic 3D Course. I am trying desperately to get all the materials listed, however as most are American based the postage is a crazy amount! I have been trying to find uk equivalents but am still unsure what I should be purchasing- any advice would be greatly appreciated! 🙂

    Like

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