Q. How do I contact you?
A. firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (503-887-5198) If you need an answer ASAP, texting is probably the best way to reach me. I'm often on set and not able to answer the phone. If I'm up to my elbows in plaster making a mold, it might be a few hours before I can get back to you.
Q. Why don't you have pricing on your website?
A. Every customer has different requirements when it comes to time, budget, and quality. Every quote is unique for that reason.
Q. What services do you offer?
A. If you need something unique and not on the list, please ask. If I can't help you, I'm sure I know an artist I can refer you to.
Q. Are you super expensive compared to other artists in town?
A. No, I am not....but I'm also not a beginner and I hope my days of working for pizza are far behind me! I try to work with people on their budget. I do have a tip - the sooner you plan your project.....the more money you will save. Materials and overtime is what causes most directors to go into sticker shock. SFX makeup supplies often have to be ordered from out of state, and it is painful watching hundreds of dollars in production money goes into rush shipping charges for materials because someone waited until the last minute to call. Sometimes, because a product is flammable I cannot get it next day shipped. Also, mold making and sculpting take time - you don't want to be paying overtime. So plan ahead and save some serious moolah ($$$$).
Q. Are you willing to travel?
A. Yes! I enjoy working both out of state and out of country. I'm familiar with the complexities of shipping makeup and gear and dealing with customs, and my passport is up to date. The farthest I've traveled to work so far is Lithuania, but it would be fun to break that record (hint hint)
Q. Do you ever assist other artists?
A. Yes, I enjoy assisting and am a solid key. I can also help a day here and there if there is a special need on a film that is outside your regular skill set.
Q. Are you hiring?
A. Yes and no. Because of the up and down nature of the film business, I do not have a regular staff and it depends on the size of the project. You can send resumes with 3-5 portfolio samples to email@example.com. Just to warn you I do have a business background and worked in the corporate world for 15 years.....so I will look askance at resumes with serious typos and sloppy introduction emails.
Q. Do you take interns?
A. Not exactly. I am supportive of people learning, and I'm willing to have visitors. However, I don't have the bandwidth for a formal, paid internship program. Contact me, and we can chat about learning opportunities.
Q. Do you teach classes?
A. I do teach classes occasionally, either privately or through events. Prices vary depending on the subject, venue, etc.
Q. How did you get special effects makeup?
A. Completely by accident. I was walking through a local haunted attraction dressed as a vampire (before you ask, yes it was Halloween), and a security guard started yelling at me to go back to my room. Seeing my confusion, he said "Don't you work here?". When I replied I was a customer, he said "Great makeup! Do you want to work here?"....and I came back the next day. Getting into film was also an accident, and a story for another day.
Q. I want to become the most fantastic FX makeup artist in the world. Should I go to school?
A. I have no idea. It's a personal decision. Everyone learns differently, so I would take a good hard look at how you learn best and make some choices. I was broke and supporting a family, so I learned from books and demos. Everyone has a different journey.
Q. What sort of makeup should I buy to be an FX makeup artist?
A. Again, I have no idea. You just have to start practicing and figure out what you like. I have a zillion products in my kit.....there is no one "makeup" that is be-all-end-all. Just learn your products.
Q. I really really really really want to be an FX artist and I don't know how to start.
A. Start practicing, start being creative. Do it today....not when you are in school or in the future. Go buy a black eyeliner pencil and start practicing skeletons.....something....anything! Raid the kitchen for gore supplies. Get moving. With all the Youtube videos and online tutorials, there is really is not a whole lot of excuses anymore!
Q. What is it like being an special effects makeup artist?
A. Long hours, no sleep, lots of standing, tons of stress, politics, constant fear of disaster, and people trying to get out of paying you for your work on a regular basis. It's also amazingly creative, adventurous, full of problem solving, and a crazy blend of art, science, psychology, and business. Oh, and cleaning. Lots and lots of picking up after you make a giant mess rushing to make a deadline. If you can't handling cleaning, you are in big trouble!