IMA’s Under 18s SFX Workshop

Do you dream of a career as a professional special effects makeup artist in film and television? Are you aged 14 to 17 and interested in Special effects makeup? Each term, we invite under 18s with a passion for the makeup industry to spend 3 days in our state-of-the-art facilities at Pinewood Studios and learn how to create cuts, burns, scars and more. The students are taught by our highly experienced tutors who give a true insight into the life of a professional SFX makeup artist as well as the chance to have hands on experience with a range of industry standard products.

Below is a day by day of what students can cover during the workshop.

Day One:

The students are given a presentation about the makeup industry itself and different specialities within. Tutors Sarah – Jane Pucci and Steffi Bergmans discuss the different SFX products used both in a makeup artists kit as well as prosthetics and the process used to sculpt mould and apply them. The class then move onto talk about the industry through the ages and how SFX makeup has evolved over time into what it is today.  This then led onto how artists use SFX in film and TV as well as Theatre.

Sarah – Jane and Steffi gave a demonstration of different types of scratches using various products as well as types of bloods with their multiple uses. This then led to the discussion of prosthetics and the materials used to make them ready for application. This includes Bondos, which are instant application prosthetics as well as Daps, 2 parts silicone.

The demonstration then led to the different products you can use to colour your prosthetic or wound, the main products being greasepaints or illustrator palettes.

Once the demo concluded, the students were then able to apply products on themselves to understand the products as well as learning the removal process safely.

Day Two:

Day two demonstrated how to create different types of bruising. This involved the students learning the multiple techniques of application, the ages of bruising as well as the location of bruising. These are the main key points to create a realistic bruise.

The class then moved on to black eyes. Students were given a safety talk about SFX makeup around the eye area, especially when using new products. The tutors then covered dirt makeup and how you can use subtle dirt effects for injury’s, especially on location shoots.

Nearing the end of day two, the students were given blank face charts for them to start designing and planning their character makeups for their final looks.

Day Three:

The final day consists of putting all the skills the students have learnt together to create a final character. Throughout the day, the students finish off their face charts and pre plan products, using notes around the chart for what SFX products they would like to use. They then have time to practice the techniques from earlier in the week and ask tutors to go over any skills they may be struggling with. Once planned and prepped, the students then create their final characters.

These are then assessed by the tutors in front of an industry standard camera so students can get feedback on their designs. The students are then able to take photos of their work to put forward for portfolio use or just to look back on!

We would like to say a massive well done to all of our August 2023 SFX Workshop students and we hope to see you again in the future. Keep exploring, experimenting, and honing your skills. The future holds endless opportunities for you and your talents!

Want a career in Makeup but are too young to study? Join us for our next Under 18s Workshop in October 2023, click here for more information!

If you have any  questions, please email us at Our next Open Day is 30th September 2023 sign up here if you would like to book a place. 

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