Well it looks like I finally got all the stuff together to work out this ZOOM thing! I am really excited about this because it means that not only will I still be able to teach and people will still be able to take classes safely during the covid-19 crisis; but even after we work our way out of all this craziness , it will be a great way to bring more classes to people all over the world!
One thing that was always a stumbling block for many people learning was the cost of travel and high costs of classes plus materials. Let's face it, this stuff isn't cheap. Knowing how hard it was for me as a younger person to get access to products and education, I've always made a commitment to bring this art to people as affordably as I can, without shooting myself in the foot. (In many cases, I've shot myself in both feet in that attempt ...expensive lessons learned!) BUT, that is also why I am so very excited about this class series because it is just that. Very affordable. Procuring and using your own materials helps keep that bottom line cost down. This series is especially good for someone just building a kit and your knowledge, I'm literally giving you a list of all the cool stuff you should have in a kit, and you can take as many or as few of these classes as you like. That's not to say more advanced people wont get something out of it as well. The beautiful thing about these classic monsters is that each one of them is perfect in their own way to teach with. They are perfect for people who are just beginning (The COUNT) all the way up to those who are more advanced (The MONSTER). Plus, I just love classic monsters, I mean, really... who doesn't? Do those people exist? If they do not sure I want to know them!
Not to mention, Jack Pierce is THE roll model to so many of us Makeup folks. I have always appreciated not just this artwork, but the class he brought to the art. I have always wanted to do something like this to honor that contribution to what all do and love, and these characters, HIS characters; combined with the construction techniques he utilized, coupled with today's products, can be easily taught and understood by just about anyone that cares to learn it. Now that doesn't mean it will come without practicing it, practice is key and thats is why these lessons are spaced out a week from each other. I want you to practice before we move onto the next monster. Each monsters out-of-kit skills will build on the last ones.
I, personally got very good at construction, or "out-of-kit" makeups very early on as a kid, since I had no access to foam latex, and I was doing a lot of accident drills for schools, the ambulance authority, etc. I will never forget an old paramedic friend of mine, Gary Harper, (rest his soul) standing over my shoulder. I was around 19-20 yrs old, and him telling me, "need more red there, little more black there, maybe a bit more blood....yep right there ... YEP, that fella would die from that!" quite a authentic reference, if not my own eyes! Things aren't that way now a days, construction makeup isn't utilized as much anymore on sets, because of the 4k detail in the images, the technique was even starting to date itself as Mr. Pierce was reluctant to embrace the newer "pre made latex peices". Today, anyone has access to foam latex thanks to the internet, and there are so many Youtube videos out there but, how do you make sense of where to begin? Well, I believe something like this is the best place to begin. It's like climbing a ladder, you cant really get to the top rung without all the other ones underneath it. These techniques and methods are the rungs of that ladder, they are staples to anyone wanting to become a good competent on-set makeup artist, F/X or otherwise.
As an on-set artist, you never know when a director is going to walk in out of the blue, completely undiscussed, and say, "Hey, can this guy have a big gash across his forehead?" (especially on indies and low budgets, they will try to sneak that little stuff in there they didn't want to pay for upfront!!! ha, jokes on them thats what a kit fee is for!) So when that happens, ya dont panic, ya dont throw a fit, ya just roll with the punches and end up the hero of the day's shoot...IF you know how to do good construction makeups, that is! Being a makeup artist isn't just about eye shadows and lipsticks, or even throwing down a piece, and painting it. I know that's a common misconception. There is an entire cadre of multi-faceted skills that go into that title. Using classic monsters to teach some of those skills is something I've always wanted to do, and is, in its own, way an homage to the gentleman that taught me those skills with classic monsters, Mr. Joe Blasco. The Monsters were a staple of his courses back when I went to school there. It was actually one of my decisions in attending as I was a very big fan of Mr. Peirce prior. Mr. Blasco was as well, and it was completely apparent when I saw him do a perfect recreation of Mr. Pierce's Frankenstein Monster on several occasions. It was pretty intense. Mr. B. made it a point to understand and break these applications down and he passed that on to his students. Now, I'm No Mr. B. and definitely no Mr. Pierce, but they give us inspiration, as those that came before us, and we add our own seasonings to the pot. SO, Please keep in mind, this is not an "exact recreation course" Please do not think that we are going to be doing screen accurate recreations. No, I am an artist myself and as always have to put my own artistic spin to any recognizable character I recreate in cosplay, in class, or otherwise. Rest assured, these classes will follow the same steps and techniques as Mr. Pierce, as closely as we can, with todays materials, and when we can't we will discuss the differences between the 1930's and what he did, and what we are doing in class, in 2020.
So, rather than write a blog thats ten pages long (too late?) I'll break it down by class. I will do a different blog for each class. Explaining in more detail what I'm going to talk about during the course and what we will cover. I'll also put a list of suggested materials and products that are going to be readily available this time of year for anyone to gather together before the class (that is, if you don't already have these items in your burgeoning makeup artist kit!) That way, if you choose, you can practice along with me during the class. Choose all of them or one of them, it's up to you what you think you need to work on. It's a great way to brush up your skills at a very affordable price and it will be just like I'm right there with ya!
Thanks for stopping by and giving me 5 mins of your day to read this diatribe! lol I hope you all have a great weekend! Stay tuned, neat things will come in the following days. I'll get to work on those specific blogs about the classes, starting with THE COUNT's and that will be up tomorrow or Monday morning so check back soon, or sign up for the notifications! I hope I can see you guys in my ZOOM classes next month! Be well, be safe, be smart! Wear a mask! ;)