We’ve been offering workshops for a number of years now and I almost always get at least one person calling who is unsure about whether she or he has enough experience to take the workshop. In the fall we offered one on mask making and special effects make-up with the Glenbow Museum in conjunction with their Fairy Tales and Monsters exhibit. Jenn and Todd were two participants who took the course, and then signed up for a Face Casting course which we offered in January. They had no formal training in special effects and prosthetics, yet their face casts turned out very well – they were perfect examples of two people who had played around with some spfx but gained value and confidence by taking a course without having to invest in a lengthier and more costly program. We’ve seen time and time again that even if you’re formally educated in the field it does not guarantee success. In fact, the individuals who instructed the Face Casting course are two of the most talented people we’ve worked with, and neither of them have formal training in what they’re doing. But that’s for another blog. Jenn and Todd gave us some insight into why they took the Face Casting course and what they got out of it.
Why did you take the Face Casting Course?
Jenn: I’ve always played around with special effects and wanted to be able to take it to the next level. I’ve always wanted to learn more but found it hard in Calgary to find places to take courses a la carte.
Todd: I have always had a fascination with special effects/ prosthetics/ appliances since I was a kid. The recent shows (Face Off and Monster Man) helped spur my most recent love of special effects makeup and the methods behind how they get the job done.
Was the course different from what you expected and if so why?
Jenn: The course was exactly what I expected – except more fun.
Todd: The course was everything that I was expecting and more.
What did you get out of the course?
Jenn: Learning how to make a cast and the tips and tricks we were shown were invaluable. The experience of the instructors showed, as did their love for what they do.
Todd: Besides an awesome face cast? I got a ton of knowledge. You can read a book on how to do it, watch a YouTube video on how as well, but until you actually do it for yourself, you just don’t get that deep knowledge and understanding of the process. Having Brandon and Amanda there helping us through the process was great. They were excellent sources of knowledge and helped get us through the castings.
Would you recommend it to others and if so why?
Jenn: I would absolutely recommend this course to others. The information was provided in a way that students like me with no training could follow and feel confident enough to try it again on my own.
Todd: Absolutely! I had an incredible time there and learned so much. The course was set up in a way that everyone in the class (those with experience, and those with little to none) could follow along and feel confident enough to try it again outside the classroom.
What’s your background?
Jenn: As for my background, I was a hairstylist for 15 years and an admin now. Played around with special effects makeup and purchased appliances since I was a kid.
Todd: By trade, I am a techie. I work with fibre optic systems. However, come Halloween, I always try my hand at spfx make up and appliance application.
Anything else to add?
Jenn: I think that having courses available to people who are not in the industry or who have not taken a program at a post-secondary institution is a wonderful thing. It allows people to try things out, to get some experience, and maybe continue on with more classes.
Todd: I think that having the course set up in such a way that you can take a beginner (like me), lead them through the course (right alongside other classmates who have working industry skill/experience) and get them to a point where they feel that they have enough confidence to continue on to the next round of courses is fantastic.
We always try to provide courses that are helpful and wanted by the community. If you have ideas on what you’d like to see let us know. The next scheduled workshop is on February 9/10 and will focus on Plate Molds and Applications. For course information, go to http://www.bleedingartindustries.com/services/.
Thanks Jenn and Todd for contributing to this blog and for letting us showcase your results!