Special Effects Makeup Artist Career

Job Description: Apply makeup to performers to reflect period, setting, and situation of their role.

*A job as a Special Effects Makeup Artist falls under the broader career category of Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performance. The information on this page will generally apply to all careers in this category. We are still seeking more specific information about this career from experts in this field. If you can provide us with more information, .

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Special Effects Makeup Artist Career

What Special Effects Makeup Artists do:

  • Alter or maintain makeup during productions as necessary to compensate for lighting changes or to achieve continuity of effect.
  • Provide performers with makeup removal assistance after performances have been completed.
  • Study production information, such as character descriptions, period settings, and situations in order to determine makeup requirements.
  • Confer with stage or motion picture officials and performers in order to determine desired effects.
  • Evaluate environmental characteristics such as venue size and lighting plans in order to determine makeup requirements.
  • Examine sketches, photographs, and plaster models in order to obtain desired character image depiction.
  • Requisition or acquire needed materials for special effects, including wigs, beards, and special cosmetics.
  • Write makeup sheets and take photos in order to document specific looks and the products that were used to achieve the looks.
  • Duplicate work precisely in order to replicate characters' appearances on a daily basis.
  • Analyze a script, noting events that affect each character's appearance, so that plans can be made for each scene.
  • Apply makeup to enhance, and/or alter the appearance of people appearing in productions such as movies.
  • Assess performers' skin-type in order to ensure that make-up will not cause break-outs or skin irritations.
  • Attach prostheses to performers and apply makeup in order to create special features or effects such as scars, aging, or illness.
  • Establish budgets, and work within budgetary limits.
  • Select desired makeup shades from stock, or mix oil, grease, and coloring in order to achieve specific color effects.
  • Create character drawings or models, based upon independent research, in order to augment period production files.
  • Cleanse and tone the skin in order to prepare it for makeup application.
  • Design rubber or plastic prostheses that can be used to change performers' appearances.
  • Demonstrate products to clients, and provide instruction in makeup application.
  • Advise hairdressers on the hairstyles required for character parts.
  • Wash and reset wigs.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Staffing Organizational Units - Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

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