Special Effects Makeup Artist Program

The images portrayed should be seen as the instructor’s capability of conveying skill sets and information to his students and as a visual representation of his classroom and not as the instructor’s personal work.

  • Contact Hours: 700
  • Duration: 20 Weeks
  • Meets: Monday-Friday 9-5 PM
  • Total Cost: $21,050
    • Registration Fee: $100
    • Tuition: $17,500
    • Kit & Materials: $3,450
  • Award: Diploma

Includes Special Effects Makeup Kit & Materials needed for class. Estimated cost of other supplies is less than $150.

It is strongly recommended, but not required, that students successfully complete the Freelance Makeup Artist Program or the Advanced Makeup Artist Program prior to enrolling in this Program.

The Special Effects Makeup Artist program is limited to 10 students per session. Early enrollment is encouraged.

For as long as you can remember, you’ve been fascinated by the monsters and magic of stage and screen. As a makeup artist, you want to bring the visions of artists and dreamers to life. You’re looking for a chance to learn from the award-winning experts behind the blockbusters, and to get your hands on all of the tools the pros use. And you want to build a portfolio that will prove to producers that you have the skill and imagination to break into the industry.

The next generation of special effect makeup artists is learning at Nashville’s AMUA Special Effects Makeup Artist Program. Led by Emmy Award-winner Ben Rittenhouse (The Pacific), the intensive 20-week program teaches you to create and apply startlingly realistic makeup and prosthetic effects that meet the highest industry standards.

Unlike most schools, AMUA classes work together like real film crews, giving you the closest thing to an on-set experience there is. Before long, you’ll be fabricating full-head prosthetic makeups and collaborating with students from our Wig and Hair Design Program to complete the perfect look for your character.

As you proceed toward your end-of-term capstone project, you’ll also receive personalized instruction in the areas you’re most passionate about. Your portfolio won’t be a dull collection of prefabricated designs, but an expression of who you are and what you can do.

  • Bald cap construction and application
  • Life casting: 3/4 and full head
  • Sculpting techniques
  • Mold making
  • 3D Transfers
  • Encapsulated silicone
  • Teeth and dentures
  • Airbrush techniques
  • Foam latex appliances
  • Multi-piece appliance make ups
  • Character prosthetic make ups
  • Film script breakdown


  • January 8 – May 25
  • August 1 – December 21
Ben Rittenhouse

Ben Rittenhouse is an Emmy Award winning makeup artist (The Pacific, 2010). Ben specializes in special effects makeup, prop making, prosthetics and has cultivated a successful and tenured career in the entertainment industry. Some of his recent projects include: Star Trek, Hunger Games, Avatar, Anchorman, Hangover 3, CSI, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe, Kill Bill: Vol 1&2, Hulk, RIPD, Grey’s Anatomy, The Mist, Hostel, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Hills Have Eyes, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and Sin City.