Special Effects Makeup Artist Program

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  • 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

The Special Effects Makeup Artist program is limited to 10 students per session. Early enrollment is encouraged. No pre-requisites- suitable for beginners to intermediate students.

Includes Special Effects Makeup Kit & Materials needed for class

The Special Effects Program at AMUA is an intense 5 month program that prepares students for careers as fx lab or shop artists and/or production makeup artists for television and film. Right from the start, students are immersed in hands-on experiences, which are essential to our philosophy. We begin with a thorough understanding of industry standard products and their applications as we explore 2-Dimensional painting. These makeups include bruising, drug addict and frost bite. Studying real-life physiology and references enhances the illusion for the camera.

As we progress, we introduce current film techniques such as 3-D transfers. Here we also begin the element of sculpture which evolves into making a gelatin nose and the beginnings of appliance based makeups. A background in sculpture, while beneficial, is not required. We start from the basics and lead students through every step of learning to sculpt.

To create custom-fitted appliances to the actor, a life cast is necessary. We life cast each student before we begin to build character makeups using foam latex appliances, encapsulated silicone, pros-aide cream and gelatin. The culmination of the course is a fully realized character makeup which we professionally photograph for the students’ portfolios.

Beyond expert makeup skills, an understanding of business and the industry is critical. Special Effects Program students are invited to partake in our intensive week-long makeup business class that is offered 4 times each year.

Special Effects graduates have numerous career options, some of which have their beginnings in the course itself. Students have had the opportunity to work on film and music video sets while still enrolled! The film industry is booming in the South, and our graduates are on the ground floor of this industry.

The Special Effects program is taught by Ben Rittenhouse, an Emmy Award winning makeup artist (The Pacific, 2010). Ben has a tenured career in the entertainment industry, with recent projects including: 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.

  • 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

2017

  • January 9 – May 26 – Closed
  • August 1 – December 19 – 6 Seats Remaining

2018

  • January 8 – May 25 – 9 Seats Remaining

Last updated 6/15/17

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.