Instructor Thomas Surprenant is a two-time Emmy Award winning special effects makeup artist with over 30 years experience in film, TV and theater. He has worked on many notable TV shows and films including Star Trek, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, X-Men: The Last Stand, and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. He is also the creator of specialty product line Thomas Surprenant Creations and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Art of Makeup.
Be among the first students in the Northwest to participate in this intensive, unique, and special opportunity.
Character & Special FX Makeup – 207 clock hours
Program designed and instructed by Emmy winning SFX master Thomas Surprenant
The Character & Special FX Makeup Certificate Program provides an education specific to those seeking a career in special effects makeup artistry. These skills prepare individuals to provide special effects makeup services for film, television, commercials, photo shoots, and theatrical performances. These specialized techniques also prepare students to be employed working in a special effects lab. Students learn character makeup and appliance fabrication and application techniques to create any transformation required for the creative development of the story written for film, television, or theatrical productions. Special effects makeup is also often used in commercials, music videos, and photo shoots.
A 7 week Daytime schedule is available. The Character & Special FX Makeup Certificate Program combines 10 courses, providing a comprehensive education and preparation for student graduates to explore career options in film, television, commercial, print, and stage. The program includes a special effects makeup photo shoot day with a professional photographer and model.
Classes are a combination of lectures, demos, student application, and photo shoots. Students alternate practicing on each other in order to work with a variety of skin types and coloring, while gaining the experience of working with different subjects. Photos are shot throughout the program in a portrait studio and/or outdoors. A Certificate of Completion is issued upon successful graduation.
Highlights of Program:
- Certificate of Completion issued upon successful graduation
- Membership on the private AofM job board (for 18 months after graduation)
- Discounts from hundreds of pro and major makeup/hair product brands (ongoing after gradation)
- High resolution pictures from our portrait studio for portfolio building and documentation
- Theatre Makeup
- Hair Laying, Dressing & Construction
- Out of the Kit FX II
- Working Special FX
- Character Aging Makeup
- Bald Cap Fabrication & Application
- Prosthetic Design, Fabrication & Application
- Career Marketing II
- Special FX Photo Shoot
- Kit needed: Character & Special FX Kit
2017 Character & Special FX Makeup Schedule:
Feb 20-April 5 Day Schedule
Theatre Makeup 12 clock hours
This course teaches theatrical highlight and contour, juvenile, hero, and old age makeup for the stage. Product knowledge and character design are also covered.
Hair Laying, Dressing & Construction 30 clock hours
This course teaches students how to hand glue hair to the face and body, removal techniques, and dress and construct lace pieces by hand tying hair for a convincing transformation. A combination of methods and types of hair such as human, yak, and crepe hair will be used, using the top products in the film industry. Mr. Surprenant used these techniques on Star Trek Deep Space Nine, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and many more productions.
Out of the Kit FX II 12 clock hours
These out of the kit effects are special effects that can be created quickly and easily without the use of a makeup lab. These effects can be created in the makeup trailer or on the set without any preparation time. Effects covered in this course include creating a charred burn, disaster victims and broken glass, ice and snow, sunburn, dirt and blood application and removal. Mr. Surprenant used some of these techniques in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
Working Special FX 7 clock hours
Working special effects are effects that are often in motion during a scene and requires a technique called blood tubing. It is the responsibility of the makeup artist to rig a system to enable the actor to start bleeding in the middle of a scene. This course teaches this special skill. Mr. Surprenant used this technique on the feature Quarantine.
Character Aging Makeup 18 clock hours
Realistic ageing makeup techniques are taught in this course with the use of prosthetics and various ageing makeup materials that can be applied to working in film, television or stage productions. Mr. Surprenant won an Emmy Award for his ageing makeup on Star Trek Deep Space Nine.
Bald Cap Fabrication & Application 18 clock hours
This course covers the creation and application of bald caps. Application methods with short hair and long hair will be covered, as well as different materials of bald caps such as latex and vinyl. Painting, hair punching, and application for both theater and film and television are also included. Mr. Surprenant used these techniques on Craig Ferguson, on Ice Cube’s “Natural Born Killaz” music video, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and many many more productions.
Lifecasting 12 clock hours
Students will learn how to make a life cast, and take home a plaster form of their face that they can use to sculpt off of over and over again as well as create prosthetics pieces from their molds that they can apply to the face and body. Mr. Surprenant used this technique for countless film and television productions.
Prosthetic Design, Fabrication & Application 89 clock hours
Creativity is boundless in this course that includes instruction in sculpting, mold making, prosthetic design and fabrication in a variety of mediums including foam latex, pros-aide transfers, and silicone appliances. Application, hand and airbrush painting, removal, and safety is covered. Character design is also included. Mr. Surprenant used these techniques on Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Oscar nominated), Star Trek and countless other film and television productions.
Career Marketing II 2 clock hours
Students will learn marketing techniques, social media trends, resources, best business practices, etiquette, rates, invoicing, and other useful tips to begin a career as a professional special fx makeup artist.
Special FX Photo Shoot 7 clock hours
Students get a chance to use creativity and skills learned in class to create their final character makeup look. They will design and create a unique character makeup. Professional photos are shot in our portrait studio and/or outdoors throughout our location. Students choose five photographs to keep for personal and career building use. All selected images are professionally retouched.
Contact us to set up an appointment or learn more.
Check out program designer and instructor Thomas Surprenant’s Facebook Fan page. Incredible body of work!
HOURS: Monday-Friday 10:00am-5:00pm unless otherwise indicated.
This program is not yet offered on the Weekend/Evening schedule.
Click here for full Schedule in Calendar view
Session #2 June 19 – Aug 4
June 19-20 Theatre Makeup
June 21-23, 26-27 Hair Laying, Dressing & Construction
June 28-29 Out of the Kit FX II
June 30 Working Special FX (10a-6p)
July 3, 5-6 Character Aging Makeup
July 7, 10-11 Bald Cap Fabrication & Application
July 12-13 Lifecasting
July 14, 17-21, 24-28, 31, Aug 1-2 Prosthetic Design, Fabrication & Application
Aug 3 Prosthetic Design, Fabrication & Application and Career Marketing II (10a-6p)
Aug 4 Special FX Photo Shoot (10a-6p)
Session #3 Oct 23 – Dec 14
Oct 23-24 Theatre Makeup
Oct 25-27, 30-31 Hair Laying, Dressing & Construction
Nov 1-2 Out of the Kit FX II
Nov 3 Working Special FX (10a-6p)
Nov 6-8 Character Aging Makeup
Nov 9-10, 13 Bald Cap Fabrication & Application
Nov 14-15 Lifecasting
Nov 16-17 Prosthetic Design, Fabrication & Application
Thanksgiving week closed
Nov 27-30, Dec 1, 4-8, 11-12 Prosthetic Design, Fabrication & Application
Dec 13 Prosthetic Design, Fabrication & Application and Career Marketing II (10a-6p)
Dec 14 Special FX Photo Shoot (10a-6p)
* Prosthetic Design, Fabrication & Application
* Bald Cap Fabrication & Application
* Hair Laying, Dressing & Construction
* Working Special FX
* Out of the Kit FX
* Theatre Makeup
* Character Aging Makeup
* Lab experience
Certificate Program Tuition & Fees
Character & Special FX Makeup Tuition $3,895
Lab Materials $500
Character & Special FX Makeup Kit $700
Tuition + Lab Materials + Kit = $5,095
Also interested in The Master Class? The Multimedia Master Makeup Artist 14-week Certificate Program includes both The Master Class and the Character & Special FX Makeup programs
Individual Course Tuition & Fees
Theatre Makeup $275 (+$25 lab fee)
Hair Laying, Dressing & Construction $600 (+$75 lab fee)
Out of the Kit FX II $275 (no lab fee)
Working Special FX $150 (+$25 lab fee)
Character Aging Makeup $425 (+$40 lab fee)
Bald Cap Fabrication & Application $425 (+$25 lab fee)
Lifecasting $275 (+$75 lab fee)
Prosthetic Design, Fabrication & Application $1,995 (+$250 lab fee)
Additional supplies are necessary and available for purchase upon request. Contact Us to request a list of necessary supplies needed for individual courses or to learn more.
💥FX Makeup💄Demo at AOM 📣
Posted by Michael Key on Sunday, December 11, 2016