The Art of Makeup is thrilled to welcome internationally known and best selling author and makeup and special effects artist, Todd Debreceni of Special Makeup Effects for Stage and Screen: Making and Applying Prosthetics. He is at The Art of Makeup now currently teaching the Prosthetic Design, Fabrication & Application portion of our Character & Special Effects program! Todd has worked and been an educator in film, television, and theatre makeup all over the world for more than 30 years, and his background in orthopedics and reconstructive plastic surgery have made his transition into prosthetic makeup creation a natural evolution. Todd specializes in the art of designing, sculpting, and applying prosthetics. He continues to teach college courses in cinematography, acting, sculpture, makeup design and visual effects in Denver, CO, which he has done for almost 20 years. This is between film projects, theater productions, and prosthetic design orders that he creates in his special effects lab.
We asked Todd what he’s taken away from being an educator for so long and he said, “We’re never done learning, students continuously teach me new things every day. Often the process of troubleshooting mistakes leads to new discoveries. Take Christien Tinsley for example, his innovation was a happy accident. He had a shipment of Pros Aide cream that froze upon shipment and left it utterly unusable but he realized he could pour it into molds and that was the creation of prosthetic transfers.”
We’re so proud of our Character and Special Effects program led by Thomas Surprenant. The program is going on 3 years this winter with a waiting list of aspiring special effects makeup artists. Creating realistic characters for the big screen always takes a team of talented professionals in the industry and our certificate program is no different. We’ve sought out professionals from around the nation to increase our caliber of artistry education. In the early stages when we began to develop our special effects program, Thomas introduced his colleague Todd to our growing school. Todd flew out and helped us build our foam latex oven for the students to use in the effects lab to create the special effects prosthetic makeup appliances.
Todd is about to launch the 3rd edition of his book, which presents the latest techniques on special effects. Debreceni covers the gear you will need for your kit, step-by-step tutorials, and updated information on lifecasting, advanced airbrushing techniques, and illustrations of the process of fabricating and applying prosthetic makeup appliances throughout. We wanted to know what advice he had for aspiring artists of film and his only advice was, “Quit watching YouTube! There’s loads of videos filmed by amateurs and they aren’t always giving all the information you need to get the correct end result. That’s why I had to write my book. I needed to give the reader something more tangible with better illustrations. It’s not always about the “How-To” but the”Why”. Artists have varied techniques and I wanted to fill the gap of why do one method over the other.”
We’re so grateful to have his experience and mastery added to our program. The students are baking up some crazy creative prosthetics and molds for their final characters. Keep your eyes peeled for the Special Effects photo shoot happening on August 10th. In the meantime, we’ll be sharing the process on Instagram and Facebook as a sneak peek before the final projects are complete!