Academy News
Glenn Hetrick, Special effects Make-up Artist/Designer April 9, 2014

Glenn started his career as a sculptor and designer. Now CEO of Optic Nerve Studios, he personally supervises and designs every effect for his studio’s many projects. Glenn joins the TV & Cinema Academy team as Master, flying in from the USA for a week-long contribution.

Glenn Hetrick, Special effects Make-up Artist/Designer

To be a great SFX makeup artist you need to have Passion and you need to have Commitment. You Need To Have the Discipline to Bring your Passion to Life, to make sacrifices, and study really hard.

Glenn Hetrick, Special effects Make-up Artist/Designer

April 9, 2014

Glenn started his career as a sculptor and designer. Now CEO of Optic Nerve Studios, he personally supervises and designs every effect for his studio’s many projects. Glenn joins the TV & Cinema Academy team as Master, flying in from the USA for a week-long contribution.

What is your definition of Makeup Artist? What is the difference between a Makeup Artist and an SFX Makeup Artist? 

The main difference for me between a Makeup Artist and an SFX Makeup Artist, is that the SFX Makeup Artist’s job is to bring to life the three dimensional vision of the director and the production team (writer and producer). We conceptualize, design and build three dimensional prosthetics, that go beyond what normal straight makeup can do. That is a completely unique skill set that has its own demands. As difficult and challenging as straight makeup can be, SFX makeup is a different skill set that forces its practitioners to study multiple disciplined art. That’s why I love it.
To be a great SFX Makeup Artist you have to learn how to sculpt, paint, and learn how to draw, so you know how to communicate your ideas. It’s difficult and can take a lifetime to be a good sculptor, painter, and illustrator. But to me the challenge of learning to be a successful SFX Makeup Artist that can bring what the writer is creating to the world and provide the director with a three dimensional reality that exceeds his expectations and shocks the audience is the most rewarding thing to me.

What brought you to this industry? What is interesting to you in this industry, is it relationships with directors, producers, you can live through your art?

From early childhood, I was obsessed with hammer films (Dracula with Christopher Lee) and early English horror films. I’ve always wanted to be both: an actor and a Makeup Artist. When I was a child, I assumed the actors did their own monster makeups. That’s how I got addicted to it, through horror and science fiction. I continue to have passion for performing in front of the camera. I do SFX because it gives me the opportunity to combine specific discipline and skill sets to create something that no one else has ever seen before, and put it into a major film – which means I have the widest audience possible for my art. I love to create, but to create for the sake of creating without anyone else seeing it and reacting to it, seems pointless to me. For me, the more people that see my art, the better. It’s all about getting it into a film with the widest possible audience, and effect and influence as many young artists as possible in my time in the industry.

Many Makeup Artists in the USA and in Europe feel that MUAs are not recognized well enough in the industry, do you agree?

It is very difficult as an artist, it is a struggle when you are not getting recognized for your work. If a department gets recognized, it’s only a few people because of the way the award system is set up. It’s not easy. Great makeup takes a team of 20 to 30 people but the system is not set up to acknowledge that many people for creating a creature. It only acknowledges one or two, and a lot of the times it’s not the person that is responsible. I will always give everyone's name if my crew, whoever sculpted something, whoever painted something, is mentioned. For me it was a huge struggle to get recognition but on Face Off, the show is helping Makeup Artists get more recognized and hopefully we are bringing more attention. One of my big goals as a performer and Makeup Artist is to bring more attention and awareness to the men and women that bring these things to life in all departments.

What are your requirements to be a Makeup Artist in the movie industry?

The most important thing to be a great SFX Makeup Artist is to have a passion that would get you through years of difficult practice. You need to have Passion and you need to have Commitment. You need to have discipline to study all different aspects, not just how to glue. You need to know how to sculpt and make different pieces. You Need To Have the Discipline to Bring your Passion to Life, to make sacrifices, and study really hard. It takes years and you need to practice constantly.  You must have passion to live it everyday of your life.

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