• Robyn

AD712 FX AND PROSTHETICS ESSENTIALS 18S1

Week 2 - Stuart Conran: Illness, sickness, disease and ailments.



In week 2, we had the privilege of being taught by the legendary Stuart Conran. Stuart came with a plethora of knowledge and experience and an impressive imdb page as long as your arm (containing a few all-time personal favourites of mine such as Shaun of the Dead and The Peter Serofenowitz Show, to name but a few).


Having been interested in special effects make-up since the age of 7 (beginning with an obsession with Hammer films, Star Wars & Dick Smith) Stuart began work on a student film before leaving senior school & with contacts from this he went into his first job with Bob Keen on “Hellraiser” in 1986 as runner, trainee & general dogsbody.

Much freelancing ensued, working on other Image Animation films (“Waxwork”, “Hellraiser II”, “The Unholy” & “Lair Of The White Worm”) “Batman” & various commercials, mainly specialising in mouldmaking, ending up at spitting image on a semi-permanent basis.

He went to New Zealand in 1991, working on Peter Jackson’s “Braindead”, Jane campion’s “The Piano” & in a complete change of tac, an architectural mouldmaking job for the New Zealand government’s parliament library, heading up master mouldmaking of architectural pieces.

Returning to the UK, he got back to freelancing for various companies & more independent work for commercials, promos & shorts.

Over the past few years Stuart’s credits have included “The Madness Of King George”, “Saving private Ryan”, “From Hell”, “The Hours” (Bafta nominated- best make-up), “The Sin Eater”, “Shaun Of The Dead” & “Alexander”.

TV work includes “Men Behaving Badly”, “ultraviolet”, “The Tenth Kingdom”, “Strange” & “Messiah 3”. Promos for Edwyn Collins, Fatboy Slim, EMF & Squarepusher. Ad & corporate clients include Coke, Lloyds Bank, Levi’s, Royal Bank Of Scotland, Always, London Underground & Wrigley’s (runner up- best make-up & prosthetics, BTAA Craft Awards 2004). (taken from Stuart's website)




As Stuart was teaching us sickness make-up, he walked us through his kit he’d use for this kind of make-up.


Suprisingly, the bulk of the texture providing properties were easily obtainable househould items such as:

· cornmeal/polenta,

· tea,

· cereals (oatbran, bran flour, cracked wheat, oats etc).





As well as the more conventional:

· Gelatin

· Pro/bondo

· Sculpt gel

· Tattoo transfer paper& acetate

· Prosaide

· Duo

· Tuplast/scar material


For colour:

· Supracolor

· Illustrator palettes

· Ben Nye colour wheels

· Derma Color

· Rubber mask grease paint (heavily pigmented)


Stuart talked in some depth regarding the importance of reference images and where to find reliable and realistic sources, including:

· Photojournalism

· Police mugshots

· Portrait photography

· ‘Street’ photography


The significance of the context was also discussed at some length, which gave us a lot to think about when deciding on an appropriate character to create the following day. We also got a lot of inspiration from Stuart's demo's




My “crack head” make-up, using the techniques we'd be shown by Stuart




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