Top Tips from Special Effects Artist Veronica McAleer

09 Feb 2017

4 mins
Top Tips from Special Effects Artist Veronica McAleer

As part of our Behind-The-Scenes industry interaction programme - which enables young people from all backgrounds to have access to a creative professional - students from Lyndon School in Solihull, welcomed Special Effects Artist Veronica McAleer into their school.

Having worked on films like Shakespeare in LoveThe Da Vinci Code, and the recent action film Assassin's Creed, Veronica has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to creating realistic special effects. See what top tips she gives to pupils in the video above.

Lyndon School teacher Mr. Spurr spoke to us after the visit, enthusing about the students' newly found interest in the world of special effects.

"The workshop was a really unique occasion to be a part of. It allowed our students to peak behind the curtain to see one of the many creative jobs that can be found in the film industry. A number of students have expressed an interest in pursuing a career in ‘practical crafts' in films, with make-up being a popular one." 

Hearing Veronica's tales from inside Hollywood, coupled with the hands-on workshop, the students had a great introductory taste of life as a make-up artist.

Lyndon School teacher, Mr. Spurr

Want to know how to make your own fake blood from materials found in the kitchen? Special effects artist Brian Kinney - who worked on the Hunger Games films - offers his own personal top tips below.

Makeup Tips from Brian Kinney

  1. Food colouring (black or green + red) added to mouthwash and rinsed gives a great dark, rotten mouth effect.
  2. Strong hair gel mixed with instant coffee is great for creating a rotten slime effect on the skin or scalp.
  3. Mashed banana mixed with fake blood makes for a nice, fatty-looking wound filler.
  4. When making fake blood, adding condensed or powdered milk to food colouring and golden syrup will make the blood more opaque and realistic looking. The same applies when added to jelly, for edible organs and brains effect.
  5. Thinning fake blood on skin with a spritz of water will give it a more realistic consistency and coverage.

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