Beauty & Age Makeup from Script to Screen with Academy Award winner, Bill Corso

Learn beauty & age makeup technique from an Academy Award winner. Bill Corso takes you through the makeup creation process from script to screen

Aug 26, 2012


The wonderful thing about the array of lessons from the Stan Winston School of the Character Arts is that they really do run the gamut of pretty much everything the character creation and special effects industry has to offer.  Sometimes a lesson is extremely detailed, dealing with a very specific type of process.  Other times a lesson is more broad, covering all the strokes of a much larger process.  This week’s lesson, Beauty & Age Makeup: From Script to Screen is unique in that its really a bit of both.  Not only does Academy Award winning makeup artist Bill Corso guide you through the entire process of taking a character from script to screen, but he also shows you the finer detailed processes of both beauty and aging makeup as well.  This is definitely a journey of both the larger, broad strokes as well as the smaller, detailed aspects of the craft.


First, let’s talk about Bill Corso.  He definitely is the perfect man to take you on this voyage.  He talks about the importance of being competent in both kinds of makeup – effects makeup AND beauty makeup.  He definitely is both.  Not only has he won numerous awards for both these kinds of work, but he’s also unbelievably personable, and a pleasure to listen to.  It’s no wonder he works so well in a collaborative setting.  And this to me is a major focus point.


Collaboration is definitely an important quality to pay attention to during this lesson.  Some might disagree, but I would say that most things, and especially in the entertainment industry, work best in a collaborative setting.  You will definitely see this and hear Bill talk about it quite often in this lesson.  If you are taking a character from script to screen, there are many people that need to be on the same page for it to work.  Obviously, as with most things, the work begins with a writer.  The character he or she writes on the page is the blueprint for everything yet to come.  But for the sake of this lesson, it’s everything afterward that becomes the focus.


Bill takes the description from the page and comes up with his plan of attack.  It’s here that the collaboration really begins.  He meets with the actress and starts talking about what he wants to do.  In the video, we see these meetings.  He talks about the aspects of the character with her, what he plans on doing, and if she has any ideas or input herself.  This is all to make sure she’s comfortable.  With good collaboration, comes a good comfort level.  He listens to the input from all sides, including if the director has notes, and starts his work.


From here, Bill goes to the computer.  One amazing thing about this week’s lesson is that it could almost be a solo lesson on Photoshop as well.  There are so many detailed steps shown in order to age the actress that, by the end, I guarantee even if you’re Photoshop proficient, you’ll learn a few new things as well.  The before and after shots here are pretty amazing.  Again, this is all part of being collaborative in order to show the director, hair stylist, and actress, the end product he’s looking for.


After that, we go through lessons on both beauty makeup, as well as aging makeup.  The beauty makeup section is lengthy and chock full of useful tidbits.


The aging makeup section, and accompanying chunk on prosthetic transfers is also something not to be missed.  These parts of the lesson are extremely detailed and really showcase why Bill is considered one of the best in the business.


In the end, when you see how the actress ages from late 20’s to mid 60’s, the craftsmanship involved really floors you.  But as I mentioned, what really is something to pay attention to is the focus on collaboration.  You don’t get somewhere on skill alone.  You need to be open to the collaborative process as well, which is one of the most important lessons that Bill teaches in this course.

Enjoy the lesson HERE.

-Jeff Dixon