Scarily good work of Media Makeup with Special Effects students

Media Makeup with Special Effects students prove scarily good in cemetery project

Special Effects make-up students from Bradford College have showcased their frighteningly good skills in a cemetery-based project.

Students on the second year of the Media Make-up with Special Effects BA(Hons) degree were tasked with creating characters inspired by the stories of those buried in Undercliffe Cemetery in Bradford.

The horrifyingly realistic work included representations of people drowned, poisoned, decomposed and mutilated.

Leanne Charlston opted to depict a victim of the Newlands Mill disaster of 1882 when a massive mill chimney collapsed killing 54 people and injuring many more.

“My character, Grace Ellen, suffered a severe head injury and lost an eye in the disaster, and died the day after,” explained Leanne.

“It has been a tough project but a great opportunity to practise the technical processes I have been learning including prosthetics, positive and negative moulds and colouring.”

Leanne Charlston's Media Make-up with Special Effects work

Mia Rix chose to depict a woman from the 1930s who, after being heartbroken by the death of her loved one, stabbed herself in the chest and drowned in a lake.

“The woman was having an affair but her lover was sentenced to death so she stabbed herself and fell into a lake,” she explained.

“I have created the character as if she has been in the water a while. I had to do research about what happens when a body has been in the water for a prolonged time which is why her teeth are exposed, her nose partly missing and face bloated and miscoloured.”

Mia Rix's Media Make-up with Special Effects work

Isabelle Newsome chose a character with swollen features having apparently eaten a poisoned apple.

“I didn’t want to go too dark so I went for swollen facial features,” she said.

Isabelle Newsome's Media Make-up with Special Effects work

Bianca Priestley chose, as her subject, a wealthy mill owner from the late Victorian era using her detailed media make-up techniques to show what he would look like after starting to decompose.

Bianca Priestley's Media Make-up with Special Effects work

Olivia Davies decided not to go down the gory route, instead opting to make her female model into a male character from the 19th century who is visiting a family grave.

“I wanted to test myself by changing someone’s gender using make-up, prosthetics, adding facial hair with a postiche and using a bald cap,” she said.

“It has been a gruelling project but a great learning experience. We had weeks to plan but then only a few hours at the cemetery on the day to make-up our models.”

Olivia Davies' Media Make-up with Special Effects work

Tutor Rebecca Truman was impressed with the quality of work produced by the University Centre Bradford College students.

“Technically they have done excellent work, showing a high level of skill and talent,” she said.

“The project has been a great test for the students. They had a tour of the cemetery and learned about some of the stories behind the graves and from that had to research their characters.

“It is crucial that we give students experiences that are close to working in the industry. Just as they would in industry, this project required the students to work with a story, a script.

“They then design a look to fit that narrative.  

“Being on location, having to work in a small room at the cemetery, has also been good practice for real life where make-up artists have to deal with different surroundings, contend with the weather and time pressures.”