Q-1 What was your pathway into the film industry? 

I wouldn’t say my pathway was an ideal pathway into the industry, I spent a lot of money and time doing a not so great degree in Special Effects, this was after I went to art college. Me, like many others put a lot of trust in the course and it was taught by fine art teachers and engineers, not much industry experience at all. After the first year I worked out that if I was going to make the most of the course I would have to supplement the course with a lot self-learning and using the free materials, studio space and technicians knowledge. Once the course was over I felt I wasn’t good enough to even show any potential employer anything I’d done. So I moved back in with my parents, worked any paid jobs I could find, all while I made portfolio projects, worked on low budget films or for free on student projects. I did anything that could build skills and go towards my portfolio. Through networking I eventually worked for a prosthetics artist on my first feature film and from there met more people and continued to work more and more till I ended up getting recommended to work in an amazing prosthetics company. I made myself as useful as I could in this company and learnt so much in each of the departments. During my time at this company I continued my development as an artist which is always on-going and never stops.

Q-2 What would you recommend to anyone who is seeking a career in the industry ?

This career is one that you don’t really need a qualification to do but choosing a good course that is taught by an industry professional will help a lot. There are long courses and degrees, however I would tell people to check out what previous students work is like, who is teaching the course and how many previous students made it into the industry. I am biased about the course I teach on but it was developed by a prosthetics workshop owner and people working in the industry teach on it. I would also say that if you choose a course try and find out about the processes and materials, also have a try yourself at some application. The more you come to a course with the more you will get out of it. You do also have to remember that any course is a beginning, your continued effort and development is important.

Q-3 Was there a film that inspired you to begin this journey and what was it about the film?

As a 3 year old I was told I was obsessed with Jason and the Argonauts and this love of Ray Harryhausen’s stop motion animation films carried on throughout my childhood and definitely inspired me, seeing these monsters come alive on screen was very magical. As an early teen my love went to horror. Films like ‘Dawn and Day of the dead’, ‘American werewolf in London’ and ‘The Thing’ pushed my love for horror into special effects.

Q-4 What is your favourite part of the process of prosthetics?

I do love the gory parts of the job. I love making blood effects, especially when you are involved from the start. Working out the effect and building it. It’s also a lot of fun seeing the reactions in people who witness a good gory effect.

Q-5 What advice would you give to your younger self regarding your career?

Don’t doubt yourself and work as hard as you party.

Q-6 Name 3 items of kit that are key and you always have?

Kits are quite large and it’s hard to name three things I would say are key outside of the obvious like brushes, glue and paints but three items I use often would be my Leatherman (for blood effects), duel fibre stipple brush (painting) and my photo reference library on my tablet for all the inspiration.

Q-7 Best piece of advice you were ever given?

Treat this job as a hobby you sometimes get paid for. I’ve always taken away from that piece of advice that I should have the drive to do this even if no one is paying me. That need or desire should drive you to always create. It shouldn’t solely be for financial gain or even worse some instant gratification from social media. Being creative is something that drives you and defines you. This drive and ambition will be noticed by others.

Q-8 Is there a show/movie that you would have loved to have worked on? 

One of my big dreams will always be to work on a Japanese Godzilla film, one with a rubber monster suit. I even took up learning Japanese too for a while. Can always dream, right ?

Q-9 If you were having a dinner party who would be some of your guests? 

Danny DeVito, Taylor Tomlinson, Tom Segura and Scarlett Johansson

Q-10 What advice do you give students when you are teaching them? 

I always tell them to not sit on the new skills they’re learning. They should be focused on what they enjoyed on the course and continue to gain skills and develop in any way they can. Remember each week, month or year you don’t do anything to reach your goals, 100s of others are doing something to reach their goals.