Here are step by step instructions that we handed out to all our Makeup Artists and their Assistants

  • Isopropyl Myristate
  • Pros-aid / Pro-tac
  • Alcohol
  • Cups
  • Acrylic Red Paint
  • Cabo Sil
  • Cotton Pads
  • Paper Towels
  • Towels
  • Vaseline
  • Baby Oil
  • Baby Wipes
  • Rags
  • Gloves + Baby Oil Removal Packs
  • Plastic cups
  • Gum
  • Airbrush + Comp
  • Hair Kit/Pins
  • SFX Kit
  • Q-tips
  • Acrylic / Pax
  • Dummy heads for prosthetic’s
  • Wigs and wig stands

And so it begins!
With any SFX Makeup Application where a multitude of products are going onto the skin, always check with your Actor for allergies or sensitive skin issues. Sensitives could be towards latex, pros-aid or Isopropyl Alcohol. Patch tests can always be done behind the ear or more commonly the inside of the elbow or wrist if your actor is unsure.

Prep actor: Clean face, hair out of the way and a run through of the procedure/ check for skin allergies
Ensure Actor has shaved the morning of so there is no stubble. Stubble would make application and removal more difficult.
Cape to protect the clients clothes
Spirit gum eyebrows
Size and prep prosthetic & rip edges to fit and suit each Actor’s face
Pros-aid under eyes and eye bag pieces. Apply eye bag pieces (This was done first in case the nose piece over lapped the eye bag pieces due to face sizing)
Pros-aid is a contact adhesive, meaning it sticks best to itself. It must be completely dry on both the piece and the skin for it to stick. Have your hair drier and assistant handy to help speed up the process.

  • Pros aid forehead and forehead piece. Apply forehead piece.
  • Pros-aid nose and nose part of the nose/forehead piece. Apply nose.
  • Pros-aid cheeks and jaw. Apply cheeks and jaw.
  • Pros-aid chin. Apply chin.
  • Work all edges ripping off rough bits with a pair of tweezers and stippling pros aid around all edges.
  • Baby powder edges.
  • Apply bondo where necessary (dry with hair drier)
  • Mix 60% pros aid and 40% acrylic paint to make PAX paint. We used PAX paint so the paint could be waterproof. Our stunt performers were going to be performing under Film Effects Rain.
  • Stipple PAX with a ripped-edge sponge over entire face and neck
  • Grease paint around eyes/eyelids (We used black Mehron starblend).
  • Powder eyes to set (black)
  • Grease paint lip area same colour as the face. Set with black powder.
  • Fit/style wig.
  • TBC Teeth and Lenses – Client to advise
  • Assistants to help with touch ups + removal

Ripped edges blend better than straight or cut edges.
Putting baby powder around your edges takes away the tackiness of pros-aid and will also outline any obvious edges that might need bondo or a bit more work.
Using a cut chip brush and flicking various colours (Reds, Blues,Greens) give the undertones of the skin whether it is natural skin colour or not. It also allows for a translucent skin layered effect.
Lenses can be a tricky business, a lens technician is recommended to be on hand to help with putting in and taking out lenses on set. However it is easiest if the actor can put them in him/herself.

Test Makeup

Final Adjustments and Client Feedback

We decided to pre-paint all prosthetics (except the edges) prior to application day. By prepainting our prosthetic’s we are able to get so much more details into our orc SFX Makeups while also cutting down the application time. This allowed for more time to blend our edges into the actor’s skin and focus on secure wig application.
Feedback from the Director: vary of colors of Orcs, much darker than the red we had originally used. The lightest and brighest Orc was meant to be the main Orc, while the others were to be tonally darker and deeper in colouring.

With a bit more Orc SFX Makeup research for final application day, we decided some of the Orcs would look bad-ass with some piercings. We purchased some silver and bronze rings and punched them into parts of the prosthetics we saw fit. (eyebrows, nose, cheeks) We super glued the rings into place so they would hold through the fight and rain effects scenes.

Wigs were a huge part of the feedback from the Director, at short notice we had to use the wigs we had at hand at the time.

At this stage it was requested that all the body where skin was showing was to be painted with waterproof makeup to withstand the ‘fake rain’ and ‘fight scene’, so the plan here was to use PAX paint also.

Teeth and lenses! After the test make up was finished we sourced FX teeth and animal look contact lenses to further enhance the look and uniqueness of each Orc Makeup. With all the Orc SFX Makeup starting with the same mold, we felt it was up to paint job and accessories to create variation. We bought 7 different sets of teeth and pre painted them, adding gross looking rotting colours (yellows and browns).

On-Set Application – Issues/changes
(be prepared for anything!)

For the final makeup application we were lucky to get our hands on some proper lace front wigs all in different styles to give each Orc its own personality.

Our Actor’s arrived on-set with beards on application day and were unable to shave due to continuity constraints on other shows. This threw a bit of a spanner in the works but we were able to overcome it by trimming back some of the prosthetics and blending the beard and hair-line with some crepe wool and Yak hair.

Due to time restraints, we used a black grease paint on the body and powdered to give some form of water resistance instead of the PAX paint. Grease paint allowed for a much faster application and a much less extensive rub down at the end of the day. This was the best option as PAX would make removal a lot harder. Not to mention our actor’s arms were not shaved as requested.

Due to on-set issues with our makeup trailer not arriving to the set on time (due to a location change during the day in the middle of no-where; Woodhill Forest, nor access to boiling water to soften friendly plastic for the teeth, the director decided we proceed without the lenses or teeth.

Check out our time lapse of the test orc make up to see the process first hand and to compare our improvements to the end results.

Test Makeup Timelapse!

Photos by Paul Menezes at Deamscope Media