By Kyle Wells
Monday Magazine contributor
The ways in which movies and television shows are made have changed significantly over the course of Charles Porlier’s near 40 years as a makeup artist. But when you have skills as foundational as his, your talents never go out of date.
Computer-generated effects are now the norm in Hollywood, but nothing can mimic the realism and authenticity of an expertly researched and applied makeup job, Porlier says.
“There are certain things that just don’t change,” he says. “For a while, when digital came in, there was a lot of panic in my industry … It has become very much a collaboration now, where we’re able to define quite readily, ‘oh this should be makeup augmented by CG (computer generated), maybe this is CG augmented by makeup’ … There’s a nice symbiosis now.”
Porlier will share his foundational knowledge during two talks he’s giving at the summer media arts event KRE8 Studio, founded by Sailor Moon director and voice actor Tracey Moore. KRE8 Studio, running Aug. 9-18, brings highly regarded working professionals to Victoria to give courses and seminars on a variety of media arts areas, providing valuable practical instruction and hands-on learning experiences.
|Makeup effects artist Charles Porlier works with an actor in an elaborate butterfly costume.|
This year’s event also features commercial and character voice actor John Stocker (Super Mario Brothers, Care Bears), stop motion animator Ezra Istiroti and Moore herself, who will be running a six-day workshop on animation voice demos.
Porlier, originally from Calgary, brings with him an impressive resume. From television to film and beauty to special effects makeup, he’s done it all and to great success. With two Emmy Award wins to his name and a long list of credits, Porlier is a sought-after makeup master.
His most recognizable credits include the recent Star Trek Beyond, the 2016 Steven Spielberg family flick The BFG, and the second X-Men movie, X2: X-Men United. It was for the 1995 TNT miniseries Kissinger and Nixon that Porlier won his first Emmy, followed by a second win in 2003 for the television film Door to Door.
Porlier says much of the focus of his workshops Aug. 10 and 11 will be on cosplay, which he considers a practice with a lot of untapped potential.
“Cosplay can be very derivative,” he says. “I want to create an environment where people are looking at their creative process and being highly critical of (that), with an eye to being less derivative in what they do, because we need original thinkers.”
For his Saturday workshop, Porlier’s two-hour talk explores the world of make-up design and appliance building. He’ll present many prosthetics and builds from films he has worked on, including the character Mystique’s scales from X2: X-Men United. On the Sunday, he will lead a five-hour practical workshop building on the previous session, including one-on-one guidance in using various make-up techniques.
For more information on KRE8 Studio visit kre8studio.com.