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  • Writer's pictureRik MC

Stuart Bray

Industry veteran and lovely education bloke from of’ve the Battles with Bits of Rubber podcast with Todd Debrecini. Discussed colour theory and silicone painting techniques with the SFX 2nd and 3rd years before running a silicone painting masterclass in the afternoon.

Stuart Bray specialises in all the processes involved in prosthetic and make-up effects, from their design and sculpture to the moulding, casting and their impressive application.

A freelance make-up effects artist since 1994, Stuart’s career has seen him work on some of the biggest film and TV features, including Saving Private Ryan, The Mummy 1 & 2, Shaun of the Dead and Stardust. Stuart has most recently worked in the prosthetics team on the set of the renowned Game of Thrones TV series.

Stuart began as a foam technician on the set of the film Mary Reilly, starring Julia Roberts, and progressed to a prosthetic make-up artist for the film Alice in Wonderland in the late 90s. Continuing his career as a special effects make-up artist on the sets of Blade II and The Mummy Returns, Stuart has since worked as the special make-up supervisor for Doctor Who, and the prosthetics supervisor on the TV series Hex.

Stuart has been up to visit several times over the last few years and has also recently been helping our our brilliant SMUFX students with their INDSUTRY PROJECT.

Check out what he has to say about his time hanging out with us and what he got up to with our SFX students:

"The workshop I did with the students on the SFX course at The Univeristy of Bolton focussed on the of painting silicone.

There are many products and techniques about makeup and working on skin, but less attention on the techniques involved in painting silicone surfaces themselves.

Painting silicone is a tricky thing as silicone is essentially a mould making material, largely because most things don’t stick to it. This can include paint, which means your great idea and paint scheme doesn’t actually stay attached to the surface and can be a problem for an animatronic skin or prop which will be handled or moved.

Everything from silicone props, limbs, creatures and masks may all require a paint finish which uses different materials and techniques from conventional makeup effects, and this workshop was an opportunity to do a deep dive into the making a paint job stick, as well as techniques for mixing and blending colours, building up layers and creating a matte finish."

He was even pretty nice about us:

"It’s no small thing to reach out and invite working professionals to speak to the students. To have external opinions and ideas come in, challenge and chime with the full-time staff and keep a freshness to the projects is a bold approach.

Time was when specialised education was insular and hidden. The opaque methodology of trade secrets.The current age, by contrast, is an ongoing dialogue of new ideas by a generation built on freely available exchanges and is coming into the industry.

It’s an honour and a privilege to be able to work alongside the enthusiastic students at Bolton. To have a group of likeminded artists all working towards the same goals, discovering new techniques and breaking down previous limitations is always an exciting exchange. There is something unique at Bolton, and the tutors share the enthusiasm of the students. It’s a palpable hive of creativity and I always look forward to visiting"

Yeah buddy, we love you too. See you next time!

Oh and you guys should check out his spectacular podcast with Todd Debreccini it's ace!

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