Makeup FX & Prosthetics Creation

This intensive course prepares you for a career in screen prosthetics and related fields. It gives a comprehensive grounding in all the practical aspects of the subject to the standard of junior film industry technician; a higher technical level than that achieved on degree courses.

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This intensive course prepares you for a career in screen prosthetics and related fields. It gives a comprehensive grounding in all the practical aspects of the subject to the standard of junior film industry technician; a higher technical level than that achieved on degree courses. It is suitable for beginners with some recommended preparatory work – please refer to the entry criteria to judge whether it is suitable for you.

The course focuses on the fundamental processes involved in creating prosthetics, from basic sculpture techniques to prosthetic manufacture, mould making, casting and even simple animatronics. These are the skills used every day in professional FX workshops and are taught with the materials most widely used in today’s industry.


The course is a combination of taught subjects and personal projects; the basic disciplines are prescriptively taught and the personal projects allow each student the freedom to select further content they would like to explore.

Demonstrations are used to give an insight into some of the more specialist areas. These can include hair punching, gore fabrication, and denture FX for example and the topics introduced in this way are partly determined by the interests of each group.

The course culminates in a final project of your choice; a major silicone gel prosthetic, a dummy body part, an animatronic mask, or a realistic severed head for example. This is planned and developed during the first three weeks and worked on intensively thereafter.

This project is your opportunity to apply your new skills and tackle any additional techniques and materials you particularly want to learn about. We help you devise a final project that will get the most out of your time by involving the processes that will be most useful on your intended career path. Your final project will provide a significant piece of work for your portfolio, which will be your key tool in securing professional work.


Our 7-week course tutors are all current, senior film and television professionals with the best skills in the business to pass on, and all have extensive teaching experience. Screen prosthetics is a wide subject and no one tutor will be an expert in all areas, so we complement the principal tutors’ skills bases with visiting specialists who teach disciplines such as hair work and finishing.

Neill Gorton usually teaches a sculpture and design class in the first week of the course and is also there at the end to see the final projects come together. In between, if he’s around the Millennium FX workshop, he stops in to check your progress, talk through your projects and answer technical and creative questions.

You will be notified by email who your principal tutor will be before your course starts.


Our teaching studio is in the same building as our multi-award-winning sister company Millennium FX, one of the most successful screen prosthetics companies in Europe. During your course, you will be able to watch real industry jobs develop in the Millennium workshop and have contact with some of the company’s highly experienced crew.


In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have strict practical measures in place so we can teach you safely. Gorton Studio can remain open in lockdown unless the UK government introduces rules to the contrary. If there are any changes to the way we are able to operate we will contact students immediately to inform them.

If you have booked a place on a course please keep updated on your country and the UK’s travel guidance; you can find the UK information here
This information was written on 6th November 2020 and will be updated when changes occur.


This course is ideal training for those seeking a career in areas such as:

  • Prosthetics and makeup FX for film, TV, and theatre
  • Prosthetic mask making
  • Maxillofacial and cosmetic prosthetics
  • Casualty simulation
  • Medical simulation
  • Hyper-realistic art
  • Cosplay
  • Haunts
  • Live events


This course requires you to have some basic creative ability. In order to feel confident that you have this, you should have had a go at some hands-on work in any creative medium including painting, sculpture or 3-dimensional crafts. This can be through classes at school or college, or just in your own time.

Students must also be over 18, have a good understanding of spoken English and basic conversational use of English.


Here are some pointers to help you decide if this course is suitable for you. The curriculum is appropriate for beginners with some preparatory work as recommended below, and to get the most out of it we recommend one of the following should apply to you:

  1. You have done some hands-on artistic work as a hobby in any medium such as painting, drawing, sculpture or 3-dimensional crafts
  2. You have studied a course of any length in a subject such as makeup, prosthetics, prop making, costume making, model making, theatre crafts, fine art, ceramics, textiles, pottery, sculpture etc.
  3. You have previously attended one of our, or another provider's, hands-on short courses on prosthetics/makeup FX techniques
  4. You have some experience as a hobbyist or cosplayer that includes makeup, sculpture, basic prosthetics or hands-on crafts
  5. You have worked in any kind of hands-on creative subject

We’re certainly not expecting you to come to us with specific skills, but as this is a highly intensive course that is very hands-on, so if you are coming to us with no basic knowledge or hands-on experience whatsoever then you might find it difficult.

An example of this is sculpture. When you’re first starting out it takes a little time to get used to the feel of the clay and what it’s like to work with and it can take a day or two to really get familiar with it. We feel it’s far better for you to do this before the course - please see below.

If you feel you are suitable then please go ahead and book a place. If, however, you’re unsure then feel free to contact us and we’ll advise you on your suitability.


Before the course starts you would benefit from practising some sculpture; we teach the subject on the course, but it’s a great help if you are already a little familiar with the materials and the basics of anatomical sculpture when you arrive. This can be done simply using regular pottery clay and books such as the following. International Standard Book Numbers are quoted so you can find them online and in bookshops:

Modelling the Head in Clay - Margit Malmstrom. ISBN 10: 0823030997

Modelling in Clay - Dorothy Arthur, ISBN 10: 0713667494

Also have a look at books and YouTube videos by sculptor Philippe Faraut.

Clay is quite inexpensive and easy to source so you can experiment with this material at your own pace and on your own time. Then when you start the course, you’ll get a lot more out of the tuition than if you’d never previously handled these materials.

This course runs from 9.30am to approximately 5.00pm each day with access to facilities until 7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The following broadly outlines how the course is approached, its objective being to provide maximum content within the time frame. It is not definitive, as flexibility is always maintained to ensure the best outcome for each group and accommodate the aims of the individuals within it.

During the course you will be granted access to our Online Learning, Processes and Pathways to help to reinforce the lessons you are being taught during the course. Your free access will also be extended for 2 months following the course.


Tour of facilities and workshop
Rules, regulations, health and safety
What do we hope to achieve in the next seven weeks?
One-day project: creating and applying a simple prosthetic appliance
Sculpture class: basic anatomy sculpture techniques, detailing and texturing
Life casting demonstration
Conducting a life cast
Clean-up and mounting of life casts


Discussion about final projects
Moulding life casts in silicone
Setting the casts in a base and preparing to pour a silicone master
Demonstration of a brush-on silicone technique and a silicone pour into a jacket mould
Moulding life casts and producing positives in fibreglass, plaster and fast-cast resin
Sculpting basic appliances: where to put edges and why, appropriate thickness
Sculpting basic appliances: detailing and texturing, wrinkles
Moulding basic appliances: grounding up, cutting edges, release agents


Casting appliances in foam latex and gelatine
Running foam: mixing and casting gelatine, pouring and injecting
Demonstration of prosthetic application
Studio work: students apply ready-made appliances
Making small appliances: quick procedures using fast casting techniques
Silicone gel appliances: demonstration of manufacture and application
Discussion of final projects for the following four weeks

WEEK 4, 5 & 6

The format of the next four weeks will largely be determined by the progress and content of your final project. Some days will be split with demonstrations of techniques/procedures or lectures by visiting specialist practitioners, followed by work on final projects.

The following list shows examples of subjects that may be included in morning sessions, according to students' requirements. These topics are examples only so may not be relevant to your group, and additions can be made if necessary:

  • Prosthetic design with computers
  • Flocking
  • Painting techniques
  • Basic animatronics
  • Blood FX
  • Bladder FX
  • Seaming and patching
  • Hair punching
  • Denture FX
  • Contact lenses
  • Fur replacements
  • Gore fabrication
  • Airbrushing


Day 1: Finishing final projects

Day 2: Finishing final projects

Day 3: Finishing final projects

Day 4: Finishing, applying and photographing final projects

Day 5: Final show of work and class critique
Photographing finalised projects


You can pay the full course fee using a credit or debit card in the following ways:

  • Add this course to your basket on this page
  • Call us on +44 (0)7470463878 to pay over the phone
  • Contact is advised to arrange an online bank transfer or international wire


Our 3-step payment allows you to book with the first payment of £1,500, then make two further payments of £3,000 each at 16 weeks and 8 weeks before the start of the course


UK students: choose a 3, 6 or 12-month interest-free payment plan on this website which can run past the end of the course

International students: please contact us to arrange a 3, 6 or 12-month interest-free payment plan which must be completed before the start of the course


If you have special requirements please contact us to discuss a plan that suits you

The cancellation policy for this course is as follows

£1,500 of the fee is non-refundable in all cancellation circumstances

Cancellations made up to 16 weeks before the course start date:
£1,500 non-refundable, all other payments refunded

Cancellations made between 16 and 8 weeks before the course start date:
£1,500 non-refundable; £3000 of payments received are refunded

Cancellations made less than 8 weeks before the start date of the course:
Regrettably no refunds

Place refill clause: if you cancel your place less than 8 weeks before the course start date and we are able to fill it again, a £3,000 refund will be given. However, if we are unable to fill it the no-refund policy remains in place. This clause does not apply to deferred places, please see below.


You may defer a place on a Gorton Studio course only once with a valid reason and must request deferment no less than 8 weeks before the start date of the course after this deferment is not possible.

In terms of the cancellation and refund policy, a deferment works as a ‘freeze-frame’ from the day it is agreed on the original course, to that same day in relation to the start date of the course you’re deferring to. If you choose to defer and then cancel the place 28 days or less before the start date of the course you have deferred to, there will be no refund even if the place is refilled.

You will not be eligible for a deferment Agreement if any one of these points applies to you:

  • You have previously cancelled a place on a Gorton Studio course
  • You have previously deferred a place on a Gorton Studio course
  • You have failed to complete a payment plan after attending the associated course



Brought into effect 14th December 2020 until further notice. This is only applicable to NEW bookings after 14/12/2020.

In the event of issues arising as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, only these terms and conditions override our standard terms and conditions; our standard terms and conditions continue to apply in all other situations.

  • You will be offered to defer your place onto the next available course once. This may be in the upcoming year, or in the following year.
  • Cancellations made up to 56 calendar days (8 weeks) before the course start date will receive a full refund.
  • Cancellations made less than 56 calendar days before the course start date: initial payments up to £1,500 will not be refunded. If the course fees paid by this time are less than £1,500 there shall be no refund.


International students

  • Keep updated on your country and the UK’s travel guidance; you can find the UK information here.
  • If you have to make unavoidable changes to your plans due to COVID-19 travel restrictions please inform us immediately. Prompt communication will allow us to work with you for the best possible outcome in these circumstances.
  • If there is an enforced quarantine in the UK for visitors from your location at the time of your course commencement, you will not be able to begin the course until you have completed the quarantine. Please keep informed about this and adapt your travel plans to accommodate a quarantine period if necessary.

UK students

  • Please keep updated about the restrictions in your area. According to current UK rules, Gorton Studio can remain open even in Tier 4 lockdown, but your participation may be affected by the government’s travel advice within the UK so please keep abreast of this information.

All students

  • You must adhere to the local restrictions in Aylesbury during the course, under the UK government’s Tier System. Please check the local restrictions in place here.
  • Keep informed of the UK’s self-isolation procedure for those who have symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive for it. Having symptoms or a positive test result will require you to isolate for a stated period - 10 days as at Dec 2020 - and until symptoms have gone. This means if you display symptoms or test positive in the 10 days before your course starts, you will not be able to join the course until you have isolated for the required time and no longer have symptoms. The duration of isolation may change; it’s important that you’re aware if it does so that in the event of becoming symptomatic or testing positive you complete the required isolation period at the time before you start your course. This also applies during your course.


Appropriate practical COVID-19 safety measures will be in place in the studio and strictly adhered to. You will receive information about these nearer the time of your course.

If there are any changes to the way we are able to operate due to the pandemic we will contact you immediately to inform you and address the changes with you. We will always strive to provide the best way forward available to us in the circumstances and to minimise disruption to your learning as much as possible.

We would like to stress again that keeping in touch with us about any unavoidable changes to your plans due to the pandemic is essential, so please let us know as soon as possible if this occurs.

Accommodation near Gorton Studio

We are pleased to provide the following list of available accommodation near our studio in Aylesbury. These are suggested places to stay only and have not been vetted by us. Your accommodation is your own responsibility and Gorton Studio does not get involved in recommendations, reservations or issues concerning accommodation.


Approximate Distance from Studio: 5-minute drive
Description: Single room in a private 3-bedroom house shared with the owner (alumni of the 7-week course, and freelancer in the SFX makeup industry; often working at Millennium FX!) Available all year round. Access to kitchen, garden, Internet, washing machine and dryer, dishwasher, bathroom and workspace. £120 per week, £50 deposit.
Contact name: Tim Quinton
Phone: +44 7551 361172


Approximate Distance from Studio: 5-minute drive
Description: Room in a private 3-bedroom house shared with the owner and her young son, available all year round. Access to garden, Internet, washing machine, dishwasher and bathroom. £110 per week, £50 deposit.
Contact name: Emma Jane
Phone: +44 7913 8200 53


Approximate Distance from Studio: 5-minute drive
Description: Single room with en-suite in a private house
Contact name: Mark and Viv
Phone: + 44 7796 532 775


Approximate Distance from Studio: 5-minute drive/bus or 25minute walk

Price Per week – 1 Guest £220, 2 Guests £250

Description: Just a few minutes’ walk from Aylesbury Waterside theatre, or an easy train ride from Wycombe Swan theatre, friendly and welcoming family offering a home from home in a beautiful Grade II listed period property while you’re away from your own, and busy working. Both rooms are recently redecorated and are fresh, warm and comfortable, with tea and coffee making facilities. The main room can be made up as a twin or king-size bed at your request. A large family bathroom (with shower and bath) is shared with the owner. A separate sitting room is available for your use with sofa, TV, dining table and chairs so you can relax downstairs away from your bedroom if you desire. WI-FI is available.

Contact Name: Fiona Bull

Phone: +44 07597592062

You can also search the following websites using the studio’s postcode HP19 8ZU:
Rightmove Students

Nestoria (rentals)
Gumtree rent and Gumtree share

Theatre Diggs Booker

For hotels/bed & breakfasts, these websites are helpful: offers self-catering options.