Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools
Gregory/FX Special Effects Visits Piedmont
The movies were brought to life on March 5th when students in Art, Theatre, and Film Production classes attended a presentation from special effects make-up artist Gregory Hewett from Gregory/FX. The presentation and workshop was made possible by a Union Power Cooperative Bright Ideas Grant and gave students a hands-on opportunity to create their own special effects make-up.
Gregory Hewett is the owner of Gregory/FX and has been practicing special effects make-up for over 17 years. As part of his business, he has been an effects artist for various horror films, TV shows, theatre performances, and live events. One notable film in which Hewett was a special effects make-up artist was The Hunger Games. According to Hewett, his favorite type of make-up to do is aliens, not zombies! He enjoys devoting time to training young aspiring effects artists and helping them learn this mysterious art form in the correct way. Hewett was recently a contestant on Face Off, a competition/elimination series where special effects make-up artists participate in challenges for a grand prize and the honor of being Hollywood's next great effects artist.
The day began with Hewett presenting details of his path to being a special effects artist before a mock zombie takeover occurred. Actors and actresses from Atlanta and Florida joined Hewett and entered the auditorium from various points in a mock attack. To be a part of this live zombie acting experience was a treat for the students. According to theatre teacher Allison Sanderson, “The workshop helped my students realize their potential to pursue their passions and dreams. These actors and artists provided so much inspiration for our students to not settle for second best.” This was seen as Piedmont alumnus Meghan Jones attended the workshop and was a make-up artist for the students. She has worked on movie sets and the TV show Under the Dome.
After the presentation, students engaged in a roundtable discussion with Hewett where they learned how the special effects make-up is created. Select students then rotated stations where they created in a step-by-step manner their own zombie make-up. This included applying the latex (wound) material and molding it, then adding shadows, and finally the blood. Learning to create the special effects make-up is a skill that theatre students will be utilizing in their upcoming play Zink: The Myth, The Legend, The Zebra by Cherie Bennett. In this play, a little girl who has leukemia uses her imaginary Zebra friends as her support through her chemotherapy. The special effects make-up will give the audience a realistic look at the terrible realities of cancer.
The opportunity for Piedmont students to experience special effects make-up design was made possible through Union Power Cooperative’s Bright Ideas Grant. Each year, teachers can apply for a grant that will be innovatively used in the classroom. Piedmont art, theatre, and film students would like to thank Union Power Cooperative for their support of the arts!
Written by: Donna Helms, Web Editor
Posted: Mar 24, 2015 by Donna Helms