What is a Special Effects (FX) Artist?
Special Effects Artist is a person who works in the theatre, television and/or the movie industry. The can work for a FX company or work as a freelancer.
A Special Effects Artist is a very creative person who creates realistic scenes using a broad variety of mediums. Some FX Artists specialise in a certain field like:
- Make up
- Moulding and plaster casts
- Trick camera work
- Computer graphics
Movies that would definitely use FX would be:
- Animation etc
Other effects such as smoke, lightening, flying objects, snow, rain and fire are just a few more FX created by special effects artists.
What does a Special Effects Artist do?
- meets with directors, producers and scriptwriters to discuss detailing and special effects required
- researches the background to the production
- sources materials
- continually invents new and creative special FX
- constructs the required items: through materials, moulds, mechanics etc
- paints in detail so it all looks extremely realistic
- works as part of a team to make the whole project come together
- works the mechanics if necessary when shooting
Are you … ?
- passionate about the movies?
- extremely creative?
- good with your hands?
- an out-the-box thinker?
- willing to work unusual and long hours?
- mechanically minded?
- detail orientated?
- deadline driven?
How do I become a Special Effects Artist?
As there are no formal courses in special effects in South Africa, you could start early by getting involved in the drama department/club at your school or in your community. There is a lot to learn and the more skills you can gather while volunteering at your school or local dramatic society, the better.
It will also assist you in your studies at a later date if you are seriously considering a job as a Special Effects Artist.
A good Special Effects Artist has a sound knowledge of various art forms, building and making things. An understanding of design and construction would be extremely beneficial.
Many Special Effect Artists start by getting on-the-job training or supplementing their skill set by doing a related design course at college or university.
- CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
- Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
- To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education.
- CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions.
For some short courses:
- FACE-to-FACE DESIGN SCHOOL
Is becoming a Special Effects Artist the right career choice for me?