The Process: CMS at San Diego Comic Con

Every year Cinema Makeup School brings a selection of our best graduates to attend San Diego Comic Con, and this year is no exception, the line-up speaks for itself and is packed with three amazing cosplay makeups that will shake up the convention.

With just under two months until SDCC, our artists are chugging along through their schedules to ensure no detail is left behind in preparation of their makeup unveiling at the CMS booth. Each artist have strict deadlines for sculpting, floating, molding, running appliances and finally the test makeup application. The test makeup application ensures that these grads are able to work within the timeframe given to them at the convention, to know what each artist is to focus on for application day, and finally to try out the paint scheme and costuming to really make sure it is on-par with their concept.

Some of these graduates have paired up with other CMS artists to build a team of lab assistants and application hands that will help to bring the makeup to life. One current student, Jade LeBlanc (a FIDM grad) is working on helping multiple teams out with costuming and fabrication, while graduate Kelsey Waldman helps in the lab refining sculpts and making molds.


*Cleopsis by Madison Burger (pictured), Ve Neill & Lee Joyner

The Process

The initial concepts for these characters stems far and wide over the course of the three applications. Briahna Curtis elaborates more on the origin of her team’s concept design,

Catherine and I knew that we wanted to work together in the future, so we had our eyes set on San Diego Comic Con. We knew we wanted to do something quintessentially “Comic Con” so we narrowed it down to a couple different ideas before settling on Star Wars. As we were doing research on different star wars creatures, when it came to the Pau’ans we just looked at each other and we both knew that was what we wanted to do, especially since you never see the females done before.

We thought it would be representative of special makeup effects in a male dominated industry where the women are so often cast aside, so we really wanted to highlight a feminine creature. When it came to who we wanted to model it, we knew immediately we wanted to use Mary Chieffo, as I have worked with her before and there would be no one better for the part.”


*Pau’an by Briahna Curtis and Catherine Besler

Madison Burger is a veteran graduate of Cinema, was initially the winner of the Rick Baker Legend’s of Creature Design scholarship which helped to jumpstart her career here at CMS, was brought on board by Director of Education Ve Neill and Director of Admissions Lee Joyner to bring this Court of the Dead Cleopsis creature to life.

Aimee Aranda is also a winner of a CMS scholarship, the Next Level of Cosplay 2018, and is using her fabrication and cosplay experience to make sure this new rendition on Hellboy is on the same playing field as the original comic book, while remaining relevant as the new movie was released this year (April 2019).  


*Hellboy by Aimee Aranda

Overall these artists are in great shape and are consistently working on a daily basis to bring these cosplays to life. Stay tuned for more details on their process, behind the scene shots, and more info about their demos.


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