Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Not for the Squeamish; Casualty Makeup is all About Timing

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OxFilm Society – an Oxford organization designed to promote all aspects of film and filmmaking in our community and a division of the Oxford Film Festival – continually keeps its finger on the pulse of trends and the intricacies of the art form.

OFF staffer and makeup artist Molly Beth Shaffer is scheduled to lead a special effects workshop at the Powerhouse January 11
OFF staffer and makeup artist Molly Beth Shaffer is scheduled to lead a special effects workshop at the Powerhouse January 11
On Monday, January 11, from 6-8 p.m., the society will host a special effects and makeup workshop at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center located at 413 South 14th Street in Oxford. Society member and Oxford Film Festival staffer, Molly Beth Shaffer, is scheduled to lead the hands-on workshop.

“I plan to go over basic techniques of realistic makeup and special effects makeup; particularly moulage makeup that’s used for casualty simulation,” Shaffer said. “Moulage is rarely heard of in the entertainment industry but should definitely be used by filmmakers, producers and casting directors.”

Although the workshop coincides with the Oxford Film Festival (to be held in mid-February) and will prove to be a valuable tool for professionals in the film industry; Shaffer assures that the general population will also appreciate its content.

“It’s realistic, anatomically-correct makeup,” Shaffer said. “Even casual makeup artists and people who simply want to improve their Halloween costume will benefit.”

Photos courtesy of Molly Beth Shaffer
Photos courtesy of Molly Beth Shaffer

Shaffer’s expertise in the area is indisputable as she has been a certified wilderness first responder since shortly after high school in the Smokey Mountain area. In that position, she has been expertly trained in casualty simulation makeup; a skill that carries over to the entertainment industry and her position with the Oxford Film Festival (OFF).

“I go back to the Knoxville area each year and try to help the new class of recruits who are headed into the Smokey Mountains for their responder training,” Shaffer said. “I’ll be headed back in a couple of weeks to complete my re-certification.”

Molly Beth Shaffer may even be able to help us non-film folks with our halloween costume next October
Molly Beth Shaffer may even be able to help us non-film folks with our halloween costume next October
“It’s a pet peeve of mine to watch any kind of entertainment or movie and see poor application of casualty makeup,” she added. “It’s all about timing; what a specific injury will realistically look like after a certain amount of time. All the producers would have to do is ask an expert to make the scene much more realistic.”

According to the Oxford Film Festival website (OxfordFilmFestival): OxFilm is a community-wide effort to enhance film as a cultural, artistic and economic driver for the Lafayette County-Oxford and University (L-O-U) population. OxFilm seeks to promote education and provide tools to support local filmmakers while encouraging films to be made in our community. OxFilm also seeks to enhance existing film screenings with an ongoing series celebrating a range of film experiences.

Shaffer stresses that the workshop will be a down-and-dirty, hands-on experience; one that will require some “yucky, yucky clothes” as she put it.

“It will be messy,” Shaffer concluded. “They (participants) should wear … well, clothes they don’t mind getting destroyed.”

Registration for the workshop is $10 for non-members of OxFilm and an application can be found on both the YAC and OFF websites. YAC can be reached at Oxfordarts.com or 236-6429; the festival website is oxfordfilmfest.com.

Shaffer is an expert at the application and design of moulage makeup
Shaffer is an expert at the application and design of moulage makeup

Molly Beth Shaffer
Molly Beth Shaffer


Jeff McVay is a staff writer and graphic designer for Hottytoddy.com. He can be reached at jeff.mcvay@hottytoddy.com

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