We have recently worked on corporate branding, website design and packaging for Studio Sangeet
Tell us a little about yourself
I grew up around Bow, Bethnal Green and South Hackney with Punjabi/Spanish parents and an elder sister, going to local schools and colleges. Special effects was a childhood dream job but I had absolutely no understanding of how to learn more about it and info was scarce, just the odd fangoria magazine to look at. Making things with my hands always came naturally and was something my mother encouraged. The ability to manipulate identity through masks, costumes and make-up appealed to me greatly growing up in an area as diverse as it was, yet with the prevalent problems with racism that were a part of normal life there. Movies provided escapism but also social commentary and context for a younger me.
How do you run your studio?
It’s kept pretty low-key as this allows me to scale up in space and crew when needs be and I can sometimes be away working on a build or shoot abroad so we don’t want a big space being kept idle. We have a small permanent facility near our home which houses my workspace, tools and equipment and I’ll usually have at least one assistant working with me who tends to be an all rounder. My wife Deirdre helps me run the admin side of the company and is integral in working through design ideas and important decisions with me, though she doesn’t get involved in making stuff that much anymore. I’m otherwise competent in most of the aspects of a build but specialist freelance artists will come on board when the workload requires it.
How did you get into Prosthetics make-up?
As with any niche hardcore creative job, if you’re not already doing it on your own, there is no “getting into it”. When you’re starting out you don’t necessarily get to see a job through to the end or you might just be doing menial work, therefore I kept practicing on my own and improving my portfolio between jobs.
I had an HND in 3D design from college which got me into model and prop making, mainly on commercials and in theatre earlier on in my career and eventually I began to study autonomously under Dick Smith’s makeup effects program until I felt able to focus entirely on prosthetics and makeup effects. He’s held as the literal godfather of the craft having designed the makeup effects for The Godfather, Taxi Driver, The exorcist, to name just a few and has inspired me and many of my peers.