Special FX Makeup Diploma

Special FX Makeup Diploma

Regular price $500.00
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Alberta's film industry brought $482 million to our economy last year. Want in? Learn the essential SFX makeup & professional skills to work in the booming TV & Film industry with our Special FX Makeup Diploma.

Take the lead to transform talent into captivating characters with SFX makeup! Learn to create realistic cuts, scars, zombies, illnesses, bruises, burns, frost bite and more! Your characters come to life with dirts, tears, beards, various prosthetics, bald caps, and aging effects. 

PLUS learn about various film union requirements, and your role and expectations on set. We teach you how to dissect a script to create a character breakdown, budget for productions and time limitations, and maintain continuity. Our partnership with local film schools provide immediate opportunities for our students gain experience on set and start growing their reel & resume.

Enroll in the Special FX Makeup Diploma on its own OR it is now included in our comprehensive Honors Makeup Artistry Diploma program for bundled tuition savings.

Located outside of Calgary? We offer this course in a livestream format for distance learning. Contact us to learn more.

This program is eligible for government student funding. Learn more about student funding here


  • All students must have already successfully completed a Makeup Diploma, Airbrush Certificate, and an Advanced Makeup Diploma

Click the drop downs below for more details about the Special FX Makeup Diploma.

Pay Registration Deposit

Once you've completed your application form, select your course date above and add your registration deposit to your cart to checkout. 

Upon receipt of a completed application form and registration deposit, admissions will promptly review your application and notify you within 48 hours regarding your application status.

Accepted students are responsible to complete their 'Alberta Student Enrolment Contract' and other application registration steps in a timely manner. This agreement will be included in their welcome email. 


Program Hours & Duration: 252 hours over 12 weeks

Theory & Practical Class Hours: 9:30am - 4:30 pm

Theory & Practical Class Days: 

  • March: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday
  • October: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 


  • March 4th - May 23rd
  • October 23rd - January 10th (2025)

*Dates are subject to change

  • Tuition - $4297.00
  • Special FX Makeup Kit - $1197.00
  • Total - $5494.00

Deposit of $500.00 is deducted from your balance owing.

    Learn more about our our payment options here

    *All fees are in Canadian Dollars and are subject to change. GST is applicable to all kit fees, but does not apply to tuition.

    MODULE 1

    • SFX Makeup Kit
      • types of SFX makeup and how to use safely
      • proper and safe removal of character makeup 
    • Dirt, Smoke, & Dust Effects
    • Blood
      • Types & best usage per scene scenario
    • Various Illness Depictions 
    • Tears & Crying Effects
    • Trauma Effects
    • Bruises
      • old and new bruises
      • black eyes
    • Broken Noses
    • Reference Files
      • real life reference material to use when recreating 
    MODULE 2
    • Latex, Silicone, & Gelatin Effects
    • Frost Bite
      • 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th degree 
      • frost and ice effects
    • Blisters, Boils, Warts 
    • Burns
      • 1st, 2nd, 3rd degree 
    • Wound Effects
    • Scabs, Cuts, Scars, Lacerations
    MODULE 3
    • Split Lips & Knuckles
    • Scrapes
    • Bullet Holes
    • Severed Finger
    • Distressed Makeup
    • Tattoo Review & Cover
      • review tattoo applications from Advanced Makeup Diploma curriculum 
      • learn how to realistically cover tattoos
    MODULE 4
    • Teeth Detailing
      • nicotine, rot, and other effects
    • Corpsing
      • stages of decomposition
    • Zombies
      • using various mediums and effects to create animated zombies
    • Aging for Film & Television 
      • using alcohol paints and latex for textural film aging
    MODULE 5
    • Beard Stipple
    • Ventilated Hair Pieces
      • preparation, application, removal of ventilated moustaches and sideburns
    • Crepe Beards & Beard Laying
      • preparing, applying, trimming & styling beards, moustaches, sideburns
    • Men's Grooming
      • review male grooming from the Makeup Diploma curriculum 
      • shaving & beard maintenance 
    MODULE 6
    • Prosthetics
      • various types of silicone, gelatin, and latex prosthetics
      • how to prepare and apply
      • how to blend edges & paint the prosthetic
      • use of bondo 
    • Bald Caps
      • types of bald caps
      • preparation & application
      • realistic painting of bald caps
      • pax paint
      • safe removal
    MODULE 7
    • Script Breakdowns & Character Design
      • analyze a script to create a character chart and makeup breakdown
    • Makeup Design Chart & Continuity
      • how to organize and maintain continuity for consistency in filming
    • Set Jargon & Terminology
      • most used terms to be familiar with
    • Film & TV Unions
      • Expectations & entry requirements for:
        • IATSE 212 & Sister Status at other IATSE Unions
        • NABET
        • ACFC
    • Production Prep
      • Estimating budgets
      • Planning with time limitations
    MODULE 8
    • Final Exams
      • Professional Photoshoot
        • shoot with working photographers 
        • troubleshoot first job nerves with guidance from your instructor
        • one final edited image for your portfolio
      • 2 Practical Exams
      • 1 Theory Exam 
      • Final Project 


    Registration is simple and can be done all online!

    Need assistance? Check out our 'How To Apply' guide or Meet With Admissions Online to discuss any questions you may have and help you with the application process.








    I attended the Artist within Makeup Academy for the Basic (I attended by zoom), Airbrushing, Advanced and Special FX makeup programs. My goal before starting all of these programs were to become a professional Special FX makeup artist for TV and film. All of the programs teach more than just makeup as well. You will learn about the business side, the industry you are wanting to go in to and how to properly market yourself to gain employment. You also get a lot of product in your kit for each program! I have only needed to purchase a small amount of product after the program. After completing all of these programs I felt ready to step in to the industry with full confidence in the new skills I have learned. I was taught by Tara (for basics) and Chantel (airbrushing, advanced, SPFX) both who are very knowledgeable and detailed. I learned a lot from these wonderful instructors (yes there is a lot to learn! trust me! ) and all the instructors/staff are easily approachable and eager to help you perfect your techniques (Jessica I haven't forgotten about you too!). I attended the programs during COVID which made it some what difficult due to the "lock down" for a short time. Tara and the staff did everything they could to help accommodate the students. The new studio is big, bright and beautiful. There is a lot of space to social distance and it makes you feel like you are on the job instead of just being in a "classroom". I am happy to say that I was able to gain employment right out of school because of the skills I was able to showcase that I learned here at AW. I would highly recommend this school if you are looking for a successful career in any makeup path you are choosing to take! <3

    Employment Post Graduation
    Rayshel Ludwar



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    Join us for the Special FX Makeup Diploma at ARTISTS WITHIN