As an artist, I am continually looking at different forms of expression and artistry. Special effects makeup is one of those art forms that I have become fascinated with lately. It has always been an integral part of what we experience in the movies and television. The special effects process has changed exponentially with the advent of new technologies and the public demand for exciting and more realistic entertainment. The makeup artist's role has changed dramatically through the years, elevated from simple face paints and glue to elaborate air brushing and life-like prosthetics.
One of the leading makeup and special effects artists in the industry is Glenn Hetrick. Glenn was born outside of Bethlehem, PA. In his youth his love of horror films led him to get involved in community theater, working as an actor and novice makeup artist. During his studies at York College, he acted for the first time in an independent horror film and honed his craft as a special effects makeup artist. Many more opportunities followed allowing him to further perfect his skills.
In 1995, Hetrick graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. At the time the New York horror scene was in full bloom and Glenn went straight to work on a number of independent projects. He did makeup for corporate industrials, created Halloween masks for costume companies, and collaborated with the iconic group "The Misfits" on the makeup for their stage shows and videos.
In an effort to move his career forward, Hetrick moved to Los Angeles. He hit on an opportunity to work as a designer, fabricator, painter, and sculptor for Optic Nerve Studios. For many years he worked on TV series such as "Buffy The Vampire Slayer",
"Angel", "The X-Files", "Freaky Links", "Babylon 5", and "Roswell". The fast-paced challenge to create a wide variety of creatures and characters fit his work style perfectly and fueled his sense of ingenuity. He also freelanced with a number of film studios, collaborating with Ve Neil and Joel Harlowe on features such as "Pitch Black" and "Chronicles of Riddick".
Glenn's talent for making amazingly realistic silicone prosthesis put him in the position to be able to open his own design studio. It also paved the way for him to eventually acquire Optic Nerve Studios where he got his start in the industry. O N S was founded by John Vulich and Everett Burrell and has been one of the premiere special effects companies in business today. Under Hetrick's guidance, the studio has continued it's excellence in movie effects creations and has added production of annimatronics, manual operation puppets, costume pieces, and specialty props to it's repertoire. The current staff is composed of artists with specialties in painting, fabrication, sculpting, makeup, and design.
Glenn Hetrick currently acts as one of 3 judges on the immensely popular SCI-FY TV competition, FACE OFF. He continues his hands on designing and producing for Optic Nerve Studios. For more information on O N S see www.opticnervefx.com.
Above left image, Glenn Hetrick, makeup artist.
Above right image one of Hetrick's creations.