Earlier this year a group of friends and colleagues, members of an online community of Italian Special FX Makeup Artists called EffectUs,started to brainstorm together to find a way to provide a platform where both professionals and amateurs of this fascinating field of art and technology could meet, share, exchange artistic techniques and work experiences.
In Italy, in fact, there is a great and prestigious tradition of makeup and SFX artists, which have inspired, especially in the past decades, the entire world with their creations and inventive.
Unfortunately unlike other European Countries or the U.S., Italy does not have a “industry” for this field, and the artists that work in this sector are often employed by small companies or have homeshops, at best. Much of the knowledge comes from very few specialized schools, and the rest is mainly selftaught and learned through experience. It is therefore obvious that, for these professionals, exchanging experiences with colleagues and aficionados is fundamental to grow and have a chance to make their way in bigger and bigger productions.
Even if, thanks to the social networks, these exchanges are now daily and fruitful, the group understood that meeting in person with colleagues all around the world could never be replaced by the simple online connections. This because the growth of the artistic community at a national and international level is only possible through the ability to meet personally, discuss and form professional friendships, not to mention the possibility to learn from great international masters, which are often out of reach. Therefore, the idea of an Event was born, an event that aims to be a meeting and a cultural and artistic exchange between colleagues and people passionate about Special Makeup Effects.
The event, which is now set to happen in Rome on the 19and 20of September 2015 at the location Lanificio 159,will be structured in two days of art, culture, cinema, education, competition and trade in which there will be educational moments and “peertopeer” exchange of knowledge, which are fundamental opportunities that will make the Special Makeup Effects artists grow artistically and personally with the advantage to save, thanks to the event, time and finances.
The event obviously requires the educational section, enriched with workshops, conferences and exhibitions,so that the professional or amateur makeup artists can finally find available, in one single situation, information and news, rather than having to look for them around, often having to go abroad to have the chance to keep themselves fully updated.
Themed workshops will be held by renewed professionals and will be offered at convenient prices to the members of the Association.
Conferences and seminars will also be held by relevant professionals from the Italian industry, and also by selected international guests. Besides being an opportunity to ask questions and listen to others professionals’ experiences, these moments will be a unique possibility to meet charismatic personalities otherwise inaccessible for the sometimes contingent impossibility to travel abroad and participate to other international trade shows, just to name a few we are proud to host Neill Gorton and Sergio Stivaletti amongst our guests.
Finally, an Exhibition section is thought to promote the creativity and reward the commitment of the artists, as well as constitute a further occasion of artistic confrontation.
It will host artworks of mixed materials and techniques made by the Special FX Artists, selected by a specific guideline regulation.
The gallery can be a great opportunity of selfpromotion for the artists, which can make themselves known by other colleagues and potential employers.
There will also be a little photographic gallery illustrating briefly the history of the art of the Special Makeup Effects, to allow the amateurs to explore deeper this discipline, and to let the professional retrace the route of their art.
After these first bases were set, the EffectUs team didn’t still feel fully satisfied and wanted to take the event a step further and think it also as a Trade Show.
This would allow the acquaintance of several Italian workshops that, even if not belonging directly to the Special Effects industry, still produce suitable materials for this field of work, This idea was particularly important for the group, because it supports both the “Made in Italy”, which is still considered one of the best “brands” for SFX, and the smaller realities that are growing in the country and that need an international stage to make their name arrive over the national borders.
Moreover, the event will host, in the same location, both national and international suppliers, creating an opportunity to expand the attendant’s knowledge about materials and products available on the worldwide market.
Often, the special equipment and products for the Special Makeup Effects are difficult to source (economically and logistically) and the majority of those who approach the business do not know the potential local alternatives to the greater foreign suppliers. Thanks to the research that many artists have done in the course of their career path, and to the exchanges of information in the Facebook group “Effetti Speciali Made in Italy”, the group realized that it’s possible to find almost everything is needed for the job, in terms of equipment and products, here in Italy and elsewhere in Europe.
Thanks to the Event many will be able to touch with their hands the products and evaluate new suppliers to consider for their future work.
However, even foreign products have an important role within the trade section, especially those created specifically for the special makeup effects industry, which have been developed abroad where the film and television industry is larger and consequently demanding more performance and experimentation.
Despite the Italian industry being smaller than other foreign realities, the new generation of artists of the Special Makeup Effects still demands the quality of specific products that meet their needs, even if it means to get them abroad. To have them at the event would clearly be a great opportunity to learn about new products and buy in a facilitated way the classic ones.
The idea of the event was growing larger and larger and, inevitably, the idea of an inbound Competition between SFX artists started to grow in the minds of the EffectUs team. Inspired by successful TV shows that have opened the world of SFX to a wider and more differentiated public (like “Face Off”), the competition aims to stimulate the creativity of the young professionals at their career start and of the students of schools from all over the World.
The challenge will have a theme to follow, which is the famous Italian poem “The Divine Comedy”. The contestants’ creations will be presented in a catwalk during the opening party on the event’s first evening.
Those will be judged by a jury of professionals of the Special Makeup Effects, and the winners will be awarded with prizes and tags. The competitions will be divided in two categories, to allow both experienced professionals and students or amateurs, the chance to show their skills and creativity.
At the end of each day there will be the classic recreational time and an aperitif/themeparty will be held, in which artists can meet each other in person beyond other activities and build new professional and personal relationships.
The party also wants to be open to everyone, not only to the artists of special makeup effects, allowing the possibility of meeting with professionals of the show business of other departments (directors, photographers, producers, etc) and, in the intent, give birth to projects and partnerships.
And since there is no SFX without the movies, thanks to the collaboration of the Independent Fantasy/SciFi/Horror Film Festivals “Fantafestival” and “Interiora” (interiorahorror.wordpress.com), the team also thought of a retrospective of selected short films from the selection of the festivals’ previous editions. Only eight finalists are going to be chosen and the best Special Makeup Artist will be awarded, which will be judged for his\hers creativity and talent. This is also a way of promoting a partnership with another independent realities, which in the recent past have affirmed themselves more, and more, and a chance to discover some hidden talent in the independent movie business.
Finally, choosing the location, the choice was found in Rome, because of its convenient geographical position for the affluence of visitors from both Italy and Europe, as well as constituting itself a great touristic site, which frames perfectly a cultural and artistic event like this.
After many researches for the space that would have hosted the event, the Lanificio 159 was chosen which is situated in via Pietralata 159/A in Rome, facing the river Aniene.
This complex, originally home to the wool factory Lanificio Luciani, has been thoroughly renovated to become a polyvalent space dedicated to contemporary art, music and events, it also hosts a bar, a restaurant and a big outdoor area.
And so, after various months of contacts and hard work, the EffectUs Event was finally born. The sponsorships and the single donations, collected through a crowdfounding on GoFoundMe campaign, which is still active (www.gofoundme.com\effectusevent), immediately began to arrive, confirming the team’s intuition that an Event like this, in Italy, was deeply wanted and waited by the SFX community. International SFX stars like Neill Gorton or Sergio Stivaletti were more than happy to assure their presence, giving the project an immediate international range, and soon, all the bigger makeup artists and shops from all over Italy responded to the call, offering their knowledge and products.
A great project born from individuals that feel how important is teamwork and the exchange of techniques and experiences is now only less than a month from happening. There is still time to support it through the organized crowd founding,each donation will help the event grow bigger and better for everyone attending it, with the hope to become the first of an annual convention and a reference point for both local and international artists.
Know more: www.effectusevent.com or firstname.lastname@example.org