On the day before Halloween, Sangeet returned once again to capture the imaginations of our students for one of the most exciting Halloween events we have ever hosted. Previous master classes at Delamar have included gunshot wounds and the legendary blood rigs evening, where the front row got spurted with blood!
We set the open task of each guest applying a Halloween make-up look just before the event started. The best work would be in with the chance of assisting Sangeet in his workshop, with runners up prizes going to those who closely missed out.
With thanks to artistic tutors Catherine Scoble, Jane Maier and Jennifer Drew, cobwebs were a-plenty, the mirrors were painted with blood and spiders adorned every surface. We even had a smoke machine, lights and candles to dress the room. Our photographer JC Candendo set up a photo studio in the opposite classroom to shoot the student’s Halloween make-up work.
For those who don’t know, Sangeet Prabhaker is a top industry name in prosthetics and special effects make-up. A pioneering artisan with a self taught background and obsession with mould making, Sangeet has crafted many of his own techniques.
His career to date has been nothing short of inspiring – from working on Red Dwarf 3 years ago to transforming Tom Hardy into Bane, to recently working with the counter terror police to simulate terror attack wounds, to recreating prosthetic body parts for cancer survivors. Private client work is as rewarding as it can be bizarre… We all giggled at the mention of a prosthetic penis made for a naturist.
One huge takeaway for prosthetics artists is the knowledge that the industry is incredibly niche, then within it are even more niche skillsets, which can provide a lifetime career for the talented and hard working. Nobody outside of the make-up and film world will likely understand what Sangeet and many others in the field do for a living, and that’s ok. Our students were told to accept that not everyone in their family or wider circle will be supportive let alone understanding of their career choice, especially for some cultures who encourage their children to take up specific professions.
Creative people are usually complex beings, and Sangeet is no exception – with a purist approach to working hard, he certainly did not mince his words when imparting advice to the students. While many top prosthetics artists have trained somewhere, he stressed the importance on time spent outside the classroom, necessary to demonstrate your passion and build on your craft. Grit was a theme that came up repeatedly, with the ability to take criticism and negative feedback. Some students were scared, many were entertained, but as a room we felt inspired by Sangeet’s bags passion and accomplishments.
An intelligent thinker, Sangeet is an advocate for equal opportunities, representation across the industry and people succeeding on a meritocratic basis. This evening was the first time our new students had met Sangeet, he struck them as a force of nature yet incredibly low key at the same time, preferring “chilled vibes only” from his team.
We learnt top prosthetic application tips, how preparing the skin is so crucially important, the beauty of alcohol activated paints and the difference between being an artist and a craftsperson. Understanding your role properly will lead to the best results from your work and overall career.
Sangeet reinforced the importance of working well with other people and how to work with people you don’t like, the main tip was to respect the other person’s skill and professional ability. He spoke at length of the sacrifices and rewards of choosing this career path, which still feels very misunderstood to others and underground at times.
We were really impressed with the demo; it was effortless for Sangeet to create the cyber demon character on Nick, whose looks were enhanced by the prosthetic pieces and subtle paintwork. The evening was more like an audience with Sangeet – he had so many interesting things to say, the students did not stop writing. The man needs his own podcast! Thank you Sangeet for imparting your advice, being so inspiring and developing our student’s understanding.