Steve Prouty was recently awarded the Guild Award for his prosthetic makeup work on Bad Grandpa and has also just been nominated for an Academy Award for the same work. Along with our congratulations, we’d also like to thank Steve for being our Industry Speaks guest last night.
We always ask our guests to talk about how they got started in make-up—what led them in the direction of this career. Steve shared with us that he wanted to be an actor, but that didn’t pan out so well. He grew up in Atlanta, which wasn’t the ripest area for actors to develop a career. In school while studying acting, he learned a little about your basic out-of-the-kit make-up application. He was intrigued by the process and sought to learn more. He came across two books that became great resources; they were Stage Make-up by Richard Corson and Techniques of Three Dimensional Make-up by Lou Baygan Everything he owes to on-the-job training.
Steve credits Bob Shelley for “taking him under his wing” and giving him his first opportunities to work on things like test dummies and weapons and other miscellaneous projects. In the 90’s, Steve made his way out to Los Angeles where he met Jake Garber, Mike Burnett and Colin Penman who taught him the skills he has today. As many special make-up effects artist mention, resources were extremely limited, even as early as 20 years ago, so hands-on training was valuable experience.
MUD Los Angeles student Rebecca Abraham asked, “what do we need to do to get to an Oscar level.” Steve responded,
“Never be completely satisfied with your work. Critique it. Have others critique it. Keep learning and absorb as much as you can. You always have to want to do better than what you’ve done before.”
Today, Steve’s credits include How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Planet of the Apes, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Bad grandpa and more.