Cinema Makeup School was founded in 1993 by a professional makeup artist seeking to create a more comprehensive makeup artist school that offered up-to-date education to aspiring makeup and special effects technicians. At the time, there were very few dedicated makeup schools in Los Angeles, and many of those that existed offered training that was either outdated or out-of-step with the needs of the entertainment industry. Most of the industry’s training—especially in the special effects world—happened informally through apprenticeships and internships that were often unpaid, unadvertised and all-but-inaccessible to people without insider connections and financial means. At the same time, the explosion of special effects-driven blockbuster movies (that had been going on, unabated, since the late ‘70s created unprecedented public awareness of, and interest in, special effects. With so few doorways to the industry and so many interested young people, someone needed to bridge that gap.
The school opened its doors in a modest facility in the heart of L.A. and got to work teaching students. The plan was simple: offer shorter, more concentrated classes; keep all instruction up-to-date with the latest professional methods and standards; and attract top working artists to teach at the school.