Christien Tinsley is an icon in makeup and Special Fx makeup. His work spans every major studio you can think of and he has won Emmy’s and Academy Awards. Just to name a few films he’s worked on The Passion of the Christ, Jonah Hex, Transformers 3, Iron Man 2, and much much more. You can also find his work in American Horror Story the Season Premier of season 2 is October 17. Also you too can look stunning this Halloween with FX Transfers which will be available October 1st www.tinsleytransfters.com. I have the privilege to interview him and here’s the man himself…
BBM: How’s life treating you?
Really well, thank you. It has been a busy year which is a good thing.
BBM: What was your first major experience and when did you know you wanted to do makeup fx?
My first break came shortly after I moved to Los Angeles when I started working at “Steve Johnson’s XFX”. Iv’e wanted to do makeup fx since I was a kid growing up in Seattle WA.
BBM: Of all the styles your studio offers which one do you enjoy doing best and why?
Silicone prosthetic character makeups are my favorite. I really enjoy the challenge of achieving life like results.
BBM: Can you give us a run down on the steps before you start design, What kind of research do you do?
It depends on the project. Obviously if it is a historical period or person I would start by trying to find images of that individual or period. We research comics, artists, anatomy and medical books. One of my favorite go to sources is the Burns archives. There are a lot of great photos in those books.
BBM: Where do you find inspiration in life?
It can come from anywhere at any time. I work with a lot of creative people who continue to challenge me and inspire ideas. I enjoy observing details in almost everything and often ask the question “why”. This simple question helps motivate a need to create something different and new.
BBM: What’s one of your favorite projects that you’ve ever worked on?
The Passion of the Christ will always be near my heart. It was such a challenging yet rewarding project. Right now, I have to say that American Horror Story is topping the list. It is fun to have different effects to create each week. It definitely keeps things interesting.
BBM: Halloween is drawing near any special projects you can talk about?
This year, my retail company has launched a new product I developed for film called a 3D FX Transfers. This is a prosthetic geared towards the Halloween consumer. They are high quality 3-D prosthetics that are applied with water. There is nothing to equal it in the novelty market and I think people will be thrilled with the makeups that they can create on themselves.
BBM: 3 words that describe Tinsley Studios?
Innovative, honest, collaborative
BBM: Funniest moment on set?
It was a practical Joke played on Josh Brolin the very last day of filming Jonah Hex. It was a great stress relief for all. Unfortunately I can’t discuss what it was.
BBM: What’s in heavy rotation on your Ipod?
II have a very eclectic assortment of music ranging from Dolly Parton to Fugazi and Massive Attack. Sometimes theme music for the show I am working on is the best to keep everyone in the mood.
BBM: What’s the most difficult aspect of design?
Creating a look that is achievable in practical form and that no one has ever seen before.
BBM: What can fans expect from AHS season 2?
More insanity, breathtaking sets and more gore.
BBM: A fact about you that a fan may not know.
I like to avoid makeup as much as possible when I am not working. Woodworking is fun.
BBM: What are some words of wisdom you would give a youth wanting to pursue a carrier as a makeup artist?
Be a sound mixer, it pays more and… work hard, obsess until your 30 then get a life.
BBM: What’s coming up for you in the future?
Oldboy with Spike Lee and Josh Brolin, more of American Horror Story and some new retail ventures.
BBM: Any last words anything you want to add on?
BBM: Thank you sir it was an honor to interview such a talented artist!
Thank you it was my pleasure.
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