Friday, August 1, 2014

Kosart Student Spotlight: Scott Mitchell

Upon watching the Face Off Season 7 premiere, I wanted to tell everyone of the pride I had watching 2 of my students from Kosart Atelier: School for Entertainment Arts, Scott and Dina, make it onto the biggest competition for make-up FX, but primarily take this time to back up the work of one of those individuals.  Scott Mitchell was the first artist eliminated on a first ever “Audition Challenge” foundation make-up.

Scott is one of my first students.  Back in April 2011 when I just opened the doors to my new studio and just started teaching classes, both he and his son were there for my first set of classes.  He has taken every first class I have ever offered, taking all 12 of my classes.  Always one of the top students, he met each class project with enthusiasm, and often went above and beyond what was asked of him in class.  He would come up with great designs for characters and creatures, giving them each a wonderful back story that made you want to know more.  He always had great execution for each piece, and it was inspiring to see his progression over the years.

It is because of his great talent and enthusiasm that I began bringing Scott in to help and assist in classes and workshops that he has already taken, to now helping to instruct my classes at Kosart Atelier: Schoolfor Entertainment Arts, and bringing him in to help on Kosart Effects projects.

Scott was the first member of my team at Kosart Effects Studios, which later came to include several others, including Season 7’s Dina Cimarusti.  With the team, I brought Scott in to continue learning beyond the classroom, by tackling several projects.  It was really an exciting time at the studio, Scott quickly became my right hand man.

One of the first projects Scott assisted on was the molding, casting, and application of "Ivan the Cyclops" for a Floor & Decor commercial, that you can see HERE.  Though we had several issues with the cooking of the prosthetics, Scott and the team rose to the challenge and in 4 hours of application before set, we fixed the prosthetics and delivered a successful makeup to set that the client loved.  Scott was key in that process.

Another was for a boogeyman character for Joshua Hoffine’s first film Black Lullabye.  For this, Scott was tasked to make a gnarly set of boogeyman dentures.  Scott’s attention to detail and precision in execution made those teeth top notch and was the element that helped to bring the whole make-up together.  

We worked on another project for Joshua Hoffine and Sony UK, Monster Prom.  For this my team and I created awkward, nerdy, teenage versions of the classic monsters: Dracula, Wolf-Man, and Frankenstein’s Monster.  I designed these 3 characters, and Scott was key in adding the final details to the Wolf-Boy character sculpture, he sculpted and molded the Wolf-Boy feet, along with molding, casting, and seaming the 3 monster boy sculptures, helping to sculpt the dental pieces, casting and finishing all the dental pieces, and doing some of the hair work.

And the last of the major projects was a Mrs. Doubtfire-esque make-up that I can’t give many specifics yet.  However, Scott was key in molding and casting the make-up I designed and sculpted, creating the dental veneers and custom fingernails, and assisting in application of an 8-piece encapsulated silicone prosthetic for set days.  This make-up has to be hyper-realistic and perfect to make people believe this man is an elderly woman, and Scott has proven to have the chops to help get that make-up there. 

All in all, Scott is an amazing artist and a remarkable person.  He became more than a student, he became a colleague, and more importantly, a friend.  His sculpting of his own characters and creatures for masks, busts, and make-ups are all incredible, and I just feel sorry that none of you will have the opportunity to see what he can do on Face Off.

Despite what you may have seen on Face Off, or what the judges said, Scott does have what it takes to compete at that level.  My money was on him and Dina going into the competition, and were he to go again, knowing what happened on the first episode, I would still put my money on Scott to win it all.

Everyone has a bad day on Face Off.  I know I had a few of my own, and luckily I survived those trying times to ultimately win the show.  However, as we all know, Scott did not make it past the first round, which wasn’t even a Spotlight Challenge.  It was a twist to have 2 people eliminated right off the bat with a new “Audition Challenge” which was nothing more than a foundation make-up.  It is unfortunate that they eliminated artists based on a foundation make-up, that utilizes generic prosthetics that he or she was not responsible for in the design and sculpt of that piece, especially when you are given that piece to work with.  I’d rather see a contestant be eliminated based on the creativity and execution of their own work in the shop.  If that were the case on other seasons, some of the best makeup artists that ultimately made it to the finale as well as some who won their season would have been eliminated in their first foundation challenge based on their bad decisions on their first foundation make-up.  How tragic that would have been, and that should show that such talent and potential could have been wasted on this season’s Audition Challenge.  Yes, some bad decisions were made, but I guarantee you that had Scott made it past that round to the shop he would have gone very far, possibly making it to the finale and winning the show.  Though I do not know Gabby, I have the same belief in Gabby who was also eliminated.  It was sad to see them go based on a foundation challenge.  I hope they are both given another opportunity to come back to Face Off and show the world what they can do.  I do not know Gabby, but I know Scott, and Scott is a creative force to be reckoned with.

Here are a few of Scott’s pieces that show what he can do when actually given an opportunity to design and sculpt his own make-ups and sculptures.

So with that, I just want to say that I am still very proud of Scott, as very few make it as far as he did.  He beat out thousands of people just to have made it that far.  It takes a lot to put yourself and your art on display the way he did, and I just hope he gets another opportunity to show you all what he is made of.

On a lighter note, I am also very proud of my other student Dina, and am ecstatic that she made it to the next round and won the Audition Challenge.  I will do a write up on her and her work as well, but wanted to address Scott first.

Congrats to Dina and all the other contestants who actually made it on Season 7.  Thanks for taking the time to read this, and please continue to watch Face Off every Tuesday at 9/8c on Syfy.  It is my favorite show, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Photos by Kosart Effects Studios LLC, Kosart Atelier, Bear McGivney, Scott Mitchell, Simin Koernig, Joshua Hoffine, Brett Patrick Jenkins, and Syfy,
and copyright their respective artists.  All Rights Reserved.

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