Charles Porlier

Make-up and effects

With over 40 years experience alternating as a Make-Up and Effects Artist, Designer, and consultant – on feature film and television projects including Steven Spielberg’s tribute to author Roald Dahl – The BFG, TV’s The Killing, the prehistoric ‘boy and his dog’ thriller Alpha, Star Trek Beyond, the ridiculous Hot Tub Time Machine, Connie & Carla, the vampires vs. werewolves epic Twilight Eclipse, Marvel’s X Men-2, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s The Sixth Day, Brian DePalma’s Mission to Mars, the horrific Thirteen Ghosts, and The Santa Clause, starring Tim Allen, two-time EMMY award winner Charles Porlier is dedicated to furthering our craft. ‘It’s about sharing, really – I’ve been extremely fortunate in my career to have had such great friends, mentors and examples set – to not return so many favours would be “karmically unwise’…

Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta Canada, at the age of thirteen, as a self-taught puppeteer and magician, Charles travelled to New York to meet and spend time learning with the legendary Jim Henson on the iconic children’s TV show Sesame Street. ‘It was the early 1970’s, and I thought for sure my future as a puppeteer was sealed’.

However, Charles was also a makeup artistry enthusiast. ‘Growing up, I loved Saturday children’s matinee’s at my local theatre – and was a huge fan of classic monster movies. My father had taken me to see the original ‘Planet of the Apes’ in 1968 – I just wanted to re-create for myself these fantastic characters that I loved so much!’ To that end, Charles eventually ‘left’ magic and puppetry behind, committing fully to his makeup self-studies, even assuming a role as makeup artist on his high school’s drama productions.

Beginning his professional makeup career before graduating high school, Charles attributes having met many caring and helpful people along his path, as being the reason he could create a solid career in production so early. He even credits ‘the business’, for introducing him to his wife and life-partner of over 35 years, during a shoot in Toronto.

Then, from 2003 until 2008, Charles took a pause away from the production world to develop the now world-renowned Makeup Design Program for Film & Television at Vancouver Film School (VFS).

That assignment ended successfully in 2008, and although he is actively working back ‘on-set’, Charles travels across North America teaching established industry professionals advanced, practical makeup skills via a production-based curriculum. Stressing that with the traditional production landscape changing almost faster than the industry can keep up with, the pros must be more committed than ever. Film unions especially find value in exposing their craftspeople to the well-travelled insights of this ‘makeup evangelist’.

‘Due to the advent of digital technologies and more varied distribution platforms, it is vital that we makeup artists reconcile the myths with the realities stemming from tech-change. What concerns me as an artist and a technician – is that as guardians of an analog craft within a digital world, we must always strive to develop and define the collaborative language used – our language as makeup artists – to ensure our viability in a competitive marketplace.’

His work is published on industry covers including American Cinematographer, Makeup Artist Magazine and in Fangoria and Cinefex, and Charles also contributes editorially to publications such as Flare and Makeup Artist Magazine.

In 2014, Charles was chosen to be one of 30 influential makeup artists from around the world, to celebrate Makeup Forever’s 30th anniversary, in their ’30 for 30′ publicity campaign.

He is three times nominated for an Emmy award (won twice), for Charles is a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS), and has also been a speaker (including keynote) to professional and developing makeup artists around the world, at venues including The International Makeup Artist Trade Show (IMATS), in Pasadena California, in London UK, and Vancouver, BC, The United Makeup Artists Expo (UMAE), in London UK, the New York & Miami ‘Makeup Show’s and ‘Color Mondo’ in Montreal Canada.

Charles is a Star Wars (© LFL/Disney) fan, a member of the 501st Legion, a world-wide Star Wars costuming group that raises money for local charities, and an outdoor enthusiast. He lives near Vancouver, Canada.


Session Locations

Participants will be given complete schedules and location upon registration.

Follow us:

Any Questions? We can help!