Lord of the Rings make-up artist to teach in Taranaki

He’s worked on the likes of Lord of the Rings and King Kong, and now special effects make-up artist Steven Hopgood will be sharing his talents with Taranaki.

The region’s main tertiary provider, Witt, has nabbed Hopgood to teach make-up artistry and special effects and he starts his new role next week.

Hopgood comes to the polytech with experience on box-office movie sets and countless theatre productions, and not surprisingly boasts a very impressive resume.

“I’ve worked on movies such as Lord of the Rings, King Kong, Underworld and a couple of short films,” he says.

“And in theatre, I was head of department and design for Les Misérables. I’ve worked on some great shows and musicals such as Phantom of the OperaThe Buddy Holly Show, Grease, The Sound of Music and West End to Broadway.”

Hopgood says a highlight of his career has been working with some top makeup artists from around the world, including Mark Busen, Marvin Westmoore, Peter King, Mike Packs and Jeff Fliton.

He has relocated his family from the Waikato to Taranaki and says he is keen to see what the region has to offer.

“I’m excited to develop make-up and special effects within Taranaki… My goal in this role is to create talented make-up artists, and I hope to see some Witt graduates going on to succeed in the growing film and theatre industry.”

Witt’s hair and beauty programme manager Kirsty Ryan says Hopgood’s arrival is an exciting time for both the department and the students.

“We are pretty lucky to have Steven on board. It’s a great opportunity for our students to get a personal insight into the growing area of film and theatre makeup.”