Bill Corso, nominated for this year’s Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar for his work on Foxcatcher, shared his on-set expertise with Cinema Makeup School students on Feb. 27.

Cinema Makeup School demo: Bill Corso explains his techniques
Bill Corso explains his techniques to a large crowd

At the Los Angeles-based school, Corso led a demo on day playing, the industry term for when an artist is brought onto a production for a short time to fill in or supplement the regular make-up crew. To recreate the effect of using unfamiliar prosthetic pieces on an unfamiliar actor (or as he described it, being handed “a pirate in a bag”), Corso chose pieces that CMS student Edward Malys created in class. Malys also assisted on the demonstration.

Corso described what he was doing throughout the prosthetic application and painting process, answering audience questions as he went. The final make-up featured multiple types of paint (PAX, rubber mask greasepaints, tattoo colors) and was applied in multiple layers and translucent washes.

Cinema Makeup School demo: close up of Bill Corso's work
A close look at Bill Corso at work

“Bill is a great communicator, and mixed plenty of humor into the presentation,” said CMS Chief Academic Officer and emcee Michael Spatola. “It was not only great fun for the students to see, but also showed beautiful technique and important insights into the business of make-up.”

Although this demonstration was only open to CMS students, the school does host public events as well. Information on these is available at

Follow the link for a recent American Horror Story demo at Cinema Makeup School.