Photo courtesy of EffectUs
Photo courtesy of EffectUs

In anticipation of EffectUs, a special make-up effects show being held this September in Rome, we spoke with organizer Lucia Pittalis and asked her to describe the process of staging such an event. EffectUs started with the idea of bringing together professionals and amateurs but quickly evolved into a full-scale trade show, Pittalis said, highlighting make-up creativity, talent and resources in Italy and beyond. Below, Pittalis gives us a preview of the show.


Earlier this year, members of EffectUs—an online community of Italian special effects make-up artists—came together in hopes of creating a platform for professionals and amateurs to meet and exchange artistic techniques and work experiences.

[In Italy] the artists who work in this sector are often employed by small companies or have home shops. Much of the knowledge comes from very few specialized schools, and the rest is mainly self-taught and learned through experience. There was a desire for colleagues and aficionados to exchange knowledge and experiences in order to grow as artists and advance the field. Thus, the EffectUs Special Makeup Event was born.

Clockwise from top left: Valentina Visintin, Giulia Giorgi, Valter Casotto, Luigi D'Andrea | Photo courtesy of EffectUs
Clockwise from top left: Valentina Visintin, Giulia Giorgi, Valter Casotto, Luigi D’Andrea | Photo courtesy of EffectUs

The event will be structured in two days of art, culture, cinema, education, competition and trade. Both nights will conclude with a cocktail party. The education portion is composed of workshops and conferences to be held by professionals from Italy and select international guests, including Neill Gorton and Sergio Stivaletti.

A competition among artists, themed with the famous Italian poem The Divine Comedy, will be presented on a catwalk during the opening party on the event’s first night.

An exhibition to promote the creativity and reward the commitment of the artists will also be featured. The exhibit will host artworks of mixed materials and techniques made by the special effects artists. A photo gallery will illustrate the history of special make-up effects.

Clockwise from top left: Lucia Pittalis, Andrea Leanza, Carlo Diamantini, Andrea Giomaro | Photo courtesy of EffectUs
Clockwise from top left: Lucia Pittalis, Andrea Leanza, Carlo Diamantini, Andrea Giomaro | Photo courtesy of EffectUs

Heritage and collaboration are the driving principles behind the event. The members decided to do a trade show so they could include several Italian workshops, which don’t directly belong to the special effects industry but produce suitable materials for the field. The inclusion supports Italian heritage and provides an international platform for small companies.

The event will host both national and international suppliers, providing a unique opportunity for artists to purchase products and tools with limited-to-no availability in Italy.

In collaboration with Fantafestival (the International Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Show) and Interiora (an independent horror film festival), there will be a retrospective of selected short films from these festivals’ previous editions. Guests will vote for the best special make-up artist.

Members and organizers of the event launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money. They hope the event will be the first installment of an annual convention and a reference point for both local and international artists.

The EffectUs Special Makeup Event will take place at Lanificio 159 in Rome on Sept. 19-20, 2015.

For more details, visit the EffectUs website, Facebook page or Instagram.