Heather Culver Mistress of Makeup

Looks can be deceiving. With a radiant smile, stunning looks and a sweet disposition that would make candy companies jealous, Heather Culver may seem like the typical girl next store but watch out, she has a macabre talent for scaring people half to death.

As Ghoul Skool’s pick for Mistress of Makeup, Heather has all the credentials as a star of Hollywood Horror FX. Trained under the watchful eye of James Ryder, (The Cell, Ghost World), Heather has come into her own as Director of Gore EFX and SFX on the soon to be released movie series, “Soul Ripperz”. Heather is a true master of of the Old School methods of makeup and FX, true to the tradition of Chaney, Pierce and others before her.

 She prefers Gel FX to Latex and dabbles in Ghoul Skool alchemy, ie, turning everyday items into pure Gold. Harlow Keith, Executive Producer and actor in Soul Ripperz couldn’t stop praising Heather’s ingenius techniques in producing horrific but realistic FX. “She went to the local supermarket, got some chunky peanut butter, gelatin and other dietary staples, added her unmatched skill and simply produced unparalleled eerie makeup and SFX."

The Interview with Heather Culver, Ghoul Skool's Mistress of Makeup

1. Do you have any tips for upcoming FX artists who want to get into the business?

Get really good training. I HIGHLY suggest any of the James Ryder makeup Labs. Read as much as possible on technique and practice, practice, practice. If you don't have people to practice on, do yourself, my arm has been stabbed, burned, bruised, tattooed etc.

2. Do you have any favorites when it comes to types of makeup?

I really like Gel Effects slabs and bottles. I love the super thick scab blood by Ben Nye and the Bottle of Blood from Halloween World. Mehron makes some really cool stuff as well. Ben Nye has great wheels for burns, bruises and scabs. Spirit Gum and remover by any one but I have had good luck with Ben Nye. I also love mortician wax.

3. Any tips on creating realistic looking FX like those in your pictures?

Don't over do it!! Mortician wax is amazing for a great effect. Take the spirit gum some cotton, wax and some blood for an easy but realistic wound, scar, bullet hole exct. When in doubt add blood splatter. Pay attention to fine detail and step away fom the person to get different views. I like to take digital pictures as I go so I can see how the makeup is photographing.

4. I know that makeup can be a long and tedious process, on average how long does it take you to finish FX on a person.

That completely depends on the person, the character and the severity of the wounds or manner of death. Anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes If you add prosthetics expect to spend more time. You can go from ten minutes to several hours.

5. I noticed from your website that you do special occasion makeup and FX. What was the most interesting job that you had?

My most interesting and challenging job was as Makeup head for a photo shoot in LA as part of my training. We had people getting hit by cars, a rock star Diva on stage and strung out drug addicts to name a few. It was wonderful and a nightmare all at the same time!!!! I loved every minute of it in hindsight!!!!!

6. What would be your ultimate fantasy job?

There are soooooooo many!!!! I would love to have steady work on a show like CSI or Alias ( Buffy would have rocked !!!! ). I also would love to do a film that travels between time and get to do all different styles of makeup. I also really dig crazy photo shoots and doing models in black and white film. If I could just get paid to do makeup for the rest of my life I will die happy!!!

Talking to Heather was the same as any of the crew of Soul Ripperz, all consummate professionals and yet within minutes, they seem like old friends. If your getting ready to make a horror movie, or just want an unbelievably talented, professional makeup and FX artist for special occasions, you can contact Heather at her website,
Just think, the next time you see someone at the supermarket buying ham, peanut butter, chocolate and jello, it may not be another party hostess but, Ghoul Skool’s Mistress of Makeup.