Film III and IV students tour special effects makeup studio


Viewpoint students with Mr. Nicotero outside the studio. Photo courtesy of Ms. Hoenig.

Heather Holm, Staff Writer

On Tuesday April 16, 16 Viewpoint Film III and IV students went to the KNB EFX Group Inc. Studio, home of special effects production for shows such as The Walking Dead and Star Wars, to gain more knowledge about special effects makeup.

Two years ago, the idea for the trip came from now Film III student Deja Tribbitt (’20) who was interested in special effects makeup. Tribbitt (’20) was in the same film class as Deven Nicotero (’20), whose father Greg Nicotero is the owner of KNB EFX Group Incorporated.

KNB EFX Group Inc. Studio produces masks, latex heads, and bodies for The Walking Dead, Star Trek, and Star Wars. The studio creates these special effects “the old way,” meaning they do everything by hand. Creating different masks can take weeks and even months, with hours spent fitting the masks to each of the actors.

At the studio, students were given a tour of the facility and shown masks from previous seasons of The Walking Dead and costumes they have created for the actors to look like zombies. Students even saw the makeup artists work on an employee that was being tested for a new kind of mask they were creating. Greg Nicotero, owner of the studio, gave students a history of the studio and a background of his work.

Monica Hoenig, Film III and IV Teacher and chaperone for the trip, describes the experience as a “once in a lifetime experience.”

“By going behind the scenes students got to gain more knowledge about the film industry through seeing how much detail and care goes into a film,” Hoenig said.