One of the state’s most in demand key makeup artists for film with 20 years of experience, Toni Marlo, is ready to teach students how to get started in the film industry.
Marlo is the instructor for Meridian Technology Center’s Makeup for Film and TV courses. These classes cover everything from makeup application and special effects to men’s grooming and concealing tattoos.
“The biggest difference in makeup for film is it needs to look like the character did it themselves or like they have no makeup on at all,” Marlo said. “In traditional makeup jobs you want to make them look like their makeup was professionally done.”
These upcoming courses in December and January offer students the chance to learn from a professional, but space is limited and the class won’t be offered again until December 2024.
Abigail Inman, a Cosmetology student at Gordon Cooper Technology Center, decided to take the classes on her break from school to add to her education.
“It’s a good learning environment,” Inman said. “I learned so much, and I’ve even incorporated the techniques I learned in how I do my makeup now.”
Inman was also able to make connections in the class to book jobs doing makeup for film and TV. She’s since worked on two productions, “Fairwood” and “In Her Likeness.”
“My cosmetology program focuses on what we need to pass our State Board test, but we don’t focus much on makeup,” Inman said. “The classes I took through Meridian were a good addition to what I am learning in my program.”
The film industry in Oklahoma continues to grow and Meridian’s film classes are helping bridge the gap in the workforce.
“Oklahoma is an attractive location for filmmakers because of the state’s central location, picturesque landscapes and cultural diversity,” said Cara Adney, Project Manager for Film and Special Training Projects. “These elements combined with film-friendly incentives and comparatively low production costs make coming here an easy choice. The challenge however, was finding experienced crew members who could support this influx.”
With the incentives Oklahoma offers for filmmakers to bring their projects to the state, more jobs continue to open for workers. Marlo believes Oklahomans have what it takes to fill those roles.
“More and more films and tv series are being made in Oklahoma and Texas every year,” Marlo said. “These projects need creative and hardworking crew. Why shouldn’t it be us?”
The Makeup for Film and TV classes start on December 18 with Color Theory and Foundation Matching for Film and TV and wrap up January 29 with Camera-Ready Makeup for Film and TV. All classes run on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Meridian’s South Campus in Guthrie.