How Helen got a job making monsters for Doctor Who

Worcester News: MONSTER: Helen Rowe at work. MONSTER: Helen Rowe at work.

COMING face-to-face with Doctor Who monsters is all in a day’s work for one Worcester woman.

Special effects make-up artist Helen Rowe, of St John’s, Worcester, has helped create some of the scariest aliens and most memorable baddies from the hugely popular BBC show starring David Tennant.

The 25-year-old has worked for award-winning company Millennium FX for more than four years and recently used her skills on the new Harry Potter film.

Miss Rowe, who went to Pitmason Primary School and Christopher Whitehead High School, loved every minute of working on the Half-Blood Prince, due to be released in cinemas next year.

“I worked my socks off in the silicone department producing various pieces, which was brilliant,” she said.

“I really enjoyed my time there and hope to go back sometime soon for the final film.”

Miss Rowe’s first experience of special effects make-up was watching the lavish music video for Michael Jackson’s classic 1980s hit Thriller.

She said: “It was watching that film that made me want to have ago for myself, so in my final year for my GCSE art project I made a very ropey-looking zombie mask.

“After school I didn’t know whether it was something I could do for a living so I went to college and studied graphic design.

“Then I decided to give make-up another go and studies for an HND in theatrical and media make-up and costume.”

Miss Rowe met Neill Gorton, founder of Millennium FX, at a trade show in London and impressed him with her portfolio of work.

She has created silicone masks and models for Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, Channel 4’s Gender Swap series and the Catherine Tate Show, as well as Doctor Who.

Comments (1)

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9:22am Sun 5 Oct 08

optillusionfx says...

It would seem that Miss Rowe has truly forgotten that it was in fact I who introduced her to Neill Gorton at the make-up artist Trade show in 2004, even Mr Gorton will remember this fact.... how quick the youth of today forget... and also that I also infact taught her privately to a quailty to get her into her present position as the worcester college of technology's HND makeup and costume course would never beable to teach prosthetics to a student to meet today's industry needs.I work in TV and Film industry and well known locally for my skills and knowledge. Shame the youth of today never remember to credit the real people who helped them or they just choose to suit themself, luckly for me I have lots others who remember the Struggling miss Rowe and how much time and materials I put into helping her to realise her dreams.

Steve Chambers (Effects Make-up Artist)
It would seem that Miss Rowe has truly forgotten that it was in fact I who introduced her to Neill Gorton at the make-up artist Trade show in 2004, even Mr Gorton will remember this fact.... how quick the youth of today forget... and also that I also infact taught her privately to a quailty to get her into her present position as the worcester college of technology's HND makeup and costume course would never beable to teach prosthetics to a student to meet today's industry needs.I work in TV and Film industry and well known locally for my skills and knowledge. Shame the youth of today never remember to credit the real people who helped them or they just choose to suit themself, luckly for me I have lots others who remember the Struggling miss Rowe and how much time and materials I put into helping her to realise her dreams. Steve Chambers (Effects Make-up Artist) optillusionfx
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