Award-winner JOEL HARLOW is one of the most innovative makeup and
special makeup artists and designers in American motion pictures. He
has proven himself to be one of a very few number of artists who is able
to span the world of makeup effects design and creation to the world of
on set makeup application.
the old studio system of an "in house" makeup and prosthetics
department, Harlow and his team have successfully accommodated last
minute needs and changes on a variety of major productions.
1986, Harlow left his home town of Grand Forks, ND for the faster paced
lifestyle of New York. Attending the School of Visual Arts in
Manhattan afforded him the opportunity to develop his craft, initially
as an animation major. It was makeup and prosthetics that were his true
passion however, and he eventually found work on an array of low budget
genre pictures, creating characters on shoestring budgets.
was the idea of creating characters that was his focus (be that as an
animator or makeup artist), the characters were what was important.
Angeles was the next logical destination for a makeup effects artist in
the late 80s, early 90s, and Harlow soon found himself there.
a decade long career working for the various makeup effects studios in
the San Fernando Valley, he eventually joined the union. This now
allowed him the opportunity to, not only create and build makeups but
also apply them on set. taking a character full circle from design to
completion would prove his specialty.
to now apply his skills on set, Harlow began working steadily on such
high profile films as “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “A.I. Artificial
Intelligence,” “Planet of the Apes,” “Constantine” and “Pirates of the
Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” creating a long-standing
relationship with Johnny Depp, director Gore Verbinski and producer
Jerry Bruckheimer. Harlow would be the key makeup artist, makeup effects
supervisor, and prosthetic makeup designer on “Pirates of the
Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”, and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s
End,” again directed by Verbinski. Being well versed in the aesthetic
of the "Pirate" films, he would go on to be makeup designer and
department head on “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,”
directed by Rob Marshall. Finally having his hand in all five Pirate
films as Department Head of "Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Men Tell No
Tales" additional photography.
2009 Harlow had ventured from the crusty old world of Captain Jack to
the futuristic polished world of Captain Kirk, where he was tasked with
creating looks for the Romulans and reintroducing the Vulcans for JJ
Abrams' "Star Trek", ultimately winning an Academy Award for his work in
2010. Previously, Harlow had already won a Critic’s Choice award for
his work on "Alice in Wonderland," as well as Primetime Emmy Awards for
the television miniseries versions of Stephen King’s “The Stand” and
“The Shining,” and receiving nominations for “Mad Men,” “Carnivale” and
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
For the past 8 years Harlow has worked as Johnny Depp’s makeup artist on "Alice in Wonderland", “Alice Through the Looking Glass”, "The
Tourist", "Transcendence", "Mortdecai", "Tusk" and "Into The Woods", as
well as makeup designer on “The Rum Diary,” “Dark Shadows”, "Black
Mass" and “The Lone Ranger", for which he was nominated for a second Academy Award.
addition Harlow was key makeup artist on Ron Howard’s “Angels &
Demons,” key prosthetic makeup artist for Christopher Nolan’s
“Inception”, key prosthetic makeup artist on “Green Lantern” and makeup department head on “Battle: Los Angeles.”
for the opportunities that Justin Lin's "Star Trek Beyond" offered in
the world of character creation, Harlow enlisted some of the industries
best artists to help bring a staggering 56 different alien races to the
screen. Never before had there been so many different and elaborate
practical makeup creations offered up in a single film, a fact that
Harlow and crew take immense pride in.
Harlow’s company, Morphology FX Inc. continues to create a full range
of state-of-the- art makeup, special makeup effects and prosthetics.
Seeing characters through, from lab to set, continues to be the
artistic passion of everyone on the team.