Vancouver Film School: Production, Animation, Game Design, Acting and more

Advisory Board

The proven education at VFS is built on a premise that the skills students learn here must prepare them for a lifetime of personal and professional opportunity. Our mission is to ensure that students come here and, in one year, learn what they need to move directly into the industry.

As part of this mandate, we involve prominent industry professionals in the development of our programs. These advisory boards serve as lifelines to the industry, providing students with direct connections to the professional world.

Charles Porlier | Norma Hill-Patton | Gail Kennedy | Christopher Pinhey

Charles Porlier

Makeup Artist

An award-winning artist, Charles received an Emmy for his prosthetic makeup work on actor William H. Macy in TNT's Door to Door, and was nominated in the same category for the Spielberg/DreamWorks mini-series Taken. He also won an Emmy for his work on TNT's Kissinger and Nixon, received a 2003 Canadian Network of Makeup Artists award for Door to Door, and was nominated for Best Makeup in the feature film category for his work on Tim Allen in The Santa Clause 2. In 2000, Charles received a Saturn award nomination (Science Fiction Academy Award) for his work on The Sixth Day.

In his 25 year career, Charles has played a key role in makeup departments for numerous box office hits like Thirteen Ghosts, Mission to Mars, Double Jeopardy, Jumanji, and the recent Universal picture Connie And Carla?. As Key Makeup Effects Artist on X-Men II, he helped create the unforgettable character Night Crawler, played by Alan Cumming. Charles is a regular guest lecturer at schools and conventions, and is a contributor to Flare and Makeup Artist Magazine. Charles was instrumental in designing and building the one-year Makeup Design for Film & Television program at VFS, now widely recognized as the best Makeup Design education in the world.

Norma Hill-Patton

Norma Hill-Patton first started working with makeup in retail before being invited to act as resident makeup artist for Orlane Cosmetics in Harrods Beauty Salon in London, England. While abroad, she studied makeup for film and television at the BBC, climbing through the ranks in hairstyling, makeup, and prosthetics, eventually becoming the BBC's youngest Makeup Supervisor/Designer.

After 11 years of experience on BBC series such as I, Claudius, Anna Karenina, Moll Flanders, and The Cleopatras, Norma left to work as a freelance makeup artist/designer on commercials, music videos, photo stills, and feature films including Out of Africa, Cool Runnings, Double Jeopardy, Insomnia, and X-Men 2.

Norma has worked as a personal hair and makeup artist for such celebrities as Ellen Barkin, Dyan Cannon, Dawn French, Larry Henry, and recently, Halle Berry. Her latest work can be seen in the feature films The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, and The A-Team.

Gail Kennedy

Makeup Technique

Recently winning the Emmy Award for 'Outstanding Makeup For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special (non-prosthetic)' for Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, confirmed for Makeup artist and educator Gail Kennedy that 'a makeup artist be an expert in all facets of the craft to succeed – "Wounded Knee was about facial hair and texture – and the technical expertise to pull it all off in varying conditions and over a long (but not long enough) shooting schedule".

Born and raised in the US, she was originally taught her craft by Vincent Kehoe, who wrote one of the definitive tomes on makeup artistry – Techniques of he Professional Make-up Artist.

Her more than 80 film and television credits include Legends of the Fall, The Edge, Resurrecting The Champ, Rat Race, The Lookout, The Assassination of Jesse James, and Into the West – for which she received 2 Emmy nominations. Gail has recently completed designing the make-up and make-up FX for Passchendaele, a World War I feature written and directed by Paul Gross.

Passionate about education, Ms. Kennedy has extensive teaching experience beginning in 1974. She has taught workshops on Theatre, Film, Television, and Fashion make-up all across the Prairie Provinces, was a Faculty sessional instructor with the University of Calgary Dept of Drama, and the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts; she has taught Make-up courses for The University of Alberta, and Grant McEwen Community College, and has been the Make-up Chairperson for IATSE Local 212, where she authored 3 permit evaluation exams and implemented the Make-up Dept Practical Skills Exam.

While Ms. Kennedy says that she is "honoured to be on the VFS Makeup Design Advisory Board," we feel doubly honoured to have her bring her many years of industry experience to the program.

Christopher Pinhey

Christopher Pinhey has been a makeup artist, for love and career, since 1988. He began in the Toronto theatre scene, segued into broadcast television in Ottawa, and ended up in the film industry in Vancouver in 1997. Since then he has worked on everything from makeup effects for big budget blockbusters like the Night at the Museum, X-Men and Fantastic 4 franchises, to projects like Connie and Carla, Sucker Punch, and Reefer Madness with drag queens and showgirls. Do not ask him to choose between monsters and showgirls! He enjoys and excels at both.