Jamie Kelman

As a child of the 1970's and a fan of fantasy and science fiction, alien life forms were Jamie's childhood friends. Whether he was playing with Star Wars and Dungeons & Dragons action figures, writing them into computer program text adventures on his Commodore 64, or sketching them into new comic book worlds of his own, he was soon to make a career of it.

Adolescent fears of monsters and horror movies transformed into a teenage fascination and obsession, thanks to a boom time for monster movies and special make-up effects during the 1980's. Absorbing all the information he could find in videos, books and magazines like FANGORIA, his Long Island, New York basement became a laboratory in experiments of synthetic flesh. As he splattered clay, plaster, and latex on the walls and old toys, new creatures emerged.

Kelman's first professional job, at age sixteen, was as a make-up effects assistant to John Dods on a TV show called 'MONSTERS' (1990), filmed in New York City. Soon after, hoping to meet tomorrow's new filmmakers, he attended college at New York University's acclaimed Tisch School of the Arts and majored in film production. While there he independently studied under Dick Smith's Professional Makeup Course and sharpened his makeup fx skills by experimenting and working on student films. Meanwhile, with an eye toward the future, he minored in computers learning graphics programs. Two weeks after receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1995, he headed west to Hollywood.

Two months after his west coast arrival, Jamie began working in a major make-up effects lab as the assistant to an Academy Award winning make-up artist, Matthew Mungle, who became his mentor. By the time he left that lab position for a freelance make-up career at the end of 1997, he had already earned credits on feature films, union status, and Emmy and Cable Ace award nominations. He eventually did win a Primetime Emmy Award trophy for Best Prosthetic Makeup for the television series ‘HOUSE, M.D.’ in 2007, and then won another Emmy Award in 2013 for his work transforming legendary entertainer Debbie Reynolds into the character of Liberace's mother for the movie BEHIND THE CANDELABRA.

Some of Kelman’s notable credits include: transforming Colin Farrell from handsome to sleazy for ‘HORRIBLE BOSSES’ (2011), creating aliens for the rebooted JJ Abrams ‘STAR TREK’
movies (2009 & 2013), turning the lead boy to a beast in ‘BEASTLY’ (2011), and transforming Mike Myers into the CAT IN THE HAT(2003). Jamie keyed the makeup departments for ‘IRON MAN’ (2008) and ‘SUPER 8’ (2011). Multiple projects with legendary make-up artist Rick Baker include 'PLANET OF THE APES' (2001), 'HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS' (2000), , 'MEN IN BLACK 2' (2002), and 'THE RING' series (2002 & 2006). On the movie 'LOOPER' (2012), Jamie worked with master artist Kazu Tsuji, transforming actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt into a young Bruce Willis, crafting movie magic with cutting-edge yet traditional makeup, an illusion which is central to telling writer/director Rian Johnson's time-bending story.

Jamie's lifetime love of fantasy and toys has now come full circle. He designs and creates prosthetics character makeups and special makeup effects from his KELMAN STUDIO for feature films,. and in his free time, he has been combining his drawing, painting, sculpting, and storytelling skills, and has written the imaginary world of TERATORIA™, a land of creatures and monsters inhabited by the characters he creates. TERATORIA is designed as a special place for those with restless imaginations to escape to. He is currently finalizing this illustrated storybook, and is pursuing the publication of this work.

As in the fantasy worlds of the recent films and shows he's worked on, Jamie Kelman's artwork aspires to entertain our world with future visions and fables of creatures and characters yet to be seen or imagined.


E-Mail comments to:jamie@kelmanstudio.com