A further education college rolled out the red carpet to welcome its Oscar-winning son: prosthetic and make-up artist David Malinowski.
Former New College Stamford student David won the Film Academy Award accolade, affectionately known as Oscar, for the Makeup and Hairstyling award for his incredible efforts in transforming Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour.
David, 39, returned to visit the department where he learnt his craft from 1995-1996, and he brought his Bafta and Oscar awards with him, wowing the 100 hair, make-up, fashion and performing arts students with the story of his career and how he landed the film world’s most recognised award.
David said: “I have very fond memories of my time here in Stamford and it’s nice to come back to my roots and visit the college. A few things have changed, but it still feels like home.
“I’ve had a really interesting and varied career. Winning a Bafta was great, but winning an Oscar is simply extraordinary. It is the award to win – everyone knows what it is, and it’s universally recognised. It’s made all the hard work worthwhile.”
David, who spent 10 years honing his art at the renowned Madame Tussauds waxworks before making the switch to the big screen, explained to the students just what it takes to win an Oscar.
He said: “Transforming Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill was a mammoth effort. Gary looks nothing like Winston, nothing at all, and this was by far the biggest job of my career to date.
“Gary actually spent 48 days in full make-up, something which had never been done before. I’d be working 18-hour days and had to prepare the prosthetics every day.
“They’re incredibly fragile, and wouldn’t last more than one day of filming, so I’d make them fresh ahead of each shoot. A lot of the film is shot using extreme close-ups, so I had to apply the make-up just so to ensure continuity. It was incredibly challenging, but also very, very rewarding.”
Level 3 media make-up student Ella-Louise Perkins, 19, said: “Having an Oscar winner visit us is really exciting, and it’s really inspirational to know that somebody who has achieved so much actually started their career where I am right now. It’s made me more determined than ever to succeed at fashion make-up.”
Janet Meenaghan, principal of New College Stamford, said: “For me, it’s great to see that someone who studied here has gone on to achieve truly incredible things. It shows just what is possible with hard work and dedication, and makes our students realise that their studies can be a launchpad to greatness.
“A lot of our students who do creative courses may not have necessarily enjoyed school, and courses like this allow them to strive. David’s amazing feat show anything is possible if you have the dream and drive to succeed.”