Academy Award-winner JOEL HARLOW is one of the most innovative makeup and special makeup artists and designers in American motion pictures.

In 1986, Harlow left his home town of Grand Forks, ND to attend the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan 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.

Los Angeles was the next logical destination for a makeup effects artist in the late 80s, early 90s, and Harlow soon found himself there. After a decade long career working for the various makeup effects studios, 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.

Anxious 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 Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales additional photography.

In 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 WonderlandAlice Through the Looking GlassThe 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.

In 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 Justin Lin’s Star Trek Beyond, Harlow enlisted some of the industry’s 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.

Currently, 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.