Success Stories

Student Success: Iver Academy Graduate Annie Ross’s Exciting Career

Thursday, June 30, 2022

The Iver Make-Up Academy is one of the leading training schools in the UK. We teach you all the skills you need to start your career in Hair, Makeup, Prosthetics and SFX for Film, TV, Theatre and Fashion. We are extremely proud to have so many successful graduates excelling in their careers, using all their knowledge and skills attained when studying at our Academy. 

We asked our brilliant IMA Graduate Annie Ross, some questions on her experience with us at The Iver Make-Up Academy and all about her exciting career after. Annie did the 30-week Advanced Certificate in Hair and Makeup Artistry and graduated in August 2019.  

What first made you want to begin working in this industry?

I always had a love for the arts and being creative so it was a no surprise to anyone that I would have a career in this area. However, what first made me want to begin working in the industry was when I was 16 years old and had to find a 2-week work experience placement.  

I was unsure on what to do and then my aunty suggested going to work with her at Deluxe Film Laboratories I jumped at the opportunity. It was here that I learnt all about editing and grading. I would sit and watch the credits in a private cinema at the labs, which is when I saw Makeup appear and it escalated from there. 

 How did you find out about the Iver Academy and why did you decide to join?

My aunty currently works for the British Society of Cinematographers who are also based at Pinewood Studios. She saw a leaflet for an opportunity to model at The Iver and would take herself and my Grandad along. I was nearing the end of my film degree at the University of Gloucestershire and knew I wanted to pursue a career in makeup.  

Upon graduating there was an Open Day advertised so my mum and I went along. I loved every aspect of it. I decided to join because of the thrill of being at a School in one of the most famous studios, being taught by some of the industries greatest and being thrown straight in at the deep end with models to create looks on – these are just a few reasons of many. 

What was your experience like studying with the Iver Academy?

Always positive, I would go in every morning excited for what the day would bring, from what I would learn to who I was going to model for. You never stop learning at Iver and that’s what I enjoyed most as it mirrors what it is like when you are out working. The tutors are always so positive and helpful and any ‘criticism’ is constructive, so again you are constantly learning. 

 What was your favourite element/subject throughout your studies?

I enjoyed it all! Although, I think my favourite elements/subjects were crowd simulation and anything involving wigs. 

 Favourite moment while studying at Iver?

There are so many to choose from, but I think my favourite moment was when we had work experience in Zoe Brown’s crowd room on Marvel’s Black Widow. I remember us all messaging when we found out the time we had to be in at – which I believe was 4:30/5:00am, and thinking how are we going to manage this? But we did and it was a massive eye opener to what the industry is like. 

What releases have you worked on since graduating?

I had some daily work on Black Widow and Cruella, but can’t disclose what I’ve just worked on and am currently working on.  

When working on Film and TV productions, everyone must sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) which means you cannot divulge any information until the film/production is released.

IMDb, Black Widow, 2021)                         (IMDb, Cruella, 2021)

What has been the favourite Film/Tv Programme/ Project that you have worked on so far?

My favourite project that I have worked on is still to be released! I worked alongside the most talented and incredible team of people. We quickly became one massive family and I will never forget the memories, love and friendships that filled the crowd room every day. Even when things got tough, we all still smiled through – I feel so lucky to have been a part of the series. 

 What has been the most challenging project?

I think starting out on short films posed many challenges as you’re still learning and trying to navigate your way. Also usually being the only hair and makeup artist on these films, you feel a certain pressure. However, there is always an element of ‘pressure’ when you are working on the big budget films/tv series etc, so I think it’s a great way to learn and find the best way to handle pressure. All challenges are good in my opinion. 

 What aspirations do you have in terms of future projects?

My aspirations as of now are to just take every opportunity that arises! I have had experience in both tv and film now and I have enjoyed both equally, so I just hope I can keep pushing forward and move up to junior level soon. 

 What is your favourite thing about working in the industry that you do?

Every day is different! From the people you work with, to the scenes you’re shooting. I love meeting new people and feeling like I have a level of responsibility, as with being a trainee there are certain things expected of you and that you must keep on top of. I also enjoy watching Makeup Artists working, you learn a lot and sometimes they put on masterclasses which are always great fun! 

Looking to start your own career in this industry?

If you want to find out how to start your career in this industry, take a look at our variety of courses or sign up to our next in person Open Day. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

Meet the Author
Liz Tagg


A highly talented and award-winning makeup artist, Liz has over 30 years of experience working in the film and television industry. A professionally trained makeup artist and hair designer, Liz’s career highlights include BAFTA and Emmy award nominations, as well as a recurring position as a member of the BAFTA jury.

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