Colin Arthur

COLIN HART ARTHUR  was born and grew up in the south of England.     At the age of 17 he began a 6 year course of training in sculpture, first at the Guildford School of Art and followed by final studies at the City and Guilds, London.      Whilst working at Madame Tussaud’s Waxworks in London he was

invited to assist on the film “2001 A Space Odessey”.    This led to over 20 years of continuous work in the film industry worldwide,   working in a wide variety of disciplines, make-up, set decoration, special effects.

In 1990 Colin Arthur opened his  own studio workshop, The Dream Factory, in Madrid, Spain.   He continued  to work closely with the film industry whilst building up a considerable portfolio in other areas.

A selection of early  films:

1966           Casino Royale

1967/8        2001 A Space Odessey

1969           The Battle of Britain

1970           Ryan’s Daughter

1971           Sinbad’s Golden Voyage

1973           On her Majesty’s Secret Service

1974           The Music Lovers, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger.

1975           Zardoz  Barry Lyndon

Later feature films include  Sexy Beast and  Habla con Ella.

WAX,  La Canada de los Ingleses, and  Vampyres and Stop Over in Hell are his most recent films,  Dir. Victor Matellano,  all of which  following success  on the Festival circuits  have gone on to international distribution.

Colin worked closely with the stop motion maestro the late Ray Harryhausen in his last 3 films,  in particular the original “Clash of the Titans”,   did special effects and built animatronic creatures for Conan the Barbarian in 1982, In the same year he designed  and built all the animal characters in Never Ending Story 1.

In 1988 he  received a GOYA for Special Effects in the film “La Grieta” (The Rift) Dir. Juan Piquer Simon.   1991 brought a further award for SFX in  “La Viuda Negra”  In 1998 his make-up of Eduardo Noriega in Abre los Ojos was nominated for a Goya      as was the short film El Espantapajaros in the year 2001.      He was awarded an  EMMY for special make-up in  “The Final Warning”, an account of the Chernobyl disaster.

Colin in particular takes  a keen interest in young film makers.    For a recent short film “He took off  his skin for me” he mentored a group of young  prosthetic technicians from the London Film School.    This resulted from  a Masterclass in London under the umbrella of FEST, an international learning platform for young film makers based  Portugal.

In addition to Cinema, the Dream Factory,  continued to provide a wide variety of creative and support skills to the TV, Film and commercial industries.

1990    Bavaria Film Studio Theme Park   Project supervisor..

1992    EXPO ’92, Madrid, various large decorative pieces.

1993    Inocente Inocente.   (Spanish TV Reality Show) Supervisor SFX

2000   EXPO Hanover   Principal publicity

2001    Warner Bros. Madrid – decorations and animatronic effects.

2002    Centenary of Real Madrid.     Bernabeau  Stadium decoration

Latterly, the Dream Factory  moved  into special effects and  ‘objects of beauty’ for  Theatre;   Los Productores at the Coliseum, Madrid,  and also the international circulation of Beauty and the Beast.

Specialist museum content also formed a substantial part of their production –  notably   “Memorias de Andalucia” in Granada, southern Spain.

His  principal studio in Madrid closed in 2009.

Colin and his wife, Sarah are now based  the UK,   attend frequent film festivals as guests, jury members or with Masterclasses.

They maintain a  working studio at their home for specially chosen projects!

He has been actively involved with the Ray Harryhausen Foundation and continues his interests in fine arts and particularly portrait sculpture and conservation work.

 Publications  in Spansh language

“Colin Arthur, Criatures, Maquillajes y Efectos Especiales”.    Written by Victor Matellano, Publ.  Pigmalion.  ISBN   978-84-15916-05-5.


  1. “Characterizacion   I and 2,   Diseno de Personaje, Efectos Especiales en Maquillaje y Procesos Audiovisuales”.    Videocinco, ISBN 84-96699-03 and 04-8.)  A teaching manual. (2007
  2. “Constructores de ilusiones, La Direccion Artistica Cinematografia en Espana”. “Los milagros tardan un poco mas:  Efectos especiales y Direccion artistica”.  Ediciones de la Filmoteca.  ISBN  978-84-482-5397-4.  (2010).