Tolin FX is an award winning Special FX Makeup Studio, serving the art and entertainment industries for over 20 years.
Tolin FX has a reputation for outstanding professionalism, detail oriented design, precise fabricaton, and a passion for creating. From concept to execution, Tolin FX provides superior solutions to complex creative challenges.
Tolin FX was founded by Steve Tolin when he began designing signage and branding for local restaraunts in his hometown. While attending school Steve began working in film and theatre and formed an LLC in 2003. Tolin worked out of a 500' basement studio for many years, building credits and skills. In 2010, Steve started a family. Between that and taking on larger projects and hiring more artists the studio was getting cramped. In 2015 we moved into our very first studio that was not in a basement, 2500' in the east end of Pittsburgh. Within 6 months we grew into the space next door as well and now utilize about 7000' to serve our clients, large and small.
Our mission at Tolin FX is simple: we strive to make your creative endeavor more awesome!
When you reach the point in your creative process that some part of your project needs focused specialized attention, that's when you call us. Whether its a monster for a movie, a prop for a play, or a set piece for an exhibit, we collaborate with our clients to solve their creative challenges and meet the demands of their projects.
We utilize any technique or technology that we can lean on to come up with solutions to creative challenges. This often means inventing or innovating, but always means learning and pushing the envelope. Our artists balance using the most sophisticated computer technology to design and fabricate with the more traditional approaches such as sculpture, molding and casting, painting to bring our creations to life.
Tolin FX is proud to do a lot of work with the community in Pittsburgh. We lecture about fx makeup at high schools and for teen groups. We also host schools at our shop, showing them severed heads and whatnot. We have even starred on a teen TV show, called Reel Teens.
Tolin FX also offers apprenticeships for those who are interested in expanding their knowledge of the craft. If you are serious about learning about fx makeup and the type of work we do, we will trade sweat for experience. Our apprentices work on real projects with real stakes, growing their portfolios and resumes.
Tolin FX has been recognized several times for various works that they have accomplished. The first of note was in Chicago for fx makeup for the play The Lt. of Inishmore at Northlight Theatre. For that Steve was awarded a Joseph Jefferson Award in 2009.
In 2011, Tolin FX was awarded the DATA award by the Pittsburgh Technology Council as a leading Pittsburgh company combining the vibrant Pittsburgh art and design scene with the technology industry that is growing fast. As part of the honor, Steve was awarded a trip to LA.
Mostly recently in 2017, Steve was awarded the Impact Elly Award by Pittsburgh Steeltown Entertainment Project for the impact that Tolin FX has had on the film industry in Southwestern PA. Tolin was honored with only 3 other award recipients, including the legendary George Romero. Special FX legend Tom Savini presented Steve the Impact Award, which made the whole event even more awesome!
Steve Tolin is the founder and owner/operator of Tolin FX. Excelling in complex collaborative creative environments he utilizes a wide array of design and fabrication skills and disciplines to manage teams and build projects from concept to completed fabrication. Steve has created and coordinated the special effects and special props for many high profile clients. Steve has also produced and secured distribution for his feature film It Came from Yesterday , drawing on all his skills as well as managing on every level of film production from the top down to bring his vision to life. He has taught master classes at many Universities including UCLA, Carnegie Mellon University, American Film Institute, and also volunteer lectures for youth groups and high schools about his craft. Steve has over 20 years of experience as a professional artist and has been recognized with several awards over the years celebrating his studio’s work. Steve is a graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, a member of IATSE Local 489, and a certified PADI scuba diver.
Tolin FX utilizes over 40 indepedent artists to carry out our work. Most of them are fellow Pittsburghers, but some come from other cities and some even other countries. So many eyes and so many brains creating together gives broad perspective to our work. It takes a village to create the awesome work we do. None of us is an island. We all work together and lean on each other to create the best work we can. Though many artists work with us nearly every day, our lead artists are Kyle Roberts, Mercedez Linke, Devin Seman, and Jackie Pickens.