Savini Duo Leads SFX Department on SyFy’s Z Nation
Many students who pass through Tom Savini’s Special Make-up Effects program do so with the hope that one day they could be working on the set of a major motion picture or hit television series. For DEC graduates Tess Laeh and Logan Tobia, their hard work and talents landed them make-up jobs on the SyFy Channel’s Z Nation. After just a few seasons, they were promoted to lead artists on the show.
“I started off as a Special FX makeup artist on the first season of Z Nation and have slowly worked my way up to the head of the department,” says Laeh, Head of Make-up and SFX Department. “I really enjoy working on set and am excited for the challenge of managing a team.”
For Tobia, Key SFX Make-up Artist on Z Nation, networking with fellow Savini grads benefited him on his career path. “I actually met alumni who owned a shop and hired me and eventually became their foreman,” Tobia says. “I met a lot of great people at DEC, many of whom I still visit, work with, and talk to, to this day.”
They both credit their time at DEC, and their instructors, for giving them the education to ignite their careers.
“DEC gave me a great baseline of all the different facets Special Makeup FX requires,” says Laeh, who also competed on Season 6 of SyFy’s Face Off. “I was lucky to have teachers like Will Ritter and Jesse Lechok who would take the time and push me to better my skills and talents. They have a wealth of information that a majority of students take for granted. I have been able to get a variety of jobs from the skills they taught me.”
“The instructors give you baseline knowledge and are good at answering questions for the most part,” adds Tobia. “However, I feel that it is up to the student to take it upon themselves and push the envelope of their education at DEC.”
While their work on Z Nation is challenging and rewarding, this power duo has set their sights on bigger projects.
“I would love to work on something bigger with room to grow as an artist. Maybe head out to Atlanta and work on some MARVEL Movies,” says Tobia.
As for Laeh, “I hope to continue the track I am on and am able to transfer unions to get more work on bigger projects.”