The Makeup Department

The makeup department on a major motion picture is nothing to be taken lightly. It is the first department of many that the actor comes in contact with on a film set. It is comprised of the following jobs:


This person has the last word on designing the look for all the characters on the film. She is an important crew member who is privy to the way each character is supposed to look for each appearance in front of the camera. She designs the makeup and hair and oversees any special effects, wounds, alien protrusions, prostheses, etc. Makeup is very important to maintaining the time continuity of the picture and the key makeup artist is like the foreman of a crew who makes sure that once the makeup is designed, the continuity is maintained and the style of the movie is serviced. The key makeup " artist is in charge of: et


< These are the assistants to the key makeup artist who apply the designed „ makeup on the actors. One of them will be on set to do touch-ups between takes. There might be one or two of them, or there could be a small army of them, depending on the size of the cast for any particular day.


This person designs the hairstyles and is responsible for the cutting, coloring, and styling of the hair, wigs, moustaches, etc., for all the actors. There are usually one or two assistants as well, and one of them will also be on the set at all times to do touch-ups between takes.


The body makeup artist takes care of all makeup that is applied from the neck down. If any flesh is showing, bare arms, bare back, or legs, these parts get an application of body makeup; normal, naked flesh doesn't photograph well under intense lights. Those luminous skin tones that you see in the movies are the result of the body makeup artist's meticulous work. They also get to do the mud, dirt, blood, etc.


Depending on the needs of the script or the genre of the film, this person might design and apply the complex mechanisms required for special effects makeup. It is an exciting and expanding field in the movie industry, as more and more complex effects become possible. On our imaginary movie, there is no special effects person needed.

These artists will have an order of application and construction in mind for your makeup and hair; you just allow them to do whatever they need to do. In order to get all the actors ready for their 9:00 am set call, they need to work quickly and efficiently. However, as they put together the physical appearance of the character, they will chat and joke and keep a fairly jovial atmosphere going. They usually adhere to Napoleon's famous statement to his valets: "Dress me slowly; I'm in a hurry." **

I personally have always looked forward to the artists in the makeup ^ trailer. It's usually a very good time. They can relax an actor in a way that -g lets the character sneak in almost unbeknownst to herself. When they're § done with you, you have begun to transform into someone else, the charac- ^ ter. Then, they'll send you over to the wardrobe trailer to get dressed. ^

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Film Making

Film Making

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