Saturday, October 13, 2012

Makeup Artist Jobs in Film and Television

The Film Industry is a world all unto its own. It employs millions, pushes the world of creativity and innovation, and entertains the masses. Finding a way into that world can seem like a daunting task, but it just might take a little extra clout and some diligence. To execute the making and production of a film, there are a number of people that make it happen. A film crew consists of tons of different elements and each one is key in completing a single project. For those looking into being a crucial part of the process, someone who is vital to the end result ñ in other words, a Makeup Artist, there are some basics you should know beforehand.
For those of you seeking a profession as a makeup in the film and entertainment industry, training is going to be key. There are a lot of choices out there that will enable you to obtain the proper training and get you started in your career in the film industry. You can begin with obtaining a Cosmetology or Esthetician license in States where that license is offered (keep in mind it isn't necessary but it will help), you can attend a makeup academy like MUD (Makeup Designory) or Studio Makeup Academy in Hollywood, you can learn through a film program at any accredited university, or you can become an understudy at a local playhouse. The important thing is differentiating between makeup for film and makeup for everything else. Some key ingredients to having a successful makeup career in film is understanding how filmmaking works. That entails learning about lighting and story, working with your sister departments in Wardrobe and Hair, and maintaining professionalism while on set. All of which you will learn while working, but some of which you should learn before getting your feet wet. When you are exploring your options, here are some important things to consider:
What Kind of Training Do I Need?
A license: Cosmetology or Esthetician. If you go this route, the road is not a short one. However it is a great foundation. Depending on where you are located, training varies and each license requires set hours and practical application. For a Cosmetology license, you are looking at completing anywhere between 1500-3000 hours or for an Esthetician's license, you are going to be required to complete anywhere between 800-1500 hours. Each one has specific training and depending on how expansive you want your repertoire of skills to be, you will have to choose accordingly. Keep in mind that even with a license, you will still need additional training for film.
Makeup Academies. There are a number of Makeup Academies across the nation and abroad, each one geared towards different things. For film, however, you will need to go to a school that focus' on the fundamentals of film and how makeup and special effects translate on camera. Getting that training can be costly, but in the end, will be well worth it. If you decide to enroll in a specific makeup program geared towards Film amd Television like MUD, you will be enrolled in a complete program and tuitions can run somewhere in the range of $8,000-$17,000. Keep in mind that is not always the case and there are certainly more affordable programs like the Studio Makeup Academy located on the Gower Studios lot. What is most important is researching programs in your area AND making sure these schools fit your personal needs.
An accredited University's Film Program. If you are already pursuing a degree in film you are going to have a huge advantage when you start working. Nothing beats hands on knowledge and training. You will establish contacts and relationships, learn the importance of lighting and story, learn how things translate onto camera, have a concise understanding of the many parts it takes to make a film, and, above all, you will have the familiarity of working on a live set. That experience will be invaluable, as well as giving you an edge in the marketplace once you actively pursue your career.
Unions. There are also Unions you can belong to once you have successfully completed your training. In the U.S., there are two: Local 706 (West Coast) and Local 798 (East Coast). You are not required to be in the Union but for large-scale productions and television series, you will be asked to join. Many well-funded projects do require it but there are plenty of non-union jobs, including most independent films and projects.

Choosing A Make-Up School

When my wife suggested make-up as a career, twenty-six years ago, there where few schools to choose from at that time. Since then, several have opened in every major city across North America; one of the many off-shoots of the multi-billion dollar industry.
I myself have never gone to an official school and had to go through the expense of learning by trial and error. As the industry evolved I found at one point I had to take a few classes to modify my skills so I could keep current and employable in the ever changing business. In the last fifteen years, I have had the opportunity teach for a number of them and even designed a few curriculums. Like any new endeavor you have to do some research before deciding which school best suits your personal needs.
If you have no prior experience many offer a six to eight month blanket course which covers most facets of the make-up industry in general. There is bridal, fashion, television & film, out of kit make-up effects, special effects which would encompass prosthetics and a small segment on hair. These courses were created to help you, as a potential student, to decide which area you would like to specialize in. No make-up course qualifies you to be an expert it is only by extensive practice and experience do you acquire those credentials. Until someone actually pays you for your craft you are only practicing.
Here are a few things to consider and too enquire about before making a final decision:
Any legitimate school will offer up the instructor's credentials or a site where they can be found. You would want a teacher with at least five years professional working experience. In that time they would have honed their craft and would be current with what is happening in the industry. Part of their job is to help you to follow in their footsteps and secure your own position. Some schools recycle graduating students who were top of their class in order to keep costs down. These should be avoided.
Some schools have an all or nothing policy. These institutions are more interested in lightening your wallet than helping you attain your goals. If you are interested in pursuing a career in special effects make-up you are not required to know bridal or fashion make-up to apply prosthetics.
That said, if you are interested in out of kit make-up effects for film and television it would be advantageous to have a background in straight make-up to better understand what you are doing. Remember every show has straight or normal make-up not every show has make-up effects. Your ultimate goal is to stay employed and the more you know or broader your skill set the greater chance you have of securing a position and holding on to it. Many reality shows or non-union docu-drama reenactment series require you to do most everything, even hair. Due to budget restraints they must keep personnel down. In Europe it is standard to be able to do both hair and make-up. In North America the two skills have been separated, the trend is to now adopt the European ways. These are the shows that use new artists trying to break into the industry,
In the same respect someone seeking a career in fashion or bridal make-up should not be forced to endure out of kit make-up effects or special effects. If the school is a business that cares about helping you they will have or adapt a package that works for you.
Every course should be divided into a two part component of lecture and demonstration. Here the teacher discusses the make-up in detail explaining technique and products. Then they demonstrate the look using the aforementioned techniques and products. Afterward the students are required to physically reproduce the look under the instructor's supervision. I have never met anyone who could learn by osmosis. You truly have to experience the work to understand it and only by repeated execution will it be perfected.

2 Keys To Becoming A Successful Makeup Artist

There are two factors which determine a makeup artist who is constantly on the hunt for new work but scarcely finds it, and a successful makeup artist who has to turn down bookings because they're too busy. Two simple factors. And once you find out what those key factors are, you'll be better equipped to position yourself for success so that you're on high demand as your business flourishes.
Factor Number One: To Be A Makeup Artist, You've Got To Network
Networking is the most underrated method for meeting key people who will assist you in bringing your business to the next level. Whether you're networking with other beauty professionals, or with photographers and film makers who need your services, you'll never go wrong by putting yourself out there, and getting your name in people's mouths. Understand though, that "networking" does not mean that you have to pitch yourself to others. But just simply being casual, friendly, and engaging, soon you'll be having people call just because they love your personality. And in service based industries such as makeup artistry, having a magnetic personality and using it to your advantage is key.
Factor Number Two: To Be A Makeup Artist, You've Got To Always Be Learning
The quickest way to stop your growth (and consequently never raise your value) is to stop attending seminars and workshops, and to stop looking for new ways to become even better than you are now. Don't assume you've arrived, because as beauty products and techniques are constantly evolving, so must your skill set. To be a successful makeup artist you've got to EBL (always be learning) new things. Try new techniques. Go where the pros are. Observe people who are better than you, and soak up all of the knowledge you can.
Even if you've never stepped foot in a cosmetic school, you can still be a makeup artist with a business that brings you stable income and connects you with influential people. If you love making people look and feel beautiful, or have a passion for the bizarre art of special effects, editorial, or fashion makeup artistry, just know that there is no limit to where your creativity and eagerness to learn will take you.
In reality, to be a makeup artist is one of the most fun and exciting jobs ever. And you will never regret the investment that you make in your education.

Airbrush Makeup - A Natural New Look

With new discoveries in technology and cosmetics, people are now looking for makeup that can show a more natural look. Airbrush technology that was once used just for traditional paintings and automotive work has now invaded the makeup world. Hollywood in particular has started to use airbrush makeup as its secret to highlight the radiance and beauty of its actors. Using the same technology for automotive and painting artwork, the makeup is applied using a smaller and lower pressure airbrush apparatus.
Less Time Required
Unlike liquid makeup, airbrush makeup can be easily applied to define and cover details. It can be used as special effects makeup for high definition, camouflage, glamor and even just for daily wear. It takes less time to apply compared to regular makeup techniques. It is long lasting makeup and can be used even when you sweat a lot during workouts, or under intense heat from spotlights. It can retain the skin's glow and can be sealed with sweat resistant spray.
Despite the advantages of using this new makeup method and its ease of use, a number of makeup artists still prefer to use the common traditional techniques in applying makeup. The time cut down by at least half, compared to applying regular makeup, does not seem to be an advantage for some makeup artists. They find the apparatus used technically complicated. The different pieces of the equipment have to be assembled before you begin the process, and the following are needed: the airbrush makeup, an air compressor, a mask and an airbrush.
Though liquid makeup has almost the same chemical content as airbrush makeup, the liquid is thin enough to be sprayed on the skin using a fine airbrush. It can even achieve defined results that lipsticks or pencils cannot and can present a beautiful subtle look. A skilled airbrush artist can do special makeup effects on an actor.
For over ten years now, the airbrush technique in applying makeup has been popularly used in the movie effects industry in Hollywood. It is currently the only suitable makeup for High Definition Television or HDTV, as the applied makeup can easily be blended with no paintbrush streak marks left. Most traditional makeup techniques can leave a smeared or smudged effect, even only after a few hours exposure to heavy lights. With airbrush makeup, the results usually last from fourteen to eighteen hours.
Great For Cover Up
Airbrush makeup not only makes your face have a natural look it can also be used to cover up or conceal any freckles, blemishes, birthmarks, scars, or acne. It is hypoallergenic, waterproof, alcohol free and will not clog pores or easily rub off. Dermatologists even recommend the use of this makeup application to patients with various skin problems.

And the Winner Is? The Academy Awards Honors Movie Make-up Artistry

Makeup artistry is a huge part of movie-making. In recent years the Academy Awards Board has elected to broadcast the category of Best Make-up live. The category of Best Make-up has gone largely underappreciated and under celebrated. An amazing oversight when you consider what make-up can do for a film. Would we really have gone to see "Edward Scissorhans" minus the special effects makeup? I do not know how many audiences would felt for that character had he not been so visually appalling. That being said, the marriage between make-up application, as well as the performance of the actor is what sets the tone for a believable story line.
Make-up artists have become an invaluable tool for the production staff on any major movie set. Make-up not only helps to convince and convey characters to an audience, as much as it helps to embody the physical manifestation of any given character. Make-up artistry serves as a visual and emotional need in the world of make believe. Now let's examine why each the previous 3 Academy Award winners were chosen, and the nominees are?
In 2005 the Academy chose "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" as winner of the Best Makeup category. This was the first award for special effects makeup artist Howard Berger, who worked alongside former winner Tami Lane. Lane had seen previous success with the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. The two created the amazing creatures from the Narnia books. The fawn, the queen, the children, every aspect of the characters looked realistic and the attention to detail makes seemingly mythical creatures appear life-like, as if this world could exist somewhere in the back of anyones closet. Utilizing both prosthetics and CGI really worked in synchronism to balance the look of the world of Narnia. Not only did these two win over the American Academy, they also earned the 2006 BAFTA award for best Makeup.
Not every award that is given by the Academy is recognized in the entire industry, a really tough win for any artist is to gain the accolades of the Academy as well as The Academy of Science, Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films, but in 2005 the "Chronicles of Narnia" won the Saturn Award and the Academy Award for best makeup.
The fantasy realm of "Pan's Labyrinth" in 2006 straddled the worlds of reality and imagination. A look into war and its harsh after affects, a young girl wants to escape and finds the scary realm of the unknown. Special Makeup Effects Artists David Marti and Montse Ribe were rewarded for their efforts in Mexico at the Ariel Awards and received a Silver Ariel award for Best Makeup, as well as an Oscar in the US. It is no wonder the Academy chose to acknowledge this film, these artists put creatures on screen without the aide of CGI to present such striking visual representations of the creatures from the script. Incidentally, both artists have collaborated again for 2008's "Hellboy II," an exciting piece for such inventive artists.
Most recently the Academy acknowledged 2007 film "La Vie En Rose," which won Best Make-up Artist. Didier Lavergne the head make-up artist on set turned Marion Coittard into the famous Edith Piaf with fabulous hairstyling from Jan Archibald. That same year Best Make-up Artist was awarded to Lavergne at the BAFTA awards. Lavergne is no newcomer to the make-up world, his work can also be seen in "The Pianist," "Le Divorce" and "Oliver Twist" to name a few. Just take a look at a photo of the real Edith Piaf and place it next to the actress Marion Coittard, it is easy to see why these two deserve the award. It is no easy task to turn one woman's facial anatomy to not only resemble but embody someone else's. No CGI tricks aided this duo, but rather true artistry and some well created prosthetics.
Whether creating a non-fictional character to a character plucked from the pages of a children's novel to creating other- worldly mythical creatures, the Academy in their wisdom have shown us why these artists are so influential in film today. Make-up has the ability to take audiences to places they have never thought could exist in the physical form. It takes a great deal of patience, planning, experience and expertise to be the kind of artist worthy of an Oscar. These men and women are innovators that have given the world something to be appreciated for years to come.