ON SET: CANDICE ORNSTEIN + LUCKY BROMHEAD + SCHITT’S CREEK

How did you get involved with Schitt’s Creek?
Candice Ornstein: Schitt’s Creek reached out to me in its second season, based on a  recommendation from actress Sarah Power, who had Dan Levy’s ear. That’s how my five seasons as makeup department head on the show began. Lucky Bromhead: I used to be the head of makeup for MTV in Canada where I met Dan, who was one of the hosts. We started our working relationship back in 2006, and had developed somewhat of a shorthand when it came to communicating things visually. I also worked with  Catherine O’Hara before Schitt’s Creek on the Match Game, so we started our relationship a bit before Schitt’s Creek, as well.

What was your inspiration for Moira Rose’s look?
LB: Catherine and I really wanted her to look chic, wealthy, timeless, and a touch eccentric. Catherine, myself and Continue reading

ON SET: BURTON LEBLANC + THE HANDMAID’S TALE

How did you come to work on The Handmaid’s Tale?
I heard The Handmaid’s Tale was going to be shooting in Toronto late summer/fall. I was working on the Stephen Spielberg produced show, American Gothic, at the time. I
contacted The Handmaid’s Tale production office and requested a script. Once I read the fantastic script, I realized that I needed to be part of it! I talked to the Production
Manager — we worked together on a show about a year before and had a great rapport. He thought I would be a perfect fit for the show and Elisabeth Moss, in particular, and
said she would be in touch.

Soon after she phoned me, we chatted about what ideas I had for the show and her character, Offred/June, for Gilead and flashbacks. I phoned the PM the next day to see when he wanted me to come in for an interview. He said, no need Lizzie loved what you had to say and the job is yours. Amazing!

Where did you draw your inspiration for creating the makeup for the women in Gilead?
I was so taken aback with the script and the rawness of the story that I knew the makeup had to Continue reading

ON SET: ERYN KRUEGER MEKASH + HOLLYWOOD

How did you come to get involved in Hollywood?
I’ve had a long relationship with Ryan Murphy. I’ve worked for him for 17 years on almost all of his projects, and the ones I haven’t been hands-on with I’ve staffed for him. I met him on Nip/Tuck. James Mackinnon was the department head on the pilot and asked me to be his key. James left to do another show and I moved up to department head. I was there with Stephanie Fowler Ziese until Glee started in 2008. Then Running With Scissors, Eat, Pray, Love, American Horror Story, People vs. OJ, Feud, Versace, Ratched, Hollywood, and recently the film, The Prom. I get to do a lot of time period
perfect projects for him. I love the 1940s. It’s very clean and precise. I was very excited he asked me to do it. This is a period piece that has both historical and fictional characters in the storyline.

How did your design process differ for each type of character?
The process always starts with the script and then costume design. Lou Eyrich and Sarah Evelyn were the designers and they showed me early on the color palette and textures they were using. I looked at sets and Continue reading

ON SET: TARRA DAY + MESSIAH

How did you come to work on Messiah?
Stewart Lyons, my Line Producer from Breaking Bad recommended me to David Nicksay the Line Producer of Messiah and he contacted me while I was shooting
Green Book. He said Messiah would be an epic journey and after reading the first two episodes, I knew I wanted to do it.

Tell us about the challenges of working in Jordan and how you met those challenges? 
Having never been to that part of the world, I had no idea what we would be up against. My first concern was the availability of a qualified crew. Much to our surprise, we found Continue reading

ON SET: CINDY MIGUENS + FRESH OFF THE BOAT

How did you come to work on Fresh Off The Boat? 
I was lucky to have worked with the Production Manager, Jennifer Anderson on Pretty Little Liars, as well as other projects throughout the years and when she was looking for a Department Head Makeup she thought of me.

The show revolves around a family who is acclimating to a new experience in a new country. How did the social or cultural considerations that would go along with this concept come into play in your makeup design?  
The only difference I would say is the shape of the Asian eye, and you apply eyeshadow differently to compliment that shape and accent with lots of lashes.

Were there any specific inspirations for any of the characters' looks?  
The show is based in Orlando Florida, during the ’90s, so it is a period show. Back in the '90s, tans were a big thing, defined groomed eyebrows, body shimmer, lined lips, as well as a Smokey eye.

Can you tell us about the looks for Constance Wu's character; Jessica Huang? 
Constance Wu plays a housewife, who has written a book and is involved in her kid’s school. Her characters look is very put together. I give her character a smokey eye using the Anastasia Soft Glam palette, with DIOR Brow Styler to give her that perfect brow, and Urban Decay Corrupt eyeliner pencil to accent the Continue reading

ON SET: MELANIE HUGHES-WEAVER + CHARLIE’S ANGELS

How did you come to work on Charlie’s Angels?
I have worked with Elizabeth Banks for quite some time; often on smaller films as well as the first film Elizabeth directed which was Pitch Perfect 2 and again on Pitch Perfect 3. In total, we have collaborated seven times. She asked me to be a part of Charlie’s Angels and I was excited by the modern twist she put on this script and the fact that she wrote it, was directing it as well as starring in it. I was excited to be a part of this film and I liked the concept in the story and that it shines a light on the hero in all of us. It was important for me to put time aside to work on this film as I believe in unification and sisterhood is a great thing. If I was able to put my artistic spin on a project like this, I was ready to do it. 

How much time was put into pre-production?
I think we were prepping 6 weeks out. We were working on tear sheets and meetings and there was so much to collaborate on. We hired an international crew, which meant finding people with the right work ethic and everything that would work well for us. It meant finding a crew that was up for the challenges for traveling to multiple locations such as Germany and Istanbul. All of this needed synchronicity under incredibly demanding situations and I think we walked away with a feeling of unification of artistry. It was incredibly rewarding. We all learned so much from each other and I truly don’t think the learning ever stops.  Continue reading

ON SET: DONIELLA DAVY + EUPHORIA

How did you come to work on Euphoria?
I designed the makeup for a film called Under the Silver Lake, starring Andrew Garfield, and directed by David Robert Mitchell. The film was put out by the amazing A24, who are also very much responsible for bringing Euphoria to life, along with HBO. Based on my work on that film, A24 brought me in to interview with Sam Levinson, who was the writer, showrunner and director of the project. I also met with the director of the pilot, Augustine Frizzell.

The makeup on Euphoria is so experimental, how did you approach the design process?
I got most of my inspiration from Gen Z and experimental editorial makeup on Instagram, but I also drew from the late 1960s, taking inspiration from Twiggy, Nina Simone’s rhinestone eyebrow looks, as well 1970s Glam Rock moments. Gen Z is completely redefining what makeup can and should be used to do, by embracing a total freedom in expression and defying beauty and makeup norms.

Aside from designing the Euphoria makeup to be visually captivating and help propel the various story-lines forward, I was encouraged by Sam to Continue reading

ON SET: Heba Thorisdottir + Once Upon A Time in Hollywood

You’ve worked with Quentin Tarantino for more than a decade and designed the makeup for The Hateful Eight, Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds and Kill Bill Vol.1 & 2. How did you start working together?
We met through a mutual friend, Julie Dreyfus, while he was writing Pulp Fiction. Then he seemed to be in every restaurant in Hollywood that I went to, and we would say hi. A couple of years later, Julie and I went to visit the set of Jackie Brown, and it was so much fun! I told Quentin when we left that I wanted to work on his next film, and I did not care if I was sweeping floors! He called me six years later and told me he was ready to do his film and reminded me that I had offered to sweep his floors. But I would not need to, instead I was going to department head Kill Bill.

With your history, how does the process of working on a Tarantino film differ from working with other directors?
No matter how well you know him, you never just relax – he gives 250% and I do not want to give him less. But, of course, you do develop a shorthand and understanding that is helpful. He also starts having screenings of films that are nspiring him way before we start shooting. It glues everyone together and makes it easy to talk to people and work together.

What was your makeup design process like for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood?
Quentin is not traditional, and for some of the actors he preferred their iconic looks rather than the correct time period. It is his love story to Hollywood, his hometown, and how he remembers it. As soon as I started prep, the first thing I did was go with Janine Rath-Thompson, the hair department head, and visit costume designer, Arianne Phillips. She had been on the film for Continue reading

ON SET: AMY L. FORSYTHE + RUSSIAN DOLL

How did you get your start in makeup?
I went to college for theater at Florida State, and during my senior year a man came down from Broadway to show me how to do beards and quick wig changes. That is when I realized how much more fun it would be to help create the world with other creatives than just bringing one character to life. I graduated, went to hair school where I learned weave, braids, and minimal wigs, then went to Los Angeles to learn character and prosthetic makeup. Growing up a book worm, I was always kind of let down by the movie versions of books. But now I get it. What a challenge to be tasked with bringing a world to life and hoping people like it.

You also Department Head Stranger Things. Was there any overlap in shooting schedules?
From the get-go, I told them I might have to leave at the end for the third season of Stranger Things. I pitched my key, Heidi Pakdel, to take over if that were the case. Natasha Lyonne was fine with it so long as everything was designed, prepped, and ready to go.

What was the makeup inspiration for Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) in Russian Doll?
We knew we were going for a grungy, messy kind of smoky eye with her character. I pulled some smoky favorites of Natasha from events that she and I both liked and played with it for a little bit. I made a modern day Debbie Harry funky shape for her Continue reading

ON SET: DEBBIE ZOLLER + FOSSE/VERDON

What sort of research and preparation did you do for Fosse/Verdon?
With five decades of research to do, the prep and research never stopped. I bought the Sam Wasson Fosse book that this mini-series is based on, but I had many other books on Broadway musicals and DVD’s of Bob Fosse’s films to watch. I also had access to Bob and Gwen’s daughter, Nicole Fosse, who allowed us into the Fosse/Verdon Legacy Archives. I had to research all his musical numbers that we had to duplicate and mimic the looks exactly. And the actual producers, writers, composers, pianists and others that were with Bob on each project. All of the background extras that needed to be period specific from 1940-1987, every daytime and evening beauty makeup for each time period and mustache and sideburn length for the men. I had six weeks of prep prior to shooting but continued my research every day during the six months of shooting. I left no stone unturned. I would email detailed information to every makeup artist with reference photos and specific makeup to use for each era.

How large was your makeup team?
As you can imagine, I needed a huge team. I was the makeup designer. Department Head was Blair Aycock, Key was Dave Presto, Personal to Michelle Williams was Jackie Risotto, background makeup supervisors were Sherri Laurence and Nicky Illum Pattison, Art Sakamoto made the teeth for Michelle Williams, Vincent Van Dyke did the prosthetics for Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams. Plus an amazing team of additional background artists.

How did you go about researching the looks for the Fosse dancers through the years?
The costume designers, Melissa Toth and Joseph La Courte, and Abby in the art department were instrumental in helping me get the research I needed for the musical numbers. Along with watching many Youtube videos and going to see musicals like Chicago, many of the dancers who have studied or worked with Bob Fosse were helpful as well. It was a group effort in every way. Once the costumes and the wigs that Christopher Fulton designed were on, everything came together beautifully. Filming the musical numbers were some of my favorite moments during the whole shoot.

What was the design process like?
Every actor, dancer and background artist who went in front of the camera had a fitting. I assigned a specific look based on the year they were a part of and the character they portrayed. I had reference photos of the real person they might be portraying and photos of makeups/facial hair for that specific time period. I then assigned an artist to that actor and it all came together, every morning. Some mustaches and sideburns were lace backed, but a majority were hand-layed. Every day was a unique challenge. Not to mention aging Sam Rockwell and Continue reading