ON SET: PATRICIA REGAN + HALSTON

What was your research process like for Halston?
I studied extensive research. I often find replicating hues of colors from books, old magazines or photographs a challenge. In order to find authentic shades true to the period, it is best to create a color scheme. Shades of lipsticks or blush often require the mixing and blending of colors in order to find the right hues that translate, for example, on the actor’s lips to match the era. Finding nuances requires tweaking. Whether it’s lipstick, blush, contour, eyeshadow, all needs to translate appropriately. We shot in high definition, a further challenge to replicating shades of colors. On occasion, it has happened that I was not aware of filters that were used, which can be a startling revelation, not necessarily the fun kind.

You shut down during filming due to Covid. What was that experience like?
We started filming Halston about four weeks before we got shut down. News started trickling in of other shows shutting down and of friends getting sick. We came in on a Friday the 13th in March and were sent home for Continue reading

ON SET: FRANCES HANNON + THE FRENCH DISPATCH

How did you come to work on The French Dispatch?
Wes Anderson contacted me in November of 2017 for filming, end of 2018 on The French Dispatch. It is my sixth film with Wes, and I have also had the pleasure of being part of various commercials for Wes.

Wes Anderson films have a very stylized look, what is the collaboration like in terms of makeup and hair design?
As I’m reading Wes’s script, it is so detailed you can begin to visualize the characters as soon as you start to read. On The French Dispatch, I started by researching historical Continue reading

ON SET: TYM SHUTCHAI BUACHARERN + THE HARDER THEY FALL

How did you come to work on The Harder They Fall?
I was originally asked to be a part of The Harder They Fall back at the beginning of the year as Regina King’s personal makeup artist. However, due to a scheduling conflict, I was not able to do it. Then the whole industry was shut down due to the pandemic. When the film industry opened back up, the Makeup Department Head that was hired became unavailable for the project. The opportunity came back, and at this time I was available.

What were the challenges of filming during Covid?
There were so many challenges of shooting during Covid. Aside from the masks, goggles, and shields, we also had to deal with the heat, snow, dust, and many more
elements. We just had to speak up if Continue reading

ON SET: TRICIA SAWYER + VASILIOS TANIS + WANDAVISION

WandaVision is a blend of old school sitcom and a universe that is very Marvel. Seems like a big challenge.
Tricia Sawyer:
This job was a challenge and a dream. Some days we had sitcoms, some days we had the MCU, and some days we had both. At times, it felt more like we were filming a six-hour Marvel movie. Each actor had a period look and MCU look; some actors had several of each. Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) had six period looks plus Halloween — the traditional comic book Wanda — four MCU matches and her finale look. Agnes (Kathryn Hahn) had five period looks, Halloween and her Agatha Harkness look. We had a red synthezoid Vision, white Vision and blue Vision, as well as human Vision in every decade.

The first episode was also shot before a live audience using period lights and in black and white. To say this job was a challenge is an understatement. The sitcoms were very fun to shoot. The MCU was a little more nerve-racking for me because I was matching to the movies — some of which I hadn’t worked on. We know how fanatical the Marvel fans are, so we felt the pressure to get it right.

Vasilios Tanis To say you had to bring your A-game to work every day would be putting it lightly. As makeup artists, this project was a dream. To be able to reference different time periods and the shows that represented Continue reading

ON SET: MARC PILCHER + BRIDGERTON

What was your design process like on Bridgerton?
I always begin a project by reading the script a few times over, trying to get to know the characters and how I can convey their personalities through their hair and makeup. Once I’ve read the script, then alongside my research of books and paintings of the time and my knowledge of history, I start to formulate my ideas of how I can reflect their personalities through the hair and makeup. I then put these ideas to the actors in their initial fittings. I was lucky with Bridgerton that all the actors loved my ideas. So, once we received approval from the producers, we were good to go.

Where did you draw inspiration from in terms of makeup and hair?
Most of my inspiration comes from the usual books and paintings of the period, but I also have a good knowledge of history, and also spent my formative years watching old black and white movies and musicals of the golden era of Hollywood. People say that I have the memory of an Elephant; it’s all kept in those little grey cells in my brain ready for a new production. For example, Daphne’s look was based on Audrey Hepburn from the film War and Peace. On her first meeting with me, her eyebrows, with her hair taken up tightly reminded me of Audrey Hepburn in this film. I then adapted it to what I felt was right for Daphne. War and Peace was made in the 1950s but again the story was set in the Regency period so her makeup had to have that no makeup look, but still leaving her soft, dewy and stunning.

You come from a theater background and this show has a very theatrical feel to it. Did your history working in stage help or hinder your process with this project?
I began my career in 1988, after graduating from The London College of Fashion. I landed a job on Continue reading

ON SET: LOUIE ZAKARIAN + SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE

How long have you been Department Head on SNL?
Ive been Department Head at for the past 25 years. It’s so crazy to think about it seems like yesterday I was doing my first show. I still get butterflies in my belly when the band starts playing the music during warm up.

How has working on SNL changed the most over all those years?
It has changed drastically. With the switch to HD it all had to change. The colors we used became more vivid. Every little thing showed. With prosthetics it really made a difference painting and application had to change. Before HD if there was a little edge you couldn’t see it but in the HD world everything had to be film quality.

This season I’ve started to do a lot more 3-D printing and 3-D scanning. In the past if we had to build a prosthetic for a host or cast member we would do a lifecast. But now I have every host Come in on a Tuesday and I scanned them just to be prepared in case.

How does 3D printing effect the process?
In the past if the host needed a prosthetic I would not get them in for a life cast until Thursday afternoon or end of day. But now because we have our 3-D printers and 3-D scanners I have the host come in on Tuesday do a head scan which takes about 10 minutes and then print their head overnight so that if I have to read through on Wednesday I need it I have it and it’s ready to go.

While in Covid lockdown I was trying to think of how we can still do Continue reading

ON SET: ERYN KRUGER MEKASH + HILLBILLY ELEGY

How did you come to work on Hillbilly Elegy?
A wonderful producer I worked for on My Sister’s Keeper called me and asked if I was available. My pal Patrica Dehaney and Amy Adam’s makeup artist Kate Biscoe put together a shortlist of people they thought would be good for the film, and I was chosen for the project. Very exciting!

The story revolves around a family who don’t necessarily take great care of themselves physically, Mamaw is a heavy smoker, Bev is a drug user, they are poor and presumably don’t eat healthily. How do you reflect their lifestyle through makeup design?
I knew that skin texture plays a part in reflecting lifestyle. Matthew Mungle created the prosthetics and did the initial test on Glenn so I had a template. After our makeup tests with cameras and lighting I knew I needed to pump up the details. Matthew liked what I did with Glenn and I adjusted as each lighting scenario changed. Mamaw was in the sun and was a smoker and a high stress lifestyle. Patty and I made sure we could see that; the rest was Glenn’s amazing performance.

Amy has beautiful skin with fine pores (and so does Glenn). I worked with Dave Anderson of AFX to create two Continue reading

ON SET: SHARON MARTIN + JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY

How did you come to be involved with Jingle Jangle
I became involved in Jingle Jangle when the writer director David Talbert sent me the script, which i read and immediately fell in love with the project, from a standpoint of seeing Black  representation in a positive, fun way. The very idea of Afro hair in a Victorian setting was too exciting not be get involved

What was the design process like?
The design process was a very collaborative one, David Talbert has been working on the project for over twenty years, so to have their trust to bring your ideas to the table was generous of them and liberating for me. I worked with a concept artist to present early ideas and launched from there.

How many makeup artists and hair stylists were on your team?
My core team was made up of myself, a Key Makeup Niamh O’Loan, Key Hairstylist Kat Fa, Laura Blount as crowd supervisor, Klara Levring junior makeup and hair and trainee Angella Appiah. We also had a regular team of Continue reading

ON SET: MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM + MATIKI ANOFF + MIA NEAL + SERGIO LOPEZ-RIVERA

We had a chance to chat with the makeup and hair team behind the captivating Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Makeup Department Head Matiki Anoff, makeup artist to Viola Davis, Sergio Lopez-Rivera and Hair Department Head Mia Neal, share techniques and behind-the-scenes stories from reviving Ma and her band in the Netflix film based on the play by August Wilson.

How did each of you come to work on this project?
Matiki: I worked on Fences with Denzel Washington and Viola. At the end of that production, Denzel told us he had the whole catalog of August Wilson’s material, and at that time he told us we’d be doing one project a year. So, I came to the project through the producers Denzel and Todd Black.

Sergio: I was working with Viola on How to Get Away with Murder for six seasons. She told me this project was coming, but by the time I got a phone call from producer Dany Wolf I had already said yes to going over to London to supervise Bridgerton. Long story short, Bridgerton didn’t need me anymore so I called Dany and told him I was still available. I got lucky.

Mia: I’ve worked with the costume designer, Ann Roth, several times and I’ve worked with Continue reading

ON SET: DENISE KUM + MULAN

What did you know about Mulan going in?
I missed the generation of the whole Disney princess film, but of course I knew about it because it was the only Chinese princess in the genre. Because my ancestry is Chinese, I knew more about the story of Mulan that had been handed down through fables, so I was aware of the story. 

This marks your sixth collaboration with director Niki Caro. How did you get chosen for this film?
Niki and I are old friends and long-time collaborators. When it got announced she was doing it, she asked me to do it, and we’ve been talking about this for several years. Of course, I had to get approved by Disney, but they must have liked what we did together in the past because here I am.

Disney has had a great success rate with transforming its animated classics into live-action films. Were their certain looks from that movie that needed to be replicated?
They were never descriptive in that way. Our film is rooted more on the fable than the other Disney princess fairytales. Of course, we were very aware of the Continue reading