Today’s post comes to us courtesy of my Makeup to Go partner in crime, Delia J. Owens. Del recently got to attend a Oscars Week Events Best Makeup Nominees Q & A. Take it away, Delia…
Each year prior to the Oscars, the Academy hosts Oscar Week Events. One of the events hosted this year was a Q and A session with this year’s Best Hair and Make-Up nominees. I was fortunate enough to attend this event and got a chance to listen to the industry’s best explain in detail some of their greatest work.
This year’s nominees were: Stephen Prouty for Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, Joel Harlow and Gloris Pasqua-Casny for The Lone Ranger and Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews for Dallas Buyers Club. The event started with a clip of the movie each nominee worked on, questions from the host and finally questions from the audience.
Stephen Prouty was the first artist featured. His old age work on the Grandpa character was amazing. It took approximately 3 to 5 hours each day to get Johnny Knoxville, the actor playing Grandpa, into full make up and almost half that time getting him out of make up. Johnny Knoxville was also at this Q and A and mentioned that he was able to get out of make-up a lot faster towards the end of filming. Prouty had to make this make-up extra durable since Knoxville did all of his own stunts as the Grandpa character. If you haven’t seen the movie, there is a scene where Grandpa is thrown through a store glass window, gets up and dusts himself off and walks out of the store. Not one prosthetic was damaged.
The next artists featured were Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny. Harlow did the make-up work on the film and Pasqua-Casny headed up the hair department. Both of these artist were not only responsible for turning Johnny Depp into “Tonto”, but also for turning all of the featured actors into their own characters. For this film, Harlow created two looks for Depp turning him from young Tonto, using face paint to create a cracked, mud like mask, and an old Tonto, using up to eight prosthetics to create old age-make up. Pasqua-Casny was asked about wigs for the film, she stated she tried to use as much as the actors’ real hair along with wig pieces she and her team created. The end results looked amazing.
The last nominees for this category (and this years winners) were Adruitha Lee (hair) and Robin Mathews (make-up) for Dallas Buyers Club. This team had the smallest make-up/hair budget to work with having only $250 and having to transform the actors through all stages of AIDS. One of their toughest challenges was having to constantly film out of sequence so Lee and Mathews had to go back and forth taking the actors from semi-healthy one day to near death the next. When asked what her secret was to taking the actors through all levels of illness, Mathews answered “a LOT of contouring and highlighting”. For Lee, it was “a LOT of hair dye”. Lee mentioned that she made sure she dyed the roots of the hair a lot lighter than the rest of the hair for a balding effect then having to go in the next day to reverse the process to make the actor look healthier. Without a doubt, these two faced numerous challenges throughout but ended up coming out on top!
I’m not certain if they hold this particular event every year for Oscar Week, but I highly recommend you attend. It is a great opportunity to be able to sit and listen to some of the industry’s best and have them share some of their tips and techniques. I certainly will be looking forward to it next year.
Delia Jimenez Owens is a makeup and hair artist available in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Follow her on Twitter at @DeliaJOwens
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