Filed in: Awards, Contender Portfolios, Featured, Makeup
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Contender – Makeup Artist Adrien Morot, Barney’s Version

January 12, 2011 | By

Adrien Morot applying Paul Giamatti’s makeup for Barney’s Version.

Adrien Morot was born in Montreal and has been working there for the past 10 years after a stint in California. Based on those experiences, he was approached to create entire characters – including hair and makeup – for the Montreal-based drama Barney’s Version, including aging the principal cast into their 60s.

Forming initial ideas of what Barney’s Version’s characters would look like, Morot found references on the web for character’s hairstyles and would do Photoshop renditions of the actors including a composite of found hairstyles. “Richard would make suggestions, and we went through 15 versions of a look,” he said. “I was able to give the hairdresser the photos with guidelines of what the characters would look like. The characters ended up looking like real people in the movie.”

After designing all of the characters, spending due time in Photoshop, Morot designed the aging stages for all of the characters, which included four to five different stages of makeup for the key cast, including stars Paul Giamatti and Rosamund Pike. “From the time that they are in their 50s, they are all wearing prosthetics,” said Morot. “Those makeups could easily take three to three-and-a-half hours. But the producers didn’t want the show to become a makeup show. We had 125 minutes to apply the makeups. We had to design the makeups in a way to be applied quickly.”

In general, Barney’s Version was crewed up with two-three hairdressers and four-five makeup artists; thus, between seven-10 people were in the makeup trailer to take care of the characters. In his shop, he had a crew of 10-12 who have been with him on previous shows. First, Morot would do the rough sculptures and makeup tests himself, and then he would pass on the sculpture and full makeup applications of the characters to his assistants for the duration of the shoot. “Me and my assistant applied the faces, and my fiancé did the hands,” he described. “On the first few makeup tests that we did, Paul couldn’t have his own beard, so we had lace pieces applied on top of the prosthetics [which] I had made. We glued on the prosthetics, then glued on the beard on top.”

However, that process presented a problem for Giamatti. “Because of the nature of the lace, when you open your mouth, smile or move your head, it restricts your expressions” Morot revealed. “Paul asked if there was anything we could do to keep from restricting him. So I hand-laid the beard, which would add 30 minutes to the makeup application process. I wasn’t given any more time to do the makeups, so I pre-painted the prosthetics, pre-cut the hair and tried to save as much time as possible. Then, in my makeup kit, I had a timer which I put on my makeup table. That helped me gauge how fast I needed to go in applying the makeups.”

Speaking with pride about his achievement on Barney’s Version, Morot noted that in the end very little of the shots with special makeup were corrected digitally – what you see onscreen are his camera-ready prosthetic designs and hair work.

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