Prosthetic makeup supervisor Kazuhiro Tsuji is part of the dynamic Cinovation Studios team nominated for an Academy Award for makeup for Click. He shares the nomination with Bill Corso.The film, which traces the lives of a family from 1968 to 2029 with each actor going through a rapid age transition, posed some difficult technical and creative challenges for the duo.Tsuji had to design old-age makeup for 10 characters as well as ethnicity-changing makeup for actor Rob Schneider, who was cast as a Saudi Arabian.”In the beginning, I was responsible for the Photoshop designs,” explains Tsuji. “After we got each actor’s life cast, [sculptor] Mitch DeVane and I sculpted appliances for each of the characters.”Hair was a important factor too, as it also ages. Tsuji dressed all of the wigs for the test makeup, and the male wigs for principal photography. The female wigs were dressed and applied by Thomas Real. (Actress Kate Beckinsale’s hair stylist was Cydney Cornell.)The film called for numerous prosthetics to create realistic aging and weight gain. “I was responsible for supervising the construction of an epoxy collapsible mold to cast a seamless overweight makeup appliance with an air chamber under the chin for better movement,” says Tsuji. “We attached an air tube to each appliance so we could adjust the air pressure to accommodate the actors.”Because Click was shot with Panavision’s high-definition digital camera—the Genesis—Tsuji and Corso had to address new challenges in close-ups. When reviewing the takes, they realized they had no wiggle room and the edges of their work had to be flawless. “The camera picked up things our human eyes could not,” he explains.Tsuji reveals some of the inside details of the physical makeup and his strategy for working with high definition: “For test makeup and production, I used a 39-megapixel digital camera to assure that the quality of the makeup could withstand any shooting conditions. I formulated a new spirit gum for the silicone makeup, because all matted spirit gum on the market was still too shiny. I also reformulated Skin Illustrator to give it more elasticity so it would last longer on the silicone pieces. This modification helped the paint stretch more without cracking.”So how did he take Adam Sandler from his late thirties to his sixties? “There were four stages. In the first stage we used an overweight, silicone gel-filled appliance and a wig. The other stages were done with shadow and highlight and old-age stipple. The last stage we used five silicone gel-filled appliances and two hairpieces.”The makeup for actress Julie Kavner was even more involved, taking her from 18 to 79 years old, as well as actor Henry Winkler, who was shown from 24 to 77 years old.The makeup challenge also included matching two separate actors. Jonah Hill played the younger, overweight role of a young Ben and Jake Hoffman played the older, thinner Ben.”We needed to create likeness makeup to make Jonah look like Jake. We did this by using a nose appliance, a pair of contact lenses, and dentures. We also changed his skin tone and hair color,” says Tsuji.2007: Nominated, Academy Award for best achievement in makeup, Click. 2002: Nominated, BAFTA Film Award for best makeup/hair, Planet of the Apes; Won, Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Award for best special makeup effects, Planet of the Apes. 2001: Won, BAFTA Film Award for best makeup/hair, How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Won, Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Award for best special makeup effects, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Written by April MacIntyre