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HomeAwardsEmmy Contenders: Hair, Makeup

Emmy Contenders: Hair, Makeup

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Premium cable services
appear to be in the hearts and
minds of a few key costume
designers, makeup artists and
hairstylists who can’t help but
weigh in on some of the sizzling
Emmy contenders in their
respective categories. Among the
prime-time choices: Carnivale
and Six Feet Under on HBO, and
The Reagans and The L Word on
Showtime, two of which showed
up in the nominations and two
of which did not.
Cliff Chally, a costume
designer who has worked on
Emeril and Designing Women
and is poised to begin work on
a new series for ABC called
Eyes, has heard chatter about the
hot new look of Six Feet Under
designed by Jill Ohanneson,
though the show received no
such kudos. “It’s always important
that the costumes help tell
the story without getting in
the way,” he says. “They should
provide unspoken information
about each character without
upstaging them. Done properly,
they will mesh seamlessly with
the sets, becoming part of the
production design.”
Two of the new shows that have
caught the eye of costume designer
Cynthia Summers include The
OC and Las Vegas (both shut out of
the competition), with the former
delivering what she calls “Paris
Hilton Beverly Hills chic meets
Parisian runway with a hardened
American edge,” and the latter
capturing a suave and debonair
feel that pushes the boundaries
of style for “cool guys and dolls
dressed up
and getting
down.”
Summers,
who worked
on Smallville
and The Dead
Zone prior to
her current
gig on The
L Word, also
lauds network
comedic stalwart Will &
Grace (though Academy voters
disagreed). Plugging her own
show, which recently began production
on its second season but
did not catch the eye of her peer
group, she quips that “lots of lesbians
are clothes hounds. Why
wouldn’t they be? You are surrounded
by women all the time
and are marketing yourself to
women. This show fills a void:
Same sex, different city.”
Although The Reagans sparked a firestorm of controversy about
taking liberties with history that
ultimately forced the miniseries
from CBS to Showtime, liberals
and conservatives alike probably
could agree on the jaw-dropping
recreations of the 40th president
and his wife. Which, of course,
landed it among the list of nominees.
“Stephan Dupuis did a fantastic
job with James Brolin,”
says Pamela Roth, a makeup artist
whose Emmy award winning
touches transformed actress Judy
Davis into Nancy Reagan.
When trying to recreate a real
person, Roth says, it’s imperative
to add just the right touches
without falling into the caricature
trap. On The Reagans,
that meant carefully aging the
iconic commander-in-chief with
highlights and shadows around
the eyes as his rugged youthful
look gradually gave way to a
rosy-cheeked skin tone and jovial
grandfatherly quality.
“We did
more straight
makeup with
Judy,” Roth
adds, noting
how Davis’
gifted acting
elevated
her portrayal
of the former
first lady
beyond the
famous wide-eyed appearance she
sought to emphasize.
Michael Key, editor and publisher
of Make-Up Artist magazine,
believes new shows tend to
draw quite a bit of attention, citing
as possible contenders Nip/Tuck,
whose seemingly endless anatomical
alterations fuel creative challenges
(and Academy members
agreed); Alias, for whom makeup
artists are constantly tweaking
the lead character’s look (it won
recognition in the hairstyling category);
and CSI, which transcends
work on dead or injured crime
victims to include footage inside
the human body that may seem
like a visual effect to the average
viewer (and once again Academy
members agreed).
Gabriella Pollino, a hairstylist
who has worked on That ’70s Show,
American Dreams and Dharma &
Greg, says the new Depression-era
drama Carnivale on HBO is the
talk of Hollywood—a project she
believes will be nominated and
should win (it was nominated in
all three of the categories featured
in this article). She lauds
the show’s “accurate and perfectly
appointed” stylistic portrayal of
life across America’s Dust Bowl,
a difficult period to recreate that
requires formidable skill and
artistic interpretation.
What stood out in her mind
was how beautifully executed
and appropriate for each character
were the 1930s-style hairdos
featuring a type of curl called
“waves” that requires bending
the hair through pin-curl sets or
stove-heated irons.
“It presents some real competition
to the established nominees
of past years because it stands
out in all the areas that you look
for in considering this category,”
explains Pollino, who, after completing
the feature film comedies
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
and Kicking & Screaming, is Athens
bound to work on the Summer
Olympics. “It also doesn’t hurt that the show is interesting to watch.”
Under a rule change initiated
in 2002, the makeup category was
split to recognize both prosthetic
and nonprosthetic work. But defining
these categories isn’t always so
cut and dried, gripes Michael Key,
editor and publisher of Make-Up
Artist magazine, who won two
Emmys for Star Trek: Deep Space
Nine in his 20-year career as a
makeup artist.
“Things are pretty screwy these
days,” he observes. “You don’t really
get an award. You get half an
award, which has caused a huge
problem.”
For example, Key says that for
every alien made up on perennial
contender Star Trek Enterprise
there may be one or two cast members
who don’t have prosthetic
makeup—muddying the nomination
process for episodes that shine
in both categories. Another concern
is attempting to draw the line
on common elements such as the
use of false eyelashes, fake noses
and beards or painted makeup.
John Leverence, the Television
Academy’s VP of awards, says the
Emmy competition does not procedurally
link judging one achievement
with another. For example,
he notes that there’s no consolidated
award for makeup since “the
work of the prosthetic makeup
artist is separately judged from
the work of the regular makeup
artist.” The same holds true for
costume designers and costumers,
sound editors and sound mixers,
and so on.
Does Split Award Water Down Makeup?
Key awards in the costumes
and makeup-hairstyling categories,
respectively, that may serve
as an Emmy barometer include:
1. Sixth Annual Costume
Designers Guild Local 892
Excellence in Contemporary
Design for Television award
winner Patricia Field for Sex
and the City and Excellence
in Period/Fantasy Design for
Television award winners Ruth
Myers and Terry Dresbach for
the Carnivale pilot and series.
2. Fifth Annual Hollywood
Makeup Artists & Hair
Stylists Guild Awards for Best
Contemporary Makeup for a
Television Series (Sex and the
City); Best Period Makeup for
a Television Series (American
Dreams, featuring winners
Julie Socash, Kim Perrodin,
Bob Scribner and Kandace
Westmore); Best Character
Makeup for a Television Series
(Gilmore Girls, featuring winners
Marie Del Prete, Malanie
Romero, Michael Smithson and
Deborah Zoller); Best Special
Makeup Effects for a Television
Series (Nip/Tuck pilot, featuring
winners James Mackinnon,
Thomas Burman and Bari
Dreiband Burman); Best
Contemporary Hairstyling for a
Television Series (Sex and the
City, featuring winners Mandy
Lyons, Donna Fischetto and Peg
Schierholz); Best Period Hair Styling for a Television Series
(Carnivale, featuring winners
Kerry Mendenhall, Louisa
Anthony and Nanci Cascio);
Best Character Hairstyling for
a Television Series (Gilmore
Girls, featuring winners Romy
Fleming and Christina Raye);
Best Makeup for a Television
Mini-Series or Movie of the
Week (Tracey Ullman in The
Trailer Tales, featuring winners
Matthew Mungle, Sally
Sutton and Kate Shorter);
and Best Hairstyling for a
Television Mini-Series or
Movie of the Week (Normal,
featuring winners Bunny
Parker, Tony Mirante and Linda DeAndrea.

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