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Makeup Pre-Oscar Event

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The third annual Hollywood Reporter Makeup and Hairstylists pre-Oscar Symposium was held March 4 at the Max Factor Hollywood Museum. In attendance were Joe Blasco, who sponsored the event, and IATSE president Thomas Short.The pre-Oscar celebration honored the work of the three nominated hair and makeup teams. Event moderator Leonard Engelman, recently appointed as the new director of makeup education for both the Hollywood and Orlando Joe Blasco Academies, introduced each team and fielded questions from the audience of Oscar-nominated and -winning peers, as well as young makeup artists and students.The nominated teams were: Dave Elsey and Nikki Gooley (Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith; David Leroy Anderson (in absentia) and Lance Anderson (Cinderella Man) and KNB EFX founder Howard Berger and Tami Lane (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe).Berger passionately recalled how he lobbied for the Narnia project: “I just loved the books, and so did my three children. We had an incredibly short prep period; we even had to sneak in James McAvoy [who played the faun, Mr. Tumnus] from London one weekend to scan his body in Los Angeles, and then get him back to London by Monday. Narnia combined every aspect of what we do as makeup artists, from straight makeups to prosthetics to hair work to suits,” said Berger.Berger’s New Zealand crew consisted of 42 makeup artists on a shoot that lasted for 150 days “in outrageous locations,” he said. “There’s no digital augmentation or enhancement of makeups; they appear in the film as they appeared on set. And these makeups are not background monsters; they’re lead characters that are featured extensively in the movie. I can’t think of another film in the last several decades that has the amount of makeup applied to actors to create this mass of 170 characters.”Berger’s co-nominee, Lane, had spent the last six years in New Zealand. Star Wars: Episode III’s Nikki Gooley was also a department head on Narnia, responsible for Tilda Swinton’s look as the White Witch. “We went with a snow look, making her pale and wet-looking and blending in with the atmosphere and landscape and later gave her more color on her face, to maybe reflect the blood of Aslan when she kills him. It really became quite a powerful look,” said Gooley.Lance Anderson from the Cinderella Man team recalled how difficult it was during the humid and steamy shooting conditions to maintain continuity. “It was extremely hard to keep any appliances on Russell Crowe during those fight scenes,” he said. “We had to jump in and out of the ring constantly for touching up and keeping all the actors camera-ready. It wasn’t easy, they used real boxers for this film. We relied on many prosthetic pieces created by makeup artist Christian Tinsley to use for this shoot.”Elsey, who worked with Gooley on Star Wars: Episode III, remembered how producer Rick McCallum approached him to do the makeups. “The department [makeup] is going to be very small,” McCallum told Elsey, but, in fact, after their creative meeting, Elsey had pages and pages of makeup note and requirements. “I really wanted to pay tribute to the original Star Wars makeup, and keep the makeup and creature designs old-school. We even kept the Wookies the same,” he said.The following night, at the 78th annual Academy Awards, first-time nominees Berger and Lane won their first Academy Award for makeup for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Written by April MacIntyre

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