MAKE UP - THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF MAKE UP IN HORROR FILMS
24 February 2011
looking to add to my font of potential useful knowledge about
all things film production, an invite to attend the EM Media
Talent Network event dealing with ‘monster’ (gah!)
makeup was not to be sniffed at, especially as the luxurious
offices shared by EM Media, Confetti and God knows who else
at the Antenna Media Centre are a mere stone’s throw from
the equally palatial Strange Things HQ.
Arriving at almost exactly 3.45 (I’m a stickler for punctuality,
despite what other people claim), I settled in the surprisingly
large and plush Antenna bar (what else is this used for? It’s
fancier than most places in Nottingham!) where I took advantage
of the first of the two free drinks that – alongside food
– came with a ticket. Common sense said that I should
stick to soft drinks, so of course I ordered a beer, as I scanned
my fellow attendees – a mix of students and wannabe filmmakers
it seemed (a correct assumption as it turned out…).
At 4pm, the event proper kicked off in a conference room upstairs,
and we were introduced to Mutant Chronicles
director Simon Hunter, who would be moderating the event, and
make-up artists Paul Hyett (The Descent 1 & 2,
The Cottage) and Jacqueline Fowler (Harry
Brown, Hunger) in what would prove
to be a fairly relaxed, free-wheeling discussion about the role
of make-up effects in films and TV (not just horror make-up,
it should be noted) – how the pair started their careers,
their big breaks, budgeting, the ups and downs of the industry
and so on.
the first half of the three hour event, svelte and freshly scrubbed
Mayhem man Chris Cooke was dragged
‘on stage’ to be a test subject for a couple of
unsavoury looking facial wounds – a nasty gash applied
by Hyett and a less specific burn / bite / boil from Fowler.
It was certainly interesting to see these effects slowly take
shape, and good to see that they held up quite well even under
close examination - stage blood never quite looks real,
but that aside, these gory effects looked pretty convincing.
The two make-up artists were good – Hyatt had a chilled-out
approach to things, while Fowler was breathlessly enthusiastic,
and Hunter kept things moving along for the most part. A few
computer glitches and overly-long film clips marred the video
demonstration section, but otherwise, everything went fairly
Interestingly, Hyatt had brought along several props from various
movies – mutilated heads, tearaway necks, Noel Clarke’s
arm (sadly not the real one) and half a dead baby – which
were on display at the back. Oddly, these were not mentioned
by anyone involved, and so I imagine most people didn’t
even notice them!
After the event, it was downstairs for more beer and food, which
came in the form of veggie chilli that everyone ate sat at amusingly
school-like long tables. A few more beers (cheers Chris!) were
consumed as the networking part of the evening kicked in –
and for once, this actually did seem to have some real networking
taking place, as everyone there (including me) pitched their
movie projects to people who have yet to become bitter and jaded
about the film business.
On the basis of this, I’d certainly recommend any future
Talent Network events to anyone with an interest in film production.