Saturday, 30 January 2010

Target Market

My initial thought before starting this project was... 'What am I going to get out of it once I've finished??'

- A finished product to show the directors and make up artists that I would like to work with.

- A really good portfolio for interviews.

- The experience of having to organise and co-ordinate an ambitious project from conception to the finished product - the best way to learn the whole process of what goes on!

Once I've finished my degree I want to work in the film industry doing prosthetic make up. We've touched on prosthetic make up on our course, however I am so keen to pursue it, and feel I have a flair for it, that I've taught myself the basics (I learned some at Charles Fox when I worked there) through endless practice and research .

My target market will be film directors and specialised SFX make up artists that I'd like to work with or assist. I will need to make sure my trailer is outstanding and combines the skills I've learnt in a contemporary and innovative way, so that my work gets chosen over my competitors. Its tough out there and I want to be at the top of my game!

I must research successful SFX make up artists and who is doing what on major films so I can get an idea of what they may be looking for.

The film trailer itself will be aimed at an 18 to 30 age group as its contemporary and stylish as well as a horror film. It will not be suitable for children under 18 and will be directed mainly for horror movie fans, as well as anyone who likes abstract art in film form.

Thursday, 28 January 2010


For my final major project, I want to demonstrate an advanced range of editorial make up skills, and express my passion for prosthetic make up in TV and film.

For the past three years of my course I have taken influence from a huge range of fashion and editorial make up designs, as well as the use of prosthetic and special fx make up in horror films. My aim is to explore new ways of combining these two elements, using my artistic way of thinking, from a mixture of influences I have taken over the past years from mixed media artists, graphic designers which have given me an eye for compositional structure , love for texture and thread which I started using at art foundation, music, and passion for sfx films.

I'll produce a range of make up designs, from which I will choose several to develop further for a series of photo shoots. From these, I will make decisions on which ones I can use and adapt for my trailer.

I have explored new ways of combining the two mediums. The contemporary zombie characteristics with my own interpretation using mixed media and textures, along with the editorial approach, have an extraordinary effect. I want to use all these elements to push the boundaries of make up, merging film and fashion with a unique artistic approach.

The idea of the trailer for a film, means that in addition to my portfolio, I can use it to show my work, and give myself the edge on other more traditional make up artists. I can also put it on my website, as I believe the moving image is an effective and powerful way of showing my make up designs, as you get a three dimensional view of the make up instead of a flat image.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Brief brainstorming..

We've now got a copy of the U.I.G for our Final Major Project. I've spent the whole weekend highlighting key notes, brainstorming ideas and working on how I'm going to meet the brief. I'll need to develop my ideas to create a great body of work, that will not only be outstanding and successful, but something I'll be able to use when I finish uni, as well.

I plan to make a trailer for a horror/zombie film; backed up by a series of design images for the trailer and also for editorial use; and a blog incorporating my 'Reflective Diary' showing the whole design through to the completion of the trailer process. This will enable me to promote myself as a truly professional 'up and coming' make up artist.


I've thought of a design idea for my first shoot, so today I went into uni and practiced different techniques of make up application, using various make up products for different effects and designs, to see which ones work best and why. Also different methods of achieving similar hair styles to see which looks better and is quickest to do.

I've learnt through work experience that speed (as well as quality) is really important.

IDEA I - 'editorial girl zombie' with the exploration of mixed media.

INSPIRATION - I want to achieve an image in an editorial style using the theme of zombie. The idea was triggered from a video clip I created for my dissertation which shows different stages of make up, and the build up from nude to extreme. However, the imagery used in the clip is extremely gory and gruesome, and not the look I wanted to create for this shoot. Therefore, I used materials and textures that give the impression of a zombie and suggest the gore using substitutes instead. For example, rather than using excessive blood and congealed wounds around her mouth I want to represent the blood with the use of red string. I prefer to use string rather than drawing it on, for artistic effect. Since my art foundation year, I have taken great influence from mixed media artists such as Richard Hamilton, Douglas Kolk and Mark Bradford for their use of collaging and compositional structure. Over the past four years, I have often stuck thread in my sketchbooks as I find it really effective in emphasising and highlighting key parts. I also find that using string in various colours and thicknesses, creates texture and depth, which in the case of this particular make up, produces the ridges and crust effects of real bloody wounds. The use of string in this particular shot, makes it less realistic and more editorial.

Another zombie characteristic I wish to highlight is her head. The way I work is compositional and I like to create an effective layout on the face in the same way that I would if I were doing a painting or a magazine spread. I wanted to draw the eye to her mouth, so I created an opposing focus on her forehead. In the video clip I referred to earlier, I had wrapped a bandage covered in blood around her head to show a head injury. I wanted to think of a way I could re-create a similar effect without using the bandage. I decided to use her hair, so that had an editorial style, yet retained the horror theme. I thought about wrapping the hair around her face but I found when practicing, that it was extremely limiting, as my model would need really long thick hair or the result wouldn't be neat enough for 'fashion'. I found an image from a magazine (I can't remember the name) that inspired me to 'layer' the hair around the head, so that it created different textures and resembled a bandage. I talked to my hair teacher about how I could create this effect and she advised hair extensions, to look realistic yet giving the texture I wanted. I bought two shades of blonde hair extensions the same colour as the model's own hair knowing it would give more depth and tone once I layered them. I practiced on a dolls head first, layering the hair in different ways to see which worked best and my teacher demonstrated how I should layer the hair and pin it, so that it stayed in, but ensuring the hair pins weren't visible. I didn't want the trouble of having to photoshop them out.

I want my model to wear white contact lenses in the shoot as all the rest of the zombie characteristics are only representations and aren't typical 'real' zombie features. The lenses will draw the viewer in, as the eyes are a main focus and really point to 'zombie'. I will have to be extremely careful when using the contact lenses as they could cause infections if not handled properly. They have to be soaked for 4 hours in the solution before they're used, and they are not re-usable. They also have to be rinsed in solution just before placing them into the eyes, and it's vital that my hands are absolutely clean before touching the lenses. I would hate to cause an eye infection - it would mean that the actor/actress or model couldn't work, and the chances are I'd be blamed and likely to loose my job.

I have been experimenting with different bases, to find out which one produces the most flawless result. From this I have been able to see which one works best under the thread which is stuck on with spirit gum. I found that grease smudges too easily and I would have to keep powdering, as it melts under the lights. This could also affect the colour of the string . A liquid foundation would be too light, I need it to be quite thick to give me the blank canvas I need under the bright lighting. I have found through experience that Mac Full Coverage is the best foundation for most photographic make up.

I experimented with using different glues to stick the thread onto the face with, such as duo, spirit gum and latex. I found that the latex was too rubbery and thick plus the smell is really pungent especially as it's on the face, I don't think it would be very pleasant for my model. The duo wasn't strong enough and also went rubbery. Spirit gum is the best option as it sticks the string extremely well, and as the mouth has a lot of movement I need a strong and slightly flexible adhesive. The only thing is I need to be extra careful about when applying, it not to spill any on my model as it is quite gloopy and you have to brush it on. I will make sure my model wears a gown just in case. As it's a strong solution, I will need to ask my model if they have sensitive skin or any allergies, and maybe even test some on her hand, to make sure it's ok. I'll need to remove it with the special remover, and because it dries shiny I will need to matt it down by lightly brushing translucent powder over the top. I don't want it to be seen in the shot.