Monday, 12 April 2010

Character 3: Pedrom

Influence: 'Editorial Girl' shoot, Alice in Wonderland.

This is by far my favourite make up design in the trailer as it's the most figurative yet stylised juxtaposing some elements from my other more bloody designs which are more literal. This gives a good balance as I now have a selection of zombie designs that all look distinctive in their own different way and are far more inimitable than traditional zombies. I have based this design mainly on the 'editorial girl' zombie shoot as I found it the most effective in achieving zombie characteristics whilst demonstrating innovative make up skills with my own interpretation. I decided to take the 'editorial girl' design but apply it to a boy rather than girl to create an unconventional visual. The make up is quite feminine because of the bright, fine red thread which although symbolises blood. I don't want this to be mistaken for lipstick so I painted black on the lips, which is what I initially used in my shoot. Long eyelashes tend to be a symbol of feminine beauty so I drew them to look like black zombie tears instead, indicating fear and horror. I drew them on both eyes as opposed to just one eye which I did in the shoot, as I wanted to create a symmetrical design so that I wouldn't need close ups on both sides in the film. I also feel the symmetry has more impact. The make up on the Mad Hatter in 'Alice and Wonderland', inspired me to create the design on a male as Johnny Depp's make up is an eccentric contrast of colours and shapes that doesn't make him look exactly 'feminine' but more wacky and unorthodox which is what I want to achieve.

How I created the make up:

I started with a pale base using Mac full coverage. I decided not to use grease as it would have come off with spirit gum and I will be painting intricate detail on the eyes which may smudge after a lot of powdering needed on grease based make up. I slightly blended in some dark purple to the bottom of the cheekbones for a subtle gaunt look. I used a deep purple rather than black or grey to achieve this as the purple made it less harsh and slightly warmer.

I used a mac eyeliner gel to draw on the bottom lashes as it stays on better and is a harder consistency and it won't smudge as easily. In this design it needs to look sharp with a perfect and precise hard line. To make sure I had a steady hand I would draw the lines on with a fine brush holding my wrist steady with my other hand. I did quick strokes rather than slow ones as I found it easier to get a straight line this way (really glad I practiced long and hard beforehand to get them right). I finished off the eyes with a touch of mascara and a fine line of black on the eyelid, simply to open the eyes and make them stand out on film.

I moved on to the mouth. I started off by applying black lipstick to the lips and then began sticking on the red thread using spirit gum, which is the strongest adhesive that can be used on the face without reaction. My design consisted of the thread going all round his mouth and over his lips, but because we still had a fair bit to go before we were to start filming I just applied the thread under and over his lips across to his cheeks as otherwise he wouldn't have been able to talk or laugh which would be asking a bit too much (especially as there was a great comraderie amongst the cast). I brought spirit gum and thread with me in my set bag to apply the rest just before filming. I powdered over the glued areas to reduce the shine and lastly applied the contacts.

We had a slight problem as Pedrom found it harder to put the contact lenses in than the others as his eyes were sensitive. This meant that I would have to be fastidious with cleanliness, otherwise I could give him an eye infection. I asked him if he would prefer not to have them in as I don't want my actors to feel uncomfortable or pushed into something they don't want, but he insisted that I tried. Someone lifted his eyelids up whilst I placed them in and after many laughs and attempts, we finally got them in without ruining any of the make up. I should have thought about the lenses before I painted on the black lashes which was a mistake I will learn from.

I sprayed sea salt into the hair so that it looked messy and rough, but keeping the style as I wanted it to remain like normal hair as opposed to zombie to keep the fashion element of the design.

What I would do differently:

As the thread was being stretched over the mouth and glued into place, after a lot of movement it started to crinkle and parts fell out of place. I should have done the thread when we were on set in London just before filming, to make sure it was neat and the lines were sharp and straight. To do this I would have had to build in make up time on set, which would have meant getting everyone there earlier. As their call times were already really early, this would have been difficult. However I have now learnt from my mistake and will consider this for next time, especially if it's a professional shoot.

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