July 30th, 2014
The Primetime Emmys reward the shows we talk about incessantly. The ones we gather around the kettle to gossip about, the ones followed by feverish fandoms, where every mention requires a spoiler alert. So it comes as no surprise to see the host of talented nominees which were announced for the 2014 awards. Warpaint have the low-down on some of the contenders of these highly anticipated and much-loved shows.
Outstanding Make-up for a Miniseries or a Movie (Non-Prosthetic)
American Horror Story: Coven
Department Head MUA Eryn Krueger Mekash took a turn from last season’s grungy look to create beautiful, regal witches. Inspired by Old Hollywood, we saw flawless skin, coiffed hair, smoky, winged eyes and a vampish red lip with a wicked edge, which quickly spiralled into traditional American Horror Story gore. Even filming in difficult environment of humid Louisiana, Mekash and her team did a great job of contributing to the vibe and vision of this show through make-up.
Charting the rapid rise to fame and tragic decline of Anna Nicole Smith, Co-Department Head MUAs Todd McIntosh and David De Leon were tasked with re-creating the famous face for this TV film. Glamorous and decadent, young star Agnes Bruckner was transformed from small-town Texas girl into a beautiful, glamorous and glittering socialite. They then turned their hand to artfully de-constructing the same face they had created, as her life began to spiral into drugs and depravity. The precise lipstick starts to smudge, the lines become harsher, and the mascara tear tracks speak for themselves.
Bonnie & Clyde
This two-part movie TV movie was headed by Trefor Proud, who did a fantastic job of bringing the glamour and hedonism of these rogues to life. Bonnie’s alabaster skin and perfectly painted red lip, along with the other nods to the Depression era, exude the same confidence of the couple themselves. The media were as obsessed with Bonnie and Clyde as they were of being famous, and this is certainly reflected in their polished exteriors – and, in contrast, the bloodied destruction they left in their wake.
The subtlest of the lot, Fargo‘s Gail Kennedy had the job of creating the mundane, the realism, of these characters’ lives, which is punctuated with unlikely violence. Grey tones, sallow, sun-lacking skin – and Gina Hess, played by Kate Walsh, who sticks out like a sore thumb, with her tan and her obvious make-ups. The dichotomy of the normality of these people, this town, and the crazy happenings is mirrored within the make-up.
The Normal Heart
With the bar set high by Robin Mathews, who of course won last year’s Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club, this HBO movie comes at the issue of the early days of AIDS from the other perspective – from the fearful and confused. Colours are leeched out from the tanned, healthy, sun-soaked beginnings as the tone becomes bleaker and bleaker. Eryn Krueger Makash was again the Department Head, and she used a lot of colour contrasts – skintone, hair and make-up – and shadowing to help imply the conflicts and confusions of the characters.
Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup For A Series, Miniseries, Movie Or A Special
American Horror Story: Coven
This is the third year that the American Horror Story teams have been Emmy nominated, which speaks volumes for the talents of the team. Eryn Krueger Makash, Mike Makash and Jason Hamer have their work cut out to keep stepping it up every year, raising the horror factor visually to match the situations. This year they created everything from a minotaur to a Frankenstein’s Monster of one of the characters, and carried it all off with aplomb.
Greg Cannom was called in to help turn actress Agnes Bruckner from a B-cup to a DD-cup to play Anna Nicole Smith. He crafted state-of-the-art prosthetic breasts made of gel-filled silicone, which were fitted in four hour long stints every morning to assure the most realistic impression possible. ‘This created the freedom for them to move and jiggle more like flesh,’ Todd McIntosh said. “It would have been impossible to do the pole dancing or fill out some of the outfits without this innovation.” Brucknell has commented that “they couldn’t have been any more real looking” in interviews – a fact which no doubt helped garner their nomination.
Michele Paris (Department Head) and Steven Lawrence (SFX Artist) have been nominated for both their Prosthetic work and for Outstanding Makeup For A Single-Camera Series 2014. High praise indeed – no doubt attributed to fantastic effects they have created in this violence-filled, knife-edge drama. Bloodied wounds, the character Richard Harrow’s disfigurement-disguise, character deaths – there are so many ways that Boardwalk Empire earned its nomination.
Finishing a much beloved series is always difficult, for fear of delivering a disservice to the fans and also the preceding series. Luckily the discerning hands of Tarra Day and Greg Nicotero were there to carry the show through to completion. The big twist in the episode “Face Off” forced the team to be inventive and push through, to create looks which would continue to impress and capture the audience’s imagination.
Game of Thrones
With the most thoroughly dramatic and bloodthirsty series yet, Jane Walker and Barrie Gower had their work cut out to eclipse the overwhelming memories of the Red Wedding. From the death at the Purple Wedding to the scarring covering Styr the Wildling’s head, each character had the attention to detail which sets this show apart in so many aspects of production.
The Normal Heart
Mekash had help of Christien Tinsley as her Prosthetics Designer to guide their team of talented artists through the dangers of recreating such a turbulent time of history. Oscar-nominated Tinsley has experience on some great projects, including last year’s winner Behind the Candelabra.