January 10th, 2017
Well hello to everyone, I am very excited that I have been asked back to do another article for Warpaint. I have been thinking carefully about what to write about this time. Last month I visited the Iver Academy at Pinewood and had a fab time talking to the students, discussing my career and how very fortunate I have been – a lot of it, I think I was at the right place at the right time. I have to say I really love my job and have had the pleasure to have worked on some amazing movies, but I am going to keep some of those special stories for next time, like the crazy time I had on Titanic.
In this issue, I would like to talk about new make-up artists starting out on their adventure into the wonderful world of film and TV. There are so many opportunities for these new students to achieve their goals; of course a lot of determination and hard work is key, but if you have the ambition and belief the world is your oyster and I am going to explain to you what I look for in someone starting out.
First of all, treating every person in every walk of life with kindness and respect, knowing when is the right time to either make a cup of tea and help where help is needed. I have had two amazing trainees since I returned from working in Los Angeles. They are both very different, but superb at what they did for me; they are not trainees anymore and are doing so well.
When I start on a production, it is important my trainee has super duper skills on the computer, because on movies these days the paperwork is a huge part of making the film. I treat all my team as I would like to be treated, and the most important thing for me is to have a happy crew. I touch wood I have never had disloyalty and we take care of each other and if something is not quite right, we talk about it. I am a firm believer in not making anyone feel nervous or afraid, as I know from experience this is a no no. So for all the new students starting out, this is an ideal era with so much TV and film being shot here in England.
On my trailer, I always make sure my trainee has their own make-up station, and that they have everything they need which I provide (of course, they come with their own kit as well). I like to make sure these newcomers have the chance to sometimes have their own artists to take care of; this is essential, as they cannot always be making tea and printing continuity photos.
My suggestion is that you make sure you are never ever late for work. This is so important, as time is of the essence, especially in the morning when we are getting actors ready for the set any delay and we get in big trouble with the producers. We have masses of fun in my department; we laugh a lot, play great music and work very hard.
My advice to all of the students starting out is to get as much experience working and practicing on friends. I know how easy it is to forget what you have learnt and the saying practice makes perfect is so right.
Cleanliness is a given
Enjoy every second of each encounter; sometimes you may feel despondent and wonder if you will ever succeed, but I promise you if you have the passion I had from the age of sixteen you will.
Goodbye for now until next time, and good luck,