Shades of Cinema | One of Us

Shades of Cinema

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Author: Diva Del Mar

Shades of Cinema invites you to see the world of movies and television through the eyes of the make up artist. Sometimes technical, sometimes glamorous, and but always nerdy, I strive to educate and entertain. I’ll cover the spectrum from the glittery lips of John Cameron Mitchell in Hedwig and the Angry Inch to the matte perfection of Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca, and, of course, everything you can possibly think of in between. Take a look, have a read, and if you feel a little shiny, just yell. “MAKE UP!”

Take Me Back! Period Pieces with Accurate Make-Up

In my last blog, I voiced my frustration that so many period pieces throw a modern wrench into the accuracy of the make-up in films. So, in order to balance out my critique, I’m dedicating this blog to movies that display genuine make-up artistry from the story’s perspective era.


There’s a Period in Your Period Piece

When I was in my early 20s, many of my favorite films were all period pieces. Movies were a time machine for me, and I loved to dive into the visual grandeur of films like Shekhar Kapur’s Elizabeth and Ridley Scott’s Gladiator. Filmmakers relish in recreating the stage for eras gone by, and particular care is always given to the accuracy of costume and set design.

Unfortunately, many period pieces fall flat in the accuracy department when it comes to our craft. Historical figures are frequently made up using trends that were popular when the movie was being filmed, instead of when the story took place.


CGI Make Up

In movies as an art form, the rise of technology, particularly CGI has created an entire new realm of possibilities. Artists can make anything come to life, in delicious, vivid dimensions. However, there is one aspect of CGI evolution that I don’t embrace and in actuality, I kind of despise. That, my friends, is when film makers, for whatever reason, choose computer graphics over practical make up, especially when it is 150,000% unnecessary!

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Deconstructing Villainous Make-Up

If you are like me, you have always held an esteemed fascination with the villains of film. My love of bad boys aside, (I’m talking to you, sexy!), I find that the villain draws upon all the hidden desires for lust, power, and seedy glory that we have been taught since childhood to be naughty and taboo ambitions. And we allow ourselves to revel and indulge in these terrible and murderous characters, because it’s just a story and the hero will overcome in the end.

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Hurry Up…and wait! Movie Set Etiquette

In most work places, there are unspoken rules that everybody follows. They are the no-brainers that somewhere along the way you learned from peers, school, and/or from an awkward faux-pas moment.

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Chameleons of Cinema

Artistry in transformative make-up doesn’t just refer to the talent of the person applying it. Successful portrayal of a character and use of good make-up effects also relies on the film’s director of photography and in the actor. The actor, who must work underneath feature-altering prosthetics and pounds of goops and goo, has to be able to emote through the make-up. He or she must carry a performance that just drips with charisma.

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For the Love of Red

Red, crimson, scarlet, rouge, ruby, vermillion, and cherry! No other color has the same impact, strength, or call to emotion as red! My personal favorite since childhood, I thought I’d dedicate this week’s belated blog to this unique and supercharged shade!

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An Interview with Cinema Magician: Lisa Cotterill

For this week’s blog on Shades of Cinema, I am bowing my brushes to the fabulous and absolutely gorgeous Lisa Cotterill, an accomplished make-up artist and make up instructor from Down Under!

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“Makeup Films” I Love!

Effective story-telling in film relies entirely on two dominant senses, sight and sound. And while a beautiful score and creative sound design pack a punch, I love, love, love the visual esthetics of cinema. My three favorite elements of film are photographic composition, lighting, and, duh, make up

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The Dos and Don’ts of Becoming a Make-Up Artist for Film

In my non-Geek life, I am an educator and representative for an illustrious skin care line. I love this career, not only because it is challenging and offers opportunities for growth, but because it allows my love of film to be a hobby, a beloved pastime that I can dive into with feverish ardor, or ignore for weeks on end. That is the magic of a hobby, there aren’t any obligations or deadlines, and you can cut out the parts that don’t suit you.

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The Marriage of Life And Shadow

One of my favorite cartoon characters of all time is Doris Grossman, voiced by Doris Grau, from the animated television show, The Critic. Doris, you see, is a partied-out, chain-smoking professional make-up artist. As a failed actress who married and out-lived an up-and-coming actor in her youth, she spends her later years earning a living powdering up a television show host, the main character Jay Sherman voiced by Jon Lovitz. During her ashy make up sessions with Jay, she doubles as his personal confidante and spring board..