THE LEADING LADIES
Leading Ladies of Makeup Effects is a book showcasing Award-Winning Women Makeup Artists working in makeup effects for the Film and Television industry. Hopefully, that “quicky-elevator-pitch” has piqued your interest, so let’s go further ...
In the past 30 years, two books, Making a Monster and Men, Makeup and Monsters, have been written highlighting the history, careers, and achievements of men working in makeup effects from the beginning of film history. From Jack Pierce creating the iconic monster for Frankenstein, to Rick Baker and his cantina creature creations for Star Wars, these books exclusively feature men. Taken as a representation of the industry as a whole, these books beg the question ... Are there women working in Makeup Effects?
Over the same 30 year period, makeup schools have exploded in number and attendance, expanding from one or two in Hollywood to schools thriving worldwide. In the class photos featured on Facebook and Instagram, we've noted time and again that the faces of the happily-engaged students were predominately female. These makeup schools graduate hundreds of women makeup effects artists a year. Why don’t we hear more about these women?
These two questions are the impetus for our book, Leading Ladies of Makeup Effects.
Are there women working in Makeup Effects? Yes!
Actually, there are so many women working in the field that we feared our book could easily become a phone book! Our goal is to feature the best of the best, so we culled the list seeking women within the ranks of Oscar and Emmy winners to share their stories. Since 1981, when the annual Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling was first awarded, there have been 17 women who have won an Oscar for Makeup. Also, since 2004, when the Emmy Awards added a category of Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Mini-Series, Movie, or Special, 15 women have won an Emmy for Makeup Effects. Many of these winners have also won BAFTA awards (UK) and Makeup and Hairstylist Guild awards (Los Angeles, Local 706) as well. We've also included a few Emerging Artists, young women whose careers we've been following and whose paths, we believe, will lead them to become the Leading Ladies of the next generation.
Why don’t we hear more about these women? That’s precisely why we're writing this book!
We were curious to know these ladies better, to learn about their journeys, the trials and triumphs, to explore their paths to success, and to hear about their experiences working at the top of their field.
Since December, 2015, we have interviewed twenty-six of these women and our interviews have been sheer joy! The common threads that weave our Leading Ladies’ stories together create a clear and vibrant tapestry of the profession and the women that inhabit it.
Let us give you a taste of what we've been discovering.
Each woman is a strong, independent person, determined to be a successful makeup effects artist. So much so, they rarely acknowledge any opposition they faced. If it existed at all, it was on the periphery of her trajectory, outside of her road, irrelevant to her ultimate goal.
Whether giving artistic advice, offering career counseling, or crediting co-workers, each of these artists, to a woman, has a generous spirit.
But a generous spirit does not run the prosthetic molds at 3 AM, or organize a five-location shoot, or find creative solutions on a stretched budget. The daily demands of a Makeup Artist, Designer, Department Head are intense. Through these interviews, we've been given an incredible glimpse behind the scenes, with each artist sharing some of her survival tips about how to maneuver the intricacies of working on set and in the trailer, running the minute day-to-day organization while maintaining a “big picture” view. Primarily, a calm, professional demeanor grounds and serves all these women.
Over and over again our Ladies comport themselves, gracefully and graciously, with balanced poise and excitement. Our window into their lives, with tea and talk, is stimulating and entertaining and informative and honest.
The format for the book will not be Q&A nor mere profiles, we want to paint a compelling portrait; their words are the colors, their experiences are the brushstrokes, their successes are the highlights, their insights are the contours that allow us, and you, to understand what makes these women the Leading Ladies they are.
Mostly, we are honored these Leading Ladies have trusted us with their stories.
Gary Christensen & Patricia L. Terry
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