Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc
Dirty work, but somebody’s got to do it! Well, guess what not all makeup is pretty makeup!
Makeup in any communication medium is used to help tell and sell the story. I mean think about it, if everyone looked handsome or pretty all the time in an action film, horror film or just everyday occurrence films we’d say “Hey!! That’s not realistic!”or we’d simply be confused about what happened in the film.
In vintage black and white films a lot was left to the imagination but in today’s modern world people want to see the what only a generation before imagined! We now have high tech special effects and all kinds of scenarios that require a special type of makeup.
Now let me be clear here, I’m not touting my ability to do high end extensive Special Effects Makeup but, I sure do appreciate it! I’m what you’d call a LIGHT SPFX Makeup Artist. The bigger guns I just call the SPFX Specialists.
Okay now on this post I’m here to talk about light SPFX makeup….DIRT, Grime, Soot and the like. In my Day Play kit I usually carry around some of everything because you never know what you’ll be asked to do with the makeup.
In my Dirt Kit I carry the following:
1) 3-4 types of dirt POWDER(black, dark brown, tan and sometimes desert (a brick brownish red powder) LIQUID SPRAY, DIRT BAG or CREAM DIRT.
2) 3 spray pouf units (to dispense powder in layers for a more real effect and less dirt on my hands so I can continue working)
3) Glycerine (I use this for sweat and tears effects, you can always substitute it with another element i.e. sunscreen, Vaseline, baby oil, etc.)
4) Blood (liquid (light, regular and dark dried thickened), fresh scarring blood, scab blood and blood capsules.
5) Tear Maker Vaporizer (use this item with caution cause it really makes people cry because the menthol is concentrated)
6) Stippling Sponge (I use this to add layers and visual texture)
7) A makeup protector cape ( to protect your actors clothes until they are dressed in full wardrobe from the wardrobe department. We don’t want to get anyone’s day clothes dirty! Lolol)
Here’s my mini “Dirt Kit”I take this one with me when I’m Day Playing, if more is needed the department head and department key will have full sized supplies.
While I was working on Boardwalk Empire we had to prepare for a big explosion scene. This explosion was to occur on the Boardwalk with several stores, buildings and part of the actual Boardwalk being blown up. Thank goodness the professionals were there NYFD and NYPD and explosive experts.
Here I’ve applied soot & grime makeup to 2 Actors for the upcoming explosion scene for the HBO TV series Boardwalk Empire. My gentleman is in stage 1 of makeup. My lady is in complete makeup stage 1 & stage 2 of the process.
Here my Actress is showing off the first stages of her soot & grime hands. The second step is more dirt/soot under the nails and some blood and cuts (imagining broken glass flying and brusing of some sort)
Ve Neil on Blood and Dirt Effects
Green + Street on working Dirt Effects
Love Manhattan Wardrobe Supply, it’s usually where I get specialty items like my dirt and other hard to find supplies.
Overall, every MUA has their own technique in creating the look. No two techniques are the same but you can learn from different artists and create your own. When you’re creating a dirt look you have to really think about the context of the scene and what would actually happen in that scene. Ask yourself these questions:
1) What’s the action going on in that scene?
2) What does the script call for?
3) What does the set look like?
4) What is the wardrobe doing?
5) What level of dirt does the scene call for?
6) What type of dirt? Wet, dry, lumpy, oily, black, brown, red, tan?
7) What type of blood would be needed to complete the look or if blood is needed at all?
Okay, I’m done…hope this was useful to you. Signing out!
Paint On viZionaire!