A year in review...

Even though 2009 started off slowly, it is ending with a big bang! I was proud to be part of many incredible productions this year and also happy to be part of the magic that is television and filmmaking in San Diego!

As a professional makeup artist I am asked to make actors/actresses look their very best, but sometimes I am requested to make them look...scary, dead, injured and just plain ugly! 2009 seemed to be the year of special effects for me and I was happy to embrace that passion!

Here is a little background information about my special effects career; I studied for 3 years with one of the best Special Effects Artists of our time, Mr. Stan Winston. I had the privilege of apprenticing on many of his films, including Terminator (1984), Ailens and Invaders from Mars right after graduating from makeup school. Prior to that, I went to The Institute of Studio Makeup and Joe Blasco, where I took extensive classes in forensics and prosthetics.

I have been hired by several production companies this year for my special effects ability and I have created loads of free-handed tattoos, bullet wounds, burns, bruises, stab wounds, scars, zombies, etc., for many television and photography gigs! I am unable to share the details of the shoots via this blog because of protected information pertaining to my clients, but I can share with you a few pictures from my personal camera.

Many of the special effects below are created from basic, everyday material and other effects are prothetic pieces purchased from professional makeup stores and then applied to the skin and dressed with grease paint and theatrical blood.

Special effects is one part of my career and beauty is another. I am excited to be listed in the 2010 San Diego Film & Resource Guide in both categories and look forward to being part of more production crews in the upcoming year!

I want to thank DOP, San Diego Production Center, Staylor-Made Communications, Mantooth Productions, Microsoft, XBox, ComiCon, Road Runner Sports, CNN, Coastal Media Group, Bob Sloan Productions, InPoint Productions, Ken Hansen Photography, HVS Productions and Tamarisk Media Group for making 2009 a great year for makeup!

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and hope to see you on the set soon!

Sharing secrets...a day in the life of an MUA...

I am the type of professional makeup artist that likes to share my "secrets" with others! I firmly believe that if you give you will get back. When I was just starting out in this business I had a mentor who helped me along the way and would teach me not only their "secrets," but also important set etiquette.

Paying it forward is good for the soul and good for the business. I like to think that I am still learning when it comes to makeup artistry because the film and television industry changes all the time and it is my responsibility to make certain I am able to work in every medium, HD included.

New and innovative cosmetic products come out every single year and I attend many trade shows or product launch meetings in order to stay abreast of the latest brands. It is crucial as an artist to know which new (and old) products work best and should always be in your kit.

Recently, I had the pleasure of working with Bob Sloan of Sloan Productions and his team during a corporate video shoot. As usual, the crew got to chatting about television tips, tricks and of course, High Definition! I shared a few of my makeup secrets for working in HD with Bob and he was kind enough to write a great post about it on his blog! Enjoy!

The Importance of Good Makeup
- by Bob Sloan of Sloan Productions

website video production san diego, san diego video, discovery channel high definition crew

Now that we’re in a high definition video production world, more attention must be paid to the quality of the makeup job and artist. High definition images have much greater resolution than our old NTSC system showing more flaws in the skin; aging, wrinkles, etc.

On a recent shoot for a corporate website video client in San Diego, our makeup artist was Melissa Street, www.EpicMakeUP.com. Melissa has been a professional makeup artist for over twenty years and has worked on feature films; Terminator, Aliens, etc. She used a product that I hadn’t seen before that helps keep facial perspiration, (sweat), from ruining the makeup job. The product is a spray that in effect “seals” the pores temporarily.

Called Skindinavia Makeup Fixing Spray, it did a great job during our shoot as we had to use heavy lighting to balance the background scene out the window of the office we were working in. Sloan productions has been producing high definition content and website video production in San Diego for over 30 years, www.sloanproductions.com.

ComiCon...a day in the life of an MUA...

Received a phone call from Microsoft asking if I would key their "making of" video and behind-the-scenes footage for the XBox Halo 3 Anime DVD. It would be shot at ComiCon in San Diego and would feature many guest speakers, including famed artists Shinji Aramaki and Mamoru Oshii.

I jumped at the chance to work for them and immediately phoned my assistant, Cathi Singh, because I had also excepted makeup work for a press junket for the movie Gamer, starring Gerard Butler, Amber Valletta and Michael C. Hall, also being shot at ComiCon during the same time. Cathi and I were able to tag team and provide total coverage for both clients!

We were also asked to provide makeup application during the live forum sessions, which Halo 3 followed Avatar and New Moon's presentations! This was challenging in the fact that there would be no professional makeup space available and no professional lightening. On the spot anti-shine would be needed and knowledge of how stage lighting would transfer onto the RED camera was crucial.

Microsoft sparred no expense in making this DVD and used only the RED One camera. This was my first experience in filming with the RED and I needed to provide my assistant with information and technique. DP and RED One camera owner, Sean Michael Johnston, schooled me on exactly how the RED works and how to use the monitor to tweak my makeup application. I was grateful to learn from this master DP and to watch him arrange lighting, camera angles, etc.

Below are a few highlight photos from ComiCon! I can't wait until next year!

IMATS - International Makeup Artist Trade Show

IMATS, the International Makeup Artist Trade Show is one of the places to be if you are a professional MUA or an aspiring MUA. Started in the 1990s, IMATS is produced by Make-Up Artist Magazine and is considered the premiere gathering for thousands of make-up artists, manufacturers and enthusiasts.

5-Time Emmy Award Winning Celebrity Makeup Artist Eve Pearl, Kevin-James Bennett of Make Up For Ever, 3-Time Oscar Winner Ve Neill, John Stapleton of MAC Cosmetics and Nolan Robert, winner of the Blush television series on LifeTime were just a few of my friends who demonstrated and lectured on techniques and the business of makeup artistry.

The show also featured Dick Smith, world-renown artist and NBC’s first makeup artist. I attended makeup classes taught by Mr. Smith back in the late 80’s and he helped shape my passion, which would eventually become a 20+ year career! Mr. Smith’s credits include The Exorcist (his most controversial job!), The Godfather, Taxi Driver and Amadeus.

Greg Cannom, the man (and the Oscar winner!) behind the incredible makeup artistry in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was also in attendance and presented a keynote address. His other credits include: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Master and Commander, The Passion of the Christ, Titanic and A Beautiful Mind.

A Panel Discussion with the special effects crew from the movie StarTrek included Barney Burman, Richie Alonzo, Steve Buscaino, Joel Harlow and Neville Page. The movie features extensive special effects makeup which enhances the character development and the panel talked about the importance of working with an incredible team in order to create one of the biggest block buster films in history!

I must also give a shout out to some of my favorite manufacturers who displayed the latest in products: Temptu, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Make Up For Ever, Ve's Favorite Brushes and Eve Pearl. Of course, the professional MUA stores were all in attendance: Cinema Secrets,Naimies, Frends and Alcone, all of which provide essential products for the stellar artist and the novice consumer. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate my dear friend, Eve Pearl whose incredible cosmetic line is now being sold through Naimies!

As you can see, the Los Angeles IMATS show attracted impressive talent! A very big thank you goes to my good friends at Make-Up Artist Magazine for press passes and VIP experience! Please enjoy the highlight photos below: