February 16, 2014

Reporter can’t comprehend that there are awards other than Oscars

Jared Leto as a transgender woman in Dallas Buyers Club
Last night, Hollywood’s hair and makeup community got together in Los Angeles to celebrate their year’s biggest achievements. There was a lot to honor; Dick Smith, the master creature-effects man who literally invented the go-to formula for on-screen blood, got a lifetime achievement award. Another statuette went to Dallas Buyers Club makeup artist Robin Mathews, who managed to create a painfully realistic-looking group of AIDS sufferers on a budget of—not a misprint—$250.

Anyone with an ounce of interest in filmmaking knows that on-screen hair and makeup isn’t just a skill. It’s a body of knowledge that takes years and years to master. Take a look at the Travis Bickle character in Taxi Driver. He’s known, in part, for the iconic, stubbly mohawk sported by Robert DeNiro. Here’s a little known fact: The actor never shaved his head. Instead, Smith and hairdresser Mona Orr went over every inch of DeNiro’s bald cap to create fake stubble, one of the most believable tricks of the eye ever put on screen. 

Over the years, when makeup supply companies have failed to provide the materials artists have needed, artists have simply whipped up new products right in their trailers. In interview after interview, actors have stated that they couldn’t fully understand their characters until the hair and makeup teams had worked their magic.

And yet, the Associated Press can’t seem to understand why hundreds of makeup artists and hairstylists needed to gather to honor excellence in their field.

“In an awards season that seems to have a ceremony for every facet of filmmaking, the Make-up and Hair Stylists Guild awards returned after a 10-year hiatus,” reporter Jessica Herndon snarked this morning. “Could a gaffers and grips gala be next?”

I know! Because heheh, what do those people even do, amirite?*

If you have a question about how Hollywood really works, ask me in the handy feedback module to the right.

* Fun fact: Gaffers are the people who execute the entire lighting plan for a movie. And if you think that’s trivial, maybe you need to get job at the AP too.

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