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The Makeup Artist

In the olden days, makeup artists were primarily responsible for making ordinary mortal look like demigods. Nowadays they may be called upon to create looks ranging from the glamorous to the horrific. Strictly speaking, makeup artists apply foundation and shading only from the top of the performer's head down to the chest, and to the hands and arms up to the elbow; any area normally visible when the performer is fully dressed. Applications to any other swatch of skin are considered body makeup and are handed off to a specialist. Makeup artists practice a kind of sleight of hand: they have done their job well when their handiwork, as lighted and photographed, is all but invisible. The makeup artist has to consider the needs of the story in every scene: the age and race of the character, as well as standard continuity issues. (If a character gets into a fight in Scene 6, what should the bruises look like in Scene 12?) But they also have to work closely with the director of photography, because makeup that is chillingly effective in a dimly lighted scene or in a long shot may look garishly fake in bright sunlight or in close up.


Roy Helland's theater credits include A Doll's House, Trelawny of the Wells, Three Penny Opera, Streamers, Comedians, The Pirates of Penzance, Hurly-burly, The Real Thing, My One and Only, Social Security, The Rink, House of Blue Leaves, Broadway Bound, Jerome Robbins, Broadway, Damn Yankees, The Tail of the Allergist's Wife and The Seagull.

Helland's ballet work includes Jerome Robbins' Four Seasons and Mkhail Baryshnikov's Don Quixote and Cinderella.

His film credits include A Bridge Too Far, Richard's Things, Still of the Night, Sophie's Choice, Silkwood, Falling In Love, Plenty, Out of Africa, Heartburn, Crimes of the Heart, Ironweed, A Cry In the Dark, Working Girl, She Devil, Postcards From the Edge, Defending Your Life, Regarding Henry, Bugsy, Death Becomes Her, The House of the Spirits, The River Wild, Too Wong Foo, The Bridges of Madison County, Before and After, The Bird Cage, Marvin's Room, Primary Colors, Dancing at Lughnasa, One True Thing, Music of the Heart, What Planet Are You From?, Wit, The Hours, Adaptation and Collected Stories.

Helland's techniques are illustrated in his book, Special Features, published by M. Evans in 1985.


Roy Helland
Roy Helland


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