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Guy Richie’s “Aladdin”

With three full time trainees and many others coming in to assist, it looks like the new Aladdin film by Guy Ritchie is going to be very busy! We have not even mentioned the CBMA juniors and makeup artists that are rolling up their sleeve and sharpening their eye liner pencils!!

As soon as we can we shall get one of the trainees to write a blog and sneak some photos…..what is space.

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Sarah Brock, Gal Gadot’s personal Makeup artist, talks about Christine Blundell’s role as Wonder Woman’s Makeup Designer. Courtesy of Warpaint Magazine.
Bridal to Box Office

Last week she shared with us the step-by-step secrets of the Wonder Woman look she created for Gal Gadot. Now Sarah Brock lets Warpaint lift the lid on her experiences on set

WP:  Congratulations on the beautiful looks that you created for Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman.  You’re much better known for your Red Carpet looks – how did you transition into movies?

SB:  It really was a fairytale story as to how I came to work on the Wonder Woman movie – after being in beauty and fashion for 18 years, the movie industry wasn’t something I had ever considered.  Patty Jenkins, the director, was searching online for inspiration for the make-up look for Gal and she kept coming across an image from a bridal designer campaign that I did back in 2008.  My name wasn’t on the image, so she asked the team in the USA to find out who did the make-up for the campaign – they found my website, Patty looked at my work and loved what I did (plus I was based in the UK where most of the filming took place, so it was perfect).  I had an email one evening from Patty, I went to the Warner Bros Studios to meet her – we got on so well immediately and she offered me the job as the personal make-up artist to Gal on the movie and the rest is history.

WP:  With a female director and a heavily female cast, did this affect the approach to the make-up?  How did you create the combination of strong and very pretty?

SB:  The reason Patty bought me on board to work on the movie was because she wanted Gal to look goddess-like and naturally beautiful, which is what I was doing already with my fashion work.  Because Patty is a woman, make-up was really important to her, as it really can make a huge difference to the final look.  The costume itself did the job of making Gal into the Wonder Woman we all know – I just had to compliment that by creating a make-up which enhanced Gal’s natural beauty, and made her look radiant, healthy and glowing.  It was important to both Patty and me that the make-up should not compete with the costume itself.

WP:  Christine Blundell is the designer on the movie and there’s a very British crew.  Had you worked with Christine?  How did the collaborations work?

SB:  I had never worked with Christine before – as this was my first movie.  Christine was incredible, her experience and credits speak for themselves, and I was left to do what I know which was the make-up, but Christine was key for me as she taught me so much about the movie industry – it was like a movie bootcamp for me.

WP:  How much input does Gal have in the looks you created for her – for face and body?

SB:  Gal is so professional and loved what I did for her on the movie.  Gal and I have both worked in fashion in the past (Gal was a model), so she understood exactly what I was doing make-up wise.  As with most actors, she went with what our director, Patty, wanted.

WP:  Combining beauty with action movies and fight scenes in particular requires tough, long-lasting products.  What were your challenges and which products did you use for face and body?

SB:  The surprising thing to a lot of people is that for her face make-up, I used the same products that I had been using for years in my pro kit.  I think this is where spending years of bridal make-up helped – I was used to creating looks for brides that I would apply first thing in the morning and would last until the early hours of the next day.  Yes, it had to be slightly thicker on the base because of the filming, but, on the whole, I was used to working with long lasting formulations.  I still used the same premium brands that I have worked with and trusted for years, such as Chanel, la Mer, Armani, NARS and Tom Ford.  I was by Gal’s side 24/7 and there were a lot of touch-ups, especially in the trenches where there was mud and also in scenes where we maybe had to spray water, or where she was on the ground or we were filming in the rain.  Bodywise I had to learn that in a short space of time and it was where Christine Blundell’s expertise came in: using tanning products first and then products to add contour to the body.  Doing it every day, by the end of the movie it became second nature.

WP:  Where were the island scenes shot?  Did you have heat to contend with too?

SB:  We filmed for a month in Matera, Italy, where there was sun and heat (so we went through a lot of sunscreen), plus keeping the make-up on with the heat meant constant re-touching.  We also had scenes on the beach in the sea, so again checks were very important to make sure that the water didn’t affect the look.

WP:  There’s an underwater scene when Diana rescues Steve Trevor.  What were the challenges that you had here?

SB:  This was one of my biggest challenges, as this was shot in an underwater tank, and it was warm water which can make make-up melt.  Gal was in there for hours and hours.  Because my make-up is long lasting and I use products which don’t budge, I did the same make-up, with a setting spray on top – and it didn’t move.  It was a very proud moment for me.

WP:  In the trenches scenes, the wounds and blast injuries are kept accurate to what would have been seen in WW1.  Who did the wounds on Gal?

SB:  Gal didn’t have big wounds, they were more scratches and cuts.  Again, Christine was key in showing me how to do this, which I then could do myself.  That was really interesting for me, as I was just used to doing beauty, so it was fascinating to see how Christine did this and learn a new skill for myself.

WP:  In many scenes, Gal’s character looks radiant amongst the others on screen.  Was this achieved with product and lighting or in post?

SB:  I can’t comment on what was done in post, but it’s a real compliment for you to say that – part of my skill as a make-up artist and why Patty bought me on board is because of the highlighting and skin work that I do.  The lighting was also incredible, so it complimented my make-up skills.

WP:  Diana’s lashes are exceptional – what’s your go-to product here?  In particular, what glues did you use?

SB:  Thank you!  Gal has lovely lashes anyway which I enhanced with two different mascaras and then every day, I would apply individual lashes to the outer corner of the eyes – and I used my go-to eyelash glue which has always been Duo.

WP:  While Gal’s overall look is established throughout the movie, her lip colour changes from pinks to berries, and deep reds as the action progresses.  Talk us through how this develops.

SB:  This was something that happened organically as we were filming.  We filmed in so many different environments, from sunny Italy to dark, grey London and the lighting for these was totally different, plus Gal’s costumes changed throughout the movie.  We always wanted her to look healthy, beautiful and glowing, so I adapted the lip colour to suit the costume and environment that we were shooting in.

WP:  During the reshoots, Gal was pregnant.  Was this a factor in the make-up products you used?  Did you need to change anything?

SB:  Not at all!  Gal is just incredible.  There were no products that I used on her that were unsuitable for pregnancy, so we kept everything exactly the same.

All images courtesy of Warner Bros.  Copyright: © 2017 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND RATPAC ENTERTAINMENT

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Best Ever CB*MA Open day

Last Saturday CB*MA Academy opened its doors to welcome our prospective students, most of whom are keen to join us in September, for our next 4 Month Hair & Makeup course.

We were privileged to have our Prosthetics Tutor, Dan Frye, “Game Of Thrones” and “Harry Potter” prosthetics Makeup artist, creating a Monster look and answering visitors’ questions. We also had a number of our recent and not so recent graduates on hand, talking about their experiences of working on Christine’s latest film project, Mike Leigh’s Peterloo, currently filming in Manchester.  CB*MA students from our current course were also happy to answer any questions about their experiences of studying at the Academy, while demonstrating some of the casualty and prosthetics skills they mastered so far.

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Amazing 2 weeks of Prosthetics with Tutor Dan Frye, Game of Thrones prosthetics Makeup artist

That was the week that was! Prosthetics is a different beast to the other modules that the students have been learning. A different mind-set is needed. Calm and Zen is the order. Precision and extreme detail. Have a look at some of our students’ creations, from practising live casts to clay modelling and creating final gelatine based prosthetic pieces.

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Tutor Of The Week “Jane Walker”

Apart from being one of the most unassuming of Makeup Designers, she is also incredibly versatile and witty!!

Her career spans from“Allo Allo, through to cult shows such as The Fast Show, It Crowd…To films as diverse as Hot FuzzLes Miserable and to Game Of Thrones…” you will agree an amazing array of variety.

It is this variety that makes Jane stand out to the crowd.

Our students will be interviewing her next and so, if there are any questions that you wish to put to Jane…simply write them down below.

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Christine starts work on Mike Leigh’s new film “Peterloo”

A drama based on events surrounding the infamous 1819 Peterloo Massacre, where British forces fired on a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St Peter’s Field in Manchester, this new Mike Leigh’s project is a period piece with a cast of over 100 actors. Two of our recent graduates will join Christine on set as “Peterloo” Makeup trainees. Watch Christine prep for the film!

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Wonder Woman UK release 1st June

Congratulations to our own Monique, Laura, Federica, Gillian, Claudia and many more recent graduates who worked as Makeup trainees on Wonder Woman. Scheduled to be released in UK cinemas on 1st June 2017 – read Christine’s recent interview about her role as Wonder Woman’s Makeup designer.

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David Beckham in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

King Arthur had its UK premiere on 10th May, at Odeon , Leicester Square, with director Guy Richie and his cast on the red carpet. Click here to watch the video showing David Beckham undergoing 2.5 hour make-up transformation into his King Arthur film character, Trigger. Prosthetics supplied by Kristyan Mallett Makeup Effects. Click here to watch Kristyan & Lesa work their magic!

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Grayson’s story

Hi Petar, I have got an update!

It seems your advice on getting hair experience before joining CBMA was one of the best pieces of advice I will have ever been given! As you know I’ve been working as a Swing in the wig department at Matilda the Musical, and have now been there for over a year – I even have a fellow CBMA graduate as my boss!!. Now the exciting this is, to top that off, I’ve gone and landed a job at Charlie and the Chocolate Factory too! Woohoo! I never thought I would be working in the west end, let alone achieved this at the age of 21, but couldn’t have done it without spending those grueling hours at a salon, sweeping, cutting and washing hair.

Just another quick update as I often think of you and CBMA when exciting things happen! Since the last email I have built a very good reputation for myself as a swing and have now joined the teams of two more shows.  

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The Bear returns!

It all started with a simple cup of tea,

I was sat at home and decided it was time to leave my career as a prop maker and take the plunge to follow my true passion and train as a Hair and Makeup artist. I visited several other academies but CBMA stood out to me, I immediately felt a connection with the place.  So on my visit, I sat with Petar and discussed what the course would be like, the skills I would learn, the tutors I would meet and what kind of help I would receive after leaving … to be honest it all sounded to good to be true, but it wasn’t, in fact, it was better than I could have ever imagined.

In April 2016 I started the five month course at CBMA, I learnt basic makeup, basic hair (I actually cut someone’s hair for the first time in my life after a week, now they wont get there hair cut by anyone else), Prosthetics, Casualty (taught by the lovely Jane Walker, Makeup Designer for Game of Thrones), Wigs, Period hair and makeup, barbering, facial hair, theatre (we were taught by some of the leading West End theatre professionals from the National, ROH and ENO), face painting, fashion, character breakdowns, we learnt the lot !  Somedays I felt my brain would overload with information but there wasn’t a single day that I left CBMA without feeling I’d made the right choice.  

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