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

Peterloo reunites the writer-director with his regular team of Oscar and BAFTA winners and nominees, headed by producer Georgina Lowe, and including Dick Pope (cinematography), Suzie Davies (production design), Jacqueline Durran (costumes), Christine Blundell (hair and make-up), Jon Gregory (editing)  and Gary Yershon (music). Gail Egan is executive producer.

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. The notorious massacre saw British government forces charge into a crowd of 60,000 that had to demand political reform. The forces killed an estimated 18 protestors and injured hundreds, sparking outcry but also further government crackdowns.
This was a defining moment in radical British history which also played a significant role in the founding of the UK’s left-wing broadsheet newspaper The Guardian.
“There has never been a feature film about the Peterloo Massacre. The universal significance of this historic event becomes ever more relevant in our own turbulent times.” Mike Leigh.

Two of our recent Makeup school 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

What a great opportunity to become a trainee on “Wonder Woman”.  It was as dream come true for some of our graduates; Monique, Laura, Federica, Gillian, Claudia and many more. Not only were they learning and working on set and on such a big production they even went to Italy for a few weeks! By looking at some of the photos it is hard to believe that they were there working. Having such a large crowd room of this film with over sixty makeup artists, the trainees had to be on their toes. Each makeup trainee had a row of at least ten makeup artists to look after. The duties ranged basic fetching supplies, to helping with continuity and wigs and make a nice cup of tea even ! One of the delicate jobs for the makeup trainee is to not appear too eager or too excited  about working on such a big film. Sometimes a trainee is running around like a headless chicken rushed off their feet and then nothing! One then is desperate to do anything just so they do not look like they are being idle. Believe me if you have not had to do this …it is not easy. Imagine doing this with eyes looking at you.

There was plenty of work in area of makeup. As the graduates helped with the making up of the Amazonian women. This is one of the many wonderful aspects of the Christine Blundell Makeup Academy. Where else can you finish a hair and makeup course and then jump on to a multi million pound feature film?

The film “Wonder Woman” will be released in the UK on the first of 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!

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.   read more…

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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New Year New Life…Ok We Get It!

Where to begin? BAFTA”s. Congratulations to our two tutors Jeremy and Daniel for their films to be Nominated. Congratulations to Jake Gyllenhaal for BAFTA nomination for “Nocturnal Animals“. (He worked on Christine’s new film Life.) Well done to Laura Wisinger for her film to be Nominated “Home”.

Congratulations to all the many CBMA grads who worked on “Game Of Thrones” And “The Crown” And “Florence Foster” And “Doctor Strange” And……this may take a long time…… We Get It ! If you get it, hurry up and join up for the Next Course …our most comprehensive No18 starting April 10th

We have four places remaining.  Just in case you are not sure still ….Really, we despair, here is a link to a great article in RED magazine with one of our graduates who had to make a difficult career choice. Click here read more…

And Breathe

Standing on the platform of the Piccadilly Line this morning coming in extra early for the students to prep for their Boot Camp next week; I noticed a poignant advert.
I did not have time to fully read what it was telling me about what was missing from my life or indeed what I needed to buy ….but I did read “4-7-8 and breathe.”
I was intrigued and as soon as I got to my desk, looked it up.

Poignant, as the makeup students have been running, rushing and panicking, prepping, throwing curlers and notes all over the place !!! read more…

I Am Not My Skin I Am A Model With A Skin Condition

My white panda eyes were caught by an article on a new model Winnie Harlow. What was striking about her appearance, was, that she was of Jamaican ancestry with Vitiligo, oh and she is one metre seventy six and an absolute peach! (that is my personal opinion.)
Vitiligo is a skin condition where the body kills off the melanin and so the skin loses all colour.

I have had Vitiligo for many years and know full well what it is like, when people look at you unsure as to what to think. They are aware that it is some sort of illness but is it catching?  …..Oh my God he is putting his hand out for me to shake, …what to do !!?

It is wonderful to see a model that is not of the, “Classic” look …what ever that may be. She could quite easily have been made up with makeup, to camouflage the white and then after the show we see her “Naked” as it were. read more…

Nicholas Cage Alive And Well!

Dear Petar,
So, here I am in Marrakesh in a position of makeup trainee/assistant for a movie by Sir Larry Charles (Borat, Dictator) ARMY OF ONE, With Nicholas Cage. I am working with people who have 20-33 years, industry experience. They are very helpful. The first few days was hard as they found out that I only speak English and here everyone speaks 4 languages!!

Walter’s (key makeup artist) first question was, “do u speak Italian? Because I like to speak Italian” ? but now all is good.

I talk a lot about school and what we were all taught. They all know Jana Carboni… they were happy we had her to teach us Facial Hair at academy. I am helping to make a wig for the double of Nicholas Cage, adding extra hair. I met Sir Larry yesterday, whilst peeling an orange, sitting by pool watching and sunset above palace, where we live!!
Today the makeup artists were telling me who they work with… Basically all known actors.. Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Anthony Hopkins etc, Elizabeth worked on Harry Potter, her father is a famous hair stylist, and Zineb just came from ‘A.D. The Bible Continues’ work, Walter made 159 movies, this is his last.

These people are amazing at what they do. Tomorrow, Walter will prepare some prosthetic’s, so I will be watching. It should be really interesting. Sorry for the exhausting email, wish me luck because tomorrow is pre shoot day and there is only one makeup artist on set.. I actually have a title! It is Crowd Makeup Artist ? Have a good night and thanks for teaching us so much at your academy.
One Place has become available for our next Course No14. it begins January 3rd 2017.
Click Here

Best wishes,
The CB*MA Team

From Spread Sheet to Wide Screen

It was last March (remember the spring…( before Brexit, before Bake Off and before Brangelina…) when Rose emailed me a spread sheet.

Rose Cusson is Film Production Coordinator at Goldsmiths University in London on their re-launched MA Film Course and had asked if we could provide make up designers/artists for their student’s film productions throughout the year.

My initial task was to establish who was available for which film project, liaising with Rose and knowing little more than the film’s title (and often those were Working Titles and were later changed), and a brief synopsis of the film.

The opportunity to work with these MA students was soon snapped up by our graduates (and sometimes our current students desperate to get some on-set experience) and they jumped at the chance to put into practice their newly acquired skills.

It was a learning curve for me too, organising the rotas… I don’t know how Rose does that every day!

After all the hard work on all sides, last nights premieres showed that it was worth it. read more…