Oscar & BAFTA-winning Hair & Makeup Designer & CB*MA Principal
“To succeed in your career as a Film & TV makeup artist you will need real drive and commitment, and at the Christine Blundell Academy for Film & Television in London, we promise to reward that commitment by offering our industry-leading training courses and the support needed to realise your goals.
The Film & TV industry is a demanding one, but there are few industries that are ultimately as rewarding and fun as a life spent behind the scenes on a film and TV set helping to bring stories to life on the silver screen (or indeed the plasma screen!).
As long as there have been movie stars, there have been Makeup artists making them look good. From the ability to make an actor appear ‘natural’ while on camera, to the ability to transform an actor completely with special effects makeup, the Film & TV makeup artist has long been a treasured part of the entertainment industry as a whole. Part art, part science, the discipline of Film & TV makeup is a wondrous craft where gifted individuals use the infinitely malleable palette of the human face and body to bring dreams into reality.”
I have tried to cover most things that I feel are essential to work as a hair and make-up artist on films. I have concentrated mainly on hair and make-up for film, as this is my own chosen career and the one I know a lot about. However, these skills can be adapted to suit television, fashion, pop promos, editorial or whatever you choose to go with your own career. That is something I cannot decide for you, but hopefully the skills and experience you gain from the course will open up all sorts of opportunities for you.
It is worth saying straight away that a career in film is not for the fainthearted. When I take on a film, I get my chosen team together (I usually have one main assistant and a couple more assistants to work for us both, and a trainee to fetch and carry). We then research and ‘prep’ the job: which period is the film set in, what happens to the actors, the overall look of the film etc. Prepping will be done whenever possible in the Academy and where it is feasible, the students will be involved. Good preparation means good results.You will eventually add your own style to your work.
I will then do a film script breakdown and budget the job. My budget can vary between £500 to £350,000 or more, so this is a crucial part of your job, which is why I will stress the point to you throughout the course that you are technicians, and that you work on film sets as technicians, and professional ones at that! Once filming begins you should expect to start very early. We have been on films where our crowd calls have started as early as 4am.You have your onset times, which vary, but let’s say on the set for 7.30 am. You sometimes get your lunch hour but you could well be working through it and you will wrap at about 8 pm.
Then you will de-rig your actor, as in take off wigs, facial hair and any prosthetics, or just clean them up from their daily make-up. You might be tired from a long day but you can’t let your actor get spots! So back home by 10pm, quick sleep, back up bright and early to get back to work for that 4 am make-up call. This could go on 6 days a week for three months! Believe me, it’s not glamorous but it’s fun! You can’t moan, as noone wants a moaning makeup person and you certainly couldn’t moan on my make-up bus! On the plus side: I have been a make-up artist for 20 years now and I love it! I have travelled the world, stayed in the most luxurious accommodation on some films, and have camped out in safari tents in the middle of Africa for others. I love it, it is great and it is humbling. I never cease to be amazed by the brilliant people you meet in this Industry.You spend half your life working, so enjoy it! “love what you do and be good at it ”
Anyway, I will be around during your course time as much as possible. I have picked all the teachers on this course for their abilities and skills that I have observed from working with them on films.They all work actively as makeup artists in the media industry.They are not first and foremost teachers, which I hope will make this course unique and respected amongst my fellow make-up and hair designers. As I have made clear, I will be involved at all levels of your training but I will also be working on films which may keep me away from the school at times. This, however, gives me the added advantage of being able, where possible, to bring each student onto a film that I am working on, to get some on-set experience. It may not always be during your course time and it might not be on the main make-up bus, but it will be a thrilling introduction to the workings of the new career path that you have chosen.
4 month Hair & Makeup course
Our next 4 month Hair & Makeup course was designed by our Principal , Christine Blundell, an Oscar & BAFTA winning Makeup designer. Christine has made sure that your course Tutors are leading UK TV , Film & Theatre Makeup Artists and Designers, who are all actively working in the industry. In addition, CB*MA only runs one Hair & Makeup course at any one time, with the maximum class size of 14 students, with each student receiving much needed care and attention from the course Tutor and the school. After completion of their course, every CB*MA graduate is offered guaranteed onset experience on one of Christine’s latest projects.