Makeup can make or break a production. Too little, and the person in question is suddenly washed out on camera. Too much, and they can look like a clown. Makeup is about finding the beauty and the balance in a person’s appearance and help a film appear balanced as well. In short, a good makeup artist can bring an element of quality to a film that no one else can.
What should you look for in a makeup artist?
There are several principles to follow when hiring a makeup artist for your filmmaking set. Consider the following tips:
Ask for a referral.
Chances are you have either worked with a makeup artist in the past and want to repeat a good experience. That’s an easy choice. If not, can you get referred to other options by a member of your team or a colleague you trust? A referral is always the best option as you can feel assured based on the experiences of trusted team members or colleagues. The next step would be to review their resume. Does it contain the type of past work that is relatable to your project? If in doubt, are there any references you can contact and ask for their personal experience with the individual in question?
Schedule test runs.
Test runs are not just for performers. Most films thrive on rehearsals; why should makeup be any different? Scheduling test runs with a potential makeup artist offers an opportunity to perfect certain looks, as well as determine whether or not the artist’s style and personality really fits with your team and the vision of the film.
Don’t be afraid to ask the stylist questions. Important things to ask include their fees. Is your production a private or a union production? If it’s union, you are therefore knowledgeable about rates and hours. You should also review the shooting schedule, driving distance, and their provision of needed makeup supplies.
Asking questions at the beginning saves you from unpleasant surprises down the line.
Be clear and upfront.
Likewise, you must be honest and upfront with the makeup artist yourself. Clearly state your vision, desires, and expectations for the artist. This, too, saves everyone from confusion later.
Make sure you’re covered.
Typically, costume designers, hair stylists, and makeup artist are hired by small production companies as contract labor. They are not “employees” but rather vendors that will send you a bill for your services. Even though they may not hire on as full-time employees, you may still need to purchase Workers’ Compensation insurance. California has strict laws on this type of coverage. The best way to know what types of insurance you need for your film production is to call your insurance agent.
Here at Equipment and Production Insurance, we want to help you see your business succeed. Call us today with any questions you have, and let us help you choose the production insurance that is right for you.