In May I attended my first BAFTA Crew event – a Q&A session with Anita Overland, a top film producer who gave a masterclass for all us filmbods to attend. It was a great chance to meet other filmies and also to hear from a filmy at the top of her game. Although I’m not a producer, it’s crossed my mind on a number of occasions that it’s a direction I wouldn’t mind heading down at some point. For this reason it was a very insightful talk, quite often us production crew members don’t appreciate quite how much work goes into the pre- and post-production of a film. It certainly hasn’t put me off ever heading down the production route, but it has made me a bit more realistic about the work involved!
Also in May I was back working with PurpleCoat, who I had previously worked with on Titus Andronicus. This time, we were creating posters for their upcoming Shakespeare production. The brief was to create glossy, Italian 60s style film posters advertising The Merchant Of Venice set in Blackpool. Shylock was to be the film producer, Portia the starlet, Antonio the good guy and Bassanio the rebel. Hmmm, interesting! Due to the style of the posters quite a lot of make up was required, particularly for Portia and Shylock. I think the actor was quite horrified when he looked in the mirror, but the posters turned out as planned.
Throughout the rest of May I had bits of facepainting work in various venues. It’s easy to get a bit snotty about facepainting, particularly amongst certain areas of make up artistry, but it’s actually rather difficult to do well. Firstly you have to get the child to trust you, then get them to decide what they want and lastly, the hardest bit – get them to sit still for a few minutes. It can get a bit tiresome painting pink butterflies all the time, or doing Spiderman (spidermen? would that be the plural?)
I much prefer original requests and like to encourage imagination but I was left speechless when one little blonde girl asked me to paint her to look like Will I Am! Erm, how do you say no to that without having to explain the whole concept of racism to a 4 year old? A few seconds of quick thinking and I explained to her that I would also have to cut her hair into a daft wedge if she wanted to look like Will I Am. Cruel perhaps, but she quickly changed her mind and opted for…yep, a pink butterfly. Sorry little girl, sorry for crushing your imagination!