Hair and Make-up Combo

Our professional Hair and Make-up crew possess hairdressing skills including: cutting, waxing, straightening, non-permanent coloring, setting, applying extensions, braiding, shaving; wig setting and dressing; and dressing and applying facial hair. They also possess make-up skills including: straight corrective; ageing face, hands and neck; contouring effects; and some specialized techniques such as creating tattoos and body painting. They have the following skills: a good eye for color; manual dexterity necessary for the creation of hair and make-up styles and effects; have an understanding of the anatomy of the human skull and facial muscle structure; are able to break down scripts in terms of make- up and hair plots; are able to define the overall look of the production and re-create it; have excellent communication skills, including diplomacy and sensitivity in working with actors; are able to problem-solve creatively; pay close attention to detail in overseeing continuity; are highly organized; have good presentation skills; are able to work effectively as part of a team; are able to work calmly and efficiently under pressure to meet deadlines; have good IT skills; have stamina to cope with the physical demands of the assignment; understand the requirements of the relevant health and safety legislation and procedures.

Our Make-up and Hair Artists are able to create make-up and hairstyles to meet production requirements. They oversee make-up and hair continuity during filming and remove products as required. Make-up and Hair Artists are employed throughout pre-production and production, as needed. Make-up and hair are key elements in the overall design of films and television productions, creating a look for the characters in relation to social class, and time periods, and any other elements required to create the desired illusion. On film and TV dramas, etc., their work is directed by Make-up and Hair Designers who provide them with detailed notes, character and scene breakdowns and, if necessary, reference pictures about the characters they must create. Sometimes, they may only receive a rough brief, and must produce their own script breakdown, and research and create their own design notes. They work on principal and supporting Actors as well as background talent. They maintain the continuity of the actors’ ‘look’.

On smaller productions, they negotiate terms with suppliers and wig and prosthetic makers, providing them with design specifications and ensuring that they deliver on time. They discuss color palettes with Production Designers and Costume Designers. They make appointments for, and if necessary, go with actors to wig fittings, facial hair fittings, prosthetic castings, optician and dental appointments. Personal Make-up and Hair Artists are specifically requested by one of the principal Actors to work on their make-up and hair. Although they receive a rough brief from the Make-up and Hair Designer, they prepare their own script breakdown, and research and create their own designs.

Dailies work on productions on a day-to-day basis, usually on large crowd scenes.

In all cases, Make-up and Hair Artists check whether actors have any skin and/or scalp conditions in advance, and make sure that any allergies or sensitivities are taken into consideration. They must also carry out full risk assessments and develop procedures to control risks. They apply make-up, affix prosthetics, wash, cut, blow-dry, style and set hair, apply products and use specialized techniques to create specific designs. They set and dress wigs and hairpieces, and work with facial hair and false pieces, such as beards and moustaches. They may also apply special effects make-up, e.g., grazes, cuts and bruises, and bald caps.

They usually accompany their performers onto set, standing by to touch up make-up between takes, and ensuring that continuity notes are maintained using photographs. When the scenes have been shot, they remove performers’ make-up, washing out products from their hair and conditioning it. They remove wigs and prosthetics, ensuring that they are cleaned and prepared for further use.


Wardrobe Assistant

Wardrobe Assistants help make, buy and find, and look after the clothing and costumes used in productions. Wardrobe assistants are junior members of the wardrobe/costume department, which is responsible for providing both made, rented and hired costumes. Assistants work under the direction of the costume supervisor or wardrobe master/mistress as part of a wider costume team. Assistants’ main duties are: dressing the artists; standing by to maintain costumes between takes or scenes; making alterations and repairs; packing and unpacking costumes; cleaning and laundering costumes after use; helping with buying and fittings and possible returns; occasionally making pieces, breaking down costumes, and any other duties deemed useful by other members of the costume team. Assisting with the design of, and research into costumes and helping to make and adapt them to what is needed. Carrying out a range of tasks from ordering accessories, overseeing fittings and helping with continuity. Taking instructions from the Costume Designers, Costume Design Assistants, Costume Supervisors and Wardrobe Supervisors.

They are highly organized and efficient, have a good memory, pay keen attention to detail and oversee continuity, respond positively to others’ requests, have the self-confidence to point out any continuity errors or plot mismatching, have good communication and interpersonal skills, work under pressure, work as part of the team, understand research processes and know how to source information and are familiar with call sheets and schedules, know about period costume and contemporary fashion, and have good IT skills.

Costume Assistants may also be known as Wardrobe Assistants, Standby Wardrobes or Standby Costumers. They work on films and stage projects during pre-production and actual shooting. They can help breakdown the script into costume plots and detail costume requirements and changes in the continuity book. They may carry out research for the Costume Designer into the styles, designs and construction methods suitable for the time period using a number of resources including libraries, museums and the internet.

They help to organize the costume department, ordering supplies and assisting in setting up any workrooms needed for productions. They take artists’ measurements, and may also help with making costumes, including pattern cutting, ageing and distressing, etc.

They may be involved in sourcing and buying costumes and accessories. During the shoot, they make sure that the appropriate outfits are ready for the actors and background. They may dress the actors and make sure that they match continuity requirements. They monitor the costumes for damage, carrying out any last-minute alterations and repairs, or sending the garments to the workrooms for specialist treatment. During breaks, and between shoot days, they clean and steam costumes, look after accessories and keep a record of all jewelry used by actors.