Monday, February 23, 2009

The Academy Awards: a makeup timeline

The highlight of the Academy Awards, otherwise known as the Oscars, for me is watching the coverage of the red carpet. I love to see what the stars are wearing and see them engage in a little "girl talk"; you know, makeup, fashion, accessories, etc. Well, since this is the year of makeup for me I decided to give myself, as well as you the reader, a little history lesson on how the Academy awards achievements in makeup.

Each year three films are nominated for the category of Best Makeup. William Tuttle received the first award for his achievements for the movie The 7 Faces of Dr. Lao in 1964 at the 37th Oscars, however the Makeup Award didn't become annual itself until 1981 with the 54th awards. An American Werewolf in London took the honors that year.
Below is a list of all artists who have been awarded this honor since its inception:

*2008 (81st)*
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button --Greg Cannom

In perusing this list, one would notice that the winners are being honored for thier expertise in the art of transformation on the most extreme level. A lot of hours, study and manpower goes into creating these looks. This article on gives you a glimpse into just how much work it took for this years winner, Greg Cannom, to get it just right. He mentions VFX as being a part of the process to bring his vision to light.

VFX, or visual effects, is described by Wikipedia as "the various processes by which imagery is created and/or manipulated outside the context of a live action shoot. Visual effects often involve the integration of live-action footage and computer generated imagery (CGI) in order to create environments which look realistic, but would be dangerous, costly, or simply impossible to capture on film."
While on Twitter last night Elke Von Freudenberg, also a very talented artist, mentioned that CGI was used and asked if Cannom's win was fair. A very valid question indeed...should all makeup artists now include CGI in their studies or should those that utilize it not be considered for one of the highest honors available in their line of work?

What do you think?

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