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Vanity may be a deadly sin, but at least it’s a fun one. However, on a production, it’s not about making the cast look good. It’s about making them look right.

Photo: Michel Ozimo

Hair and Makeup

The hair and makeup department style hair and apply makeup. Basically, your needs from hair and makeup artists depend on the nature of your story. The horror genre generally requires a little more hands on deck, particularly if characters are having their hands severed left and right. After that, action and thrillers can also call for more complicated effects, depending on how many gun shots and stab wounds occur. And if your science fiction film is about a race of extra-terrestrials invading Earth, just say the aliens all have the ability to make themselves look like human beings. After all, this worked out pretty well for David Bowie in “The Man Who Fell to Earth” and Jeff Bridges in “Starman.” For really low budget productions, you might even let the cast handle this on their own, or try to cut a deal with a local salon.

Check out Lili Kaytmaz (@lekmakeup) in this little tutorial:


Is your story set at a nudist colony? Then the characters will be wearing clothes. As with hair and makeup, how many people you need here – costume designer, costume supervisor, buyer, tailor – all depend on the story. Period pieces generally require more resources in this department. Unless you’ve planned your Halloween costumes accordingly for the last decade, you probably don’t have a chest full of 17th century aristocrats’ garments. For lower budget productions, even the wealthiest characters will probably shop at thrift stores, because that’s where you’ll send your costume team…or just that poor overworked PA. Or maybe you’ll just reconsider that nudist colony idea.

The Rest of the Production Team:

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