From the start of the project, we said ‘oh, we need someone to do the make-up’, but somehow, always considered it a non-priority. Still, there were going to be close ups, and if not properly made-up, faces shine, complexions change, and a patch of red or yellow blurs off the sexiness of a cheek or jawbone.
Flic was always our plan B for that – she’s got experience modelling, she’s got a box of products, and she can make-do. She did the make-up for us on rehearsal day. I had my lesson then on giving orders. We were bantering with Matthew on how I’d have him turned into a full-on drag-queen. Then I added, ‘for Nick, I was thinking green eyeshadows’, laughed, and focused on setting up the camera. Next thing, I turn to my actors, and I see Flic finishing up Nick’s eye in beautiful grass green. They should have warning signs, like they do in Australian airports about bombs: making-up is no laughing matter. You’ll be obeyed, be clear in your orders.
Nick was shooting a commercial after the dress rehearsal. He asked his make-up artist there if she knew anyone, she recommended a school, and the school recommended Jamila. That’s how you recruit a crew. Jamila was keen to get experience, and thoroughly professional about the job. She was on time, had clear questions and requests, and had all the necessary products already.
She was precious on set. It’s very good, in the stress of things, to delegate one area of responsibility entirely. I didn’t have to think about make-up once on shooting times: I could see Jamila constantly running after Nick and Matthew, tap tapping their faces with mysterious green wipes, and re-powdering their noses matt.