January 31, 2013

Oscar nominations by gender - Best Makeup and Hairstyling

The Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling sounds like the least masculine of all the categories, but men have earned about 72% of the nominations over the last ten years.

It turns out that the nominations tend to go less to romantic comedies where the makeup and hairstyling challenge is to make the 41-year-old leading lady look 29 and more to sci-fi, horror, and fantasy movies that employ nerdier boy genius inventor types.

The category wasn't regularized until 1981 following the impressive prosthetic work by Christopher Tucker for David Lynch's The Elephant Man. Before then, it had only been given out twice on a special recognition basis. The current movie Argo celebrates John Chambers (played by John Goodman) who won a special Oscar for Planet of the Apes. Chambers also had a long working relationship with CIA agent Tony Mendez conjuring up disguises for American spies. (Ironically, the dark, unobtrusive master-of-disguise Mendez is played, in something of a non-triumph of movie non-magic, by tall golden boy Ben Affleck.)

The most honored make-up artist is Rick Baker with seven Oscars, starting with An American Werewolf in London and including Men in Black. The target demographic for his creations are, roughly, 12-year-old boys.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

A lot of Hollywood makeup is Rick Baker/Stan Winston-style special effects monster stuff, which all the boys who grew up reading Famous Monsters of Filmland get into. And a lot of the rest of the makeup field is dominated by a handful of families like the Westmores.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westmore_family

kudzu bob said...

The current movie Argo celebrates John Chambers (played by John Goodman) who won a special Oscar for Planet of the Apes.

That was one of the Academy's more egregious screw-ups. The monkey make-up for 2001: A Space Odyssey, which came out the same year that Planet of the Apes did, was vastly superior to Chambers' work.

DaveinHackensack said...

Kudzu Bob,

"That was one of the Academy's more egregious screw-ups. The monkey make-up for 2001: A Space Odyssey, which came out the same year that Planet of the Apes did, was vastly superior to Chambers' work."

Absolutely. And, if memory serves, Arthur C. Clarke said as much, joking that the Academy must of thought 2001 featured real apes.

Anonymous said...

OT but another upper west side diversity story:
The fight over a proposed homeless shelter on the Upper West Side:
http://www.supremefiction.com/theidea/2013/01/upper-west-side-stands-up-to-political-machine.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+paneroslatest+%28Panero%27s+Latest%29

Anonymous said...

yeah make up is wierd - its not gheys but the nerdy-burnout types who were into gore and monster models

Anonymous said...

off topic -- Steve, what have you to say about this? http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2013/02/suzanne_venker_s_how_to_choose_a_husband_reviewed.single.html

Gene Berman said...

DaveinHackensack:

"must of" = must've = must have

Anonymous said...

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/01/31/frozen-generation-us-youth-immobilized-by-student-debt/

Anonymous said...

The Hobbit had make up on the dwarves and such but the bad guys were pure cgi. It was like Who Framed Roger Rabbit a jarring mix of cartoon and live action. With the Roadrunner and Coyote physics of the movie dropping characters hundreds or thousands of feet and smacking them with swords and hammers without apparent effect it reinforced the disconnect rather than suspending disbelief.

When even minor make up can be done with cgi the lifetime weepers will be the only thing left with pancake and blush the rest will be odd pixel people.

Anonymous said...

I asked a friend of mine in the makeup world why the old-age makeup in J. Edgar, shot only three years ago, looked dreadful, while the old-age makeup in Amadeus, from 35 years ago, looked impeccable.

He said that the makeup in Amadeus is still considered the standard to beat, that Dick Smith was simply so gifted that no one since, even with modern technology, can better him.

It really is an art.

pat said...

It is not true that I have held every job that there is. I have never, for example, applied full face prosthetic ape makeup in the style of "Planet of the Apes".

I have however had such makeup applied to me.

I was cast in the role of "The Gorilla" in Kalmanoff's one act opera "Opera, opera" to a libretto by William Saroyan. I got the part because I am a basso profondo and the Gorilla is just about the lowest role ever written.

It seems that Kalmanoff who got rich writing Elvis Presley hits didn't really understand normal vocal ranges. Or maybe he was only familiar with Thurl Ravenscroft. Ravenscroft was a Presley back up singer and also the voice of "Tony the Tiger". He was a hyper-bass who sang about a a major third lower than a normal bass. He played "Stew Pot" in the "South Pacific" movie and sang the bass part in the big fifties Rosemary Clooney hit "This Old House".

So I was fitted with a full face custom gorilla mask. We had a young brilliant make up woman. She greased up my face and put a straw in my mouth. The plastic goop was about three quarters of an inch thick on the front part of my head, forming a custom form fitting mask. Our make up lady then sculpted a lovely life like gorilla face for me to wear on stage.

Only then did the producer actually read the libretto. My character was a figurative gorilla not a literal gorilla. So I got made up as a gangster not as a big monkey. My beautiful gorilla mask was never used.

Happy ending: Our makeup lady took our mask as her calling card and got a job in a Hollywood makeup department. You've probably seen her work in some Sci-Fi flic.

Albertosaurus

SoCal Philosopher said...

Change of topic, but any thoughts on Brooks's latest column, Steve? If he reads you as you say he does, this looks like a shot across the bow:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/01/opinion/brooks-the-easy-problem.html?hp&_r=0

late empire said...

The make-up craft has found its own stable niche/subculture in recent times. On the Sci-Fi Channel there's a show (which my kid brother assures me is great) in the style of any economical reality motorcycle/hunting/pet-training series, and Tom Savini was almost a crossover celebrity in the early 00s. Technically I'm not sure if he's regarded in the same league as a Rick Baker or Dick Smith. For convenience we really ought to settle on some labeling distinction between movie make-up professionals who specialize in making someone look good (non-FX) vs. the opposite (you never hear about the former so I guess that's the less prestigious job???)

San Franciscan non-monk said...

OT. Bill Gates in the Steveosphere? http://www.forbes.com/sites/luisakroll/2013/01/31/bill-gates-says-there-is-something-perverse-in-college-ratings/

Anonymous said...

>nominations go less to romantic comedies where the challenge is to make the 41 year old leading lady look 29

Sounds like any such nomination would be a dig at an aging actress you hate. Say a black activist hating Meg Ryan for not putting out.

Nick Diaz said...

There is a nomination that is missing. I nominate Steve Sailer for most obsessive/autistic individual ever.

It does not cease to amaze me how this gimp can make 20 or 30 consecutive posts on the same topic, with all of them being loaded with statistics. What a data nerd.

I used to wish harm on Sailer for his detestable conservative mindset, but not anymore. Living with his autism is enough punishment.

Anonymous said...

And yet you're not a liberal or you wouldn't be hating on people with disabilities. What are you then Nick Diaz?

CJ said...

In 2001 the apes are apes. They live in the far past and don't talk. Their brainwave idea, stimulated by the black obelisk, is to use a stick or bone as a weapon. In Planet of the Apes, the primates have evolved into a talking (English of course), walking, civilized species. These are not comparable makeup jobs.

To Gene Berman:

I'm always amazed at how often you see that "should of" or "must of" or "could of" construction, and the people doing it clearly aren't idiots. There's an important principle of linguistics in there somewhere. When I was a child I thought there was special word spelled "statoon" used only on television to announce an upcoming program, eg. "Statoon for Captain Kangaroo" or "Statoon for a message from our sponsor". I thought it rhymed with cartoon, and it wasn't until I was a teenager that I realized they were saying "stay tuned".

Hunsdon said...

Nick Diaz said: I used to wish harm on Sailer for his detestable conservative mindset, but not anymore.

Hunsdon said: Dear boy, what a sad, pathetic little man you are. You used to wish harm on Steve? For having a detestable conservative mindset? You wanted someone to suffer, because they didn't agree with you? Say, is this a typically Hispanic attitude?

Anonymous said...

I used to wish harm on Sailer for his detestable conservative mindset


You're so gosh-darned tolerant and open-minded!

As with all lefties, your most prominent characteristic is projection. You yourself are a thuggish bigot - yet you constantly denounce what you imagine to be thuggish bigotry in other people.

Anonymous said...

N. Diaz:

I nominate Steve Sailer for most obsessive/autistic individual ever.... this gimp can make 20 or 30 consecutive posts on the same topic, with all of them being loaded with statistics. What a data nerd.

What a self-hating data nerd, to do nothing to further nerd rights or the nerd cause, and instead obsessively focus on already famous glory-hounding specimens who would not hesitate to cause him physical harm gifen the chance - just for the hell of it.