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Tuesday
Apr152014

MEDICINE MAN: THE DAVID GOULD INTERVIEW

With mentors that include director Peter Jackson and editor Jamie Selkirk, Queensland-born director David Gould was never far from visionary inspiration. Since relocating to Wellington, New Zealand, Gould rose to senior effects director on The Two Towers and The Return of The King, King Kong and The Adventures of Tintin, all the time working towards a director’s chair of his own. After the well-received shorts Inseparable Coil, Awaken and The Seed, Gould guided to fruition his self-penned feature debut, the low-budget/high-concept action thriller The Cure. Gould chatted with SCREEN-SPACE the morning after the Australian premiere at the recent Gold Coast Film Festival…

The film exudes a very international look and feel; the actors speak with US accents and, most impressively, Wellington stands in convincingly for San Diego…

There was an article in one of the papers that I was unaware of, but they had taken photos of the harbour area of San Diego and compared them to Wellington and they look very similar. Ultimately, because all the film takes place in the research facility, I didn’t need that big establishing shot, though I always had it in my mind when shooting.

It avoids many of the pitfalls that first-time filmmakers succumb to, such as over-reaching budgetary constraints.

The key thing for me was that, because I had had so much experience in visual effects and knew that I’d be doing the visual effects stuff all by myself, I knew what was going to be hard and what was going to be easy. I avoided green screen work, because that can be relatively expensive and time consuming, instead creating the overlaying images just on my set up at home (laughs). That starts all the way back in the scripting stage for me. When I’m writing, I’m conscious of how I’m going to shoot it and what set-ups I’ll need to get the shot.

The strong sense of story that you exhibited with the gentler dramatic short, The Seed, is still there in The Cure, despite it being a very different work. Was their much narrative that got fleshed out in post-production?

When it came to editing, I met with many of the best in the industry in Wellington, including Jamie Selkirk (pictured, left), who is retired now. I’d edit to a certain point then give it to him for feedback. John (Woodford) was also great, giving me notes. It is a really good process for a filmmaker to do. I’ve edited all my films and with a final vision in my head when shooting, it allows me to be really efficient with my set-ups. I also did all the effects work, and there are 141 effects shots in the film, which used all my experience and allowed me to work to a very clear vision.

Were there definite influences that occurred to you while shooting The Cure?

When I set out to do a high-concept film on a low budget, I had to define how best that would be achieved. I looked to Die Hard, a fully contained thriller that pretty much all takes pace indoors. I knew that would be important, especially shooting in Wellington and knowing what the weather can be like (laughs). So we blacked out all the windows of the studio to create that artificial light interior feel. The work that I aspire to includes that of James Cameron, whose very early films like The Terminator achieve an amazing level of action and quality on a limited budget (pictured, right; the director in pre-production on The Cure with department heads).

Like a lot of Cameron’s work, there is a strongly defined female central character who allows for an emotional core in the story. When did Antonia Prebble (pictured, left) come on board?

I had never seen her in anything before. We put the call out for auditions and news that there was a strong female action lead spread really quickly. We got all the actors with any experience applying, whether they were in Shortland Street or the theatre. When Antonia auditioned, I turned to my casting director Liz and we both just knew. She got the character completely on the first go. From there, she was the benchmark. What was remarkable about her performance was that she was often called on to get complex scenes, with both action and emotion, on the first or second take. She had worked on (TV series) The Tribe and Shortland Street, so knew how to shoot fast. We didn’t have time or budget for lots of multiple takes, and her experience helped immensely.

You’ve experienced the world of low-budget filmmaking both here and in New Zealand. Are there key differences?

Yeah, I’d made the short film Inseparable Coil here and had gone back to New Zealand principally for the work. I’d been there for two years, working in post-production on Peter Jackson’s films, before starting work on The Cure. I didn’t know anyone from the casting world, that whole pre-production sector, so I had to establish working relationships really quickly. The advantage of being based in Wellington is the influence that Peter Jackson has had on the local sector. So many people have become so cashed-up after working on his films, they can happily take time off to help on smaller projects like The Cure. And then there are the staunchly independent film crews, many of which passed on working on The Hobbit to work with my shoot, which I really appreciated. New Zealand crews are really passionate, dedicated people.

And now The Cure is finding appreciative audiences all over the world. What direction does your career take now?

I’ve just seen the Spanish dub of the film, which was a surreal experience (laughs). And I get the German language version next week, which will make another interesting addition to the film’s timeline. It played really well just a few weeks ago in Japan. The Cure has exceeded my expectations based upon its budget and its acceptance and will serve as a great calling-card, letting financiers and producers know I can make sellable, commercial action projects.  

Monday
Apr142014

WONG KAR-WAI BACK IN FAVOUR WITH HONG KONG AWARDS BODY

Wong Kar-Wai’s epic, intimate fusion of intrigue and action, The Grandmaster (pictured, below), has dominated the 33rd annual Hong Kong Film Awards, held overnight at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

The front-runner for top honours with 14 nominations, Wong’s most celebrated movie in years took home Best Film and Best Director honours. The gongs add to an awards season tally that has seen the film earn similar kudos from the Asian Film Awards, Shanghai Film Critics Awards and Hong Kong Film Critics Awards.

“I remember it was 1994 when I was last here,” said the director (pictured, right) in his winner’s speech, referring to his last trophy from the prestigious body, for Chungking Express. “It was a short walk from the podium to the stage, but it took me 20 years to come back to this spot.” Prior to that, he had won the directing category for 1990’s Days of Being Wild.

The Grandmaster’s 2014 haul would total 12 trophies, including Zhang Jin’s Best Supporting Actor win, Cinematography and Costume (the categories that earned the film Oscar nominations earlier this year), as well as Makeup, Original Score, Action Choreography, Art Direction, Editing and Sound Design.

None proved more popular than Zhang Ziyi’s Best Actress triumph (pictured, left; with her award) for her role as dynastic martial arts leader Gong Er. It is the sixth major trophy she has snared and crowns a tumultuous period for the Chinese actor, who has seen her private life become gossip fodder and box office might wane in recent years. In an emotional speech, the actress said “I shed a lot of tears. I’m worked up not because I feel wronged but because I feel grateful.”

The Best Actor category went to Nick Cheung for his role in Dante Lam’s MMA crowd-pleaser Unbeatable; horror opus Rigor Mortis earned Best Supporting Actress honours for Kara Wai and tech kudos for its visual effects; and, Adam Wong’s drama The Way We Dance won the young filmmaker the coveted Best New Director award, as well as Best Newcomer (Babyjohn Choi) and original song. The directorial debut of actress Zhao Wei, the college-set romantic drama So Young, was awarded the Cross-Straits Best Film Award, celebrating works from mainland China and Taiwan.

The Hong Kong Film Awards ceremony represents a glamorous end to the 10th annual Entertainment Expo, a three week celebration of the region’s visual arts industry. International contingents from the film, television, music and new media sectors converged on the harbour city to attend such events as the International Film and TV Market (FILMART), the Hong Kong International Film Festival, the Asian Visual Effects and Digital Entertainment Summits, the Asian Film Financing Forum (HAF) and Asian-Pop Music Festival.

Here is the full list of 2014 Hong Kong Film awards nominees; winners are highlighted.

Best Film:
 The Grandmaster - Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons
- The Way We Dance
- The White Storm
- Unbeatable

Best Director:
 Wong Kar Wai (The Grandmaster) - Johnnie To (Drug War)
- Benny Chan (The White Storm)
- Derek Kwok (As the Light Goes Out)
- Dante Lam (Unbeatable)

Best Screenplay:
 Zou Jingzhi, Xu Haofeng, Wong Kar Wai (The Grandmaster) - Zhou Zhiyong, Zhang Ji, Aubrey Lam (American Dreams in China)
- Xue Xiaolu (Finding Mr. Right)
- Wai Ka Fai, Yau Nai Hoi, Ryker Chan, Yu Xi (Blind Detective)
- Jack Ng, Fung Chi Fung, Dante Lam (Unbeatable)

Best Actor:
 Tony Leung (The Grandmaster)
- Louis Koo (The White Storm)
- Sean Lau (The White Storm)
- Anthony Wong (Ip Man: The Final Fight)
- Nick Cheung (Unbeatable)

Best Actress:
 Zhang Ziyi (The Grandmaster) - Tang Wei (Finding Mr. Right)
- Cherry Ngan (The Way We Dance)
- Sammi Cheng (Blind Detective)
- Nina Paw (Rigor Mortis)

Best Supporting Actor:
 Zhang Jin (The Grandmaster) - Tong Dawei (American Dreams in China)
- Huang Bo (Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons)
- Eddie Peng (Unbeatable)
- Antony Chan (Rigor Mortis)

Best Supporting Actress:
 Du Juan (American Dreams in China)
- Carina Lau (Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon)
- Law Lan (The White Storm)
- Crystal Lee (Unbeatable)
- Kara Hui (Rigor Mortis)

Best New Performer:
 Du Juan (American Dreams in China)
- Fish Liew (Doomsday Party)
- Lin Gengxin (Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon)
- Babyjohn Choi (The Way We Dance) - Angel Chiang (A Secret Between Us)

Best Cinematography:
 Philippe Le Sourd (The Grandmaster) - Anthony Pun (The White Storm)
- Jason Kwan (As the Light Goes Out)
- Kenny Tse (Unbeatable)
- Ng Kai Ming (Rigor Mortis)

Best Film Editing:
 William Chang, Benjamin Courtines, Poon Hung Yiu (The Grandmaster) - Kwong Chi Leung, Ron Chan (Firestorm)
- Yau Chi Wai (The White Storm)
- Wong Hoi (As the Light Goes Out)
- Azrael Chung (Unbeatable)

Best Art Direction:
 William Chang, Alfred Yau (The Grandmaster) - Eric Lam (Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons)
- Ken Mak (Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon)
- Eric Lam (As the Light Goes Out)
- Irving Cheung (Rigor Mortis)

Best Costume & Makeup Design:
 William Chang (The Grandmaster) - Dora Ng (American Dreams in China)
- Lee Pik Kwan, Bruce Yu (Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons)
- Lee Pik Kwan, Bruce Yu (Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon)
- Miggy Cheng, Phoebe Wong, Kittichon Kunratchol (Rigor Mortis)

Best Action Choreography:
 Yuen Woo Ping (The Grandmaster) - Yuen Bun (Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon)
- Chin Ka Lok (Firestorm)
- Donnie Yen (Special ID)
- Ling Chi Wah (Unbeatable)

Best Original Film Score:
 Shigeru Umebayashi, Nathaniel Mechaly (The Grandmaster) - Kenji Kawai (Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon)
- Day Tai, Afuc Chan (The Way We Dance)
- Teddy Robin, Tomy Wai (As the Light Goes Out)
- Henry Lai (Unbeatable)

Best Original Film Song:
 “New Order” (from Young and Dangerous: Reloaded)
- “Let’s Dance Crazily” (from The Way We Dance) - “Blind Love” (from Blind Detective)
- “Lifelong Sympathy” (from The White Storm)
- “Love is the Greatest” (from As the Light Goes Out)

Best Sound Design:
 Robert Mackenzie, Traithep Wongpaiboon (The Grandmaster) - Kinson Tsang (Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon)
- Phyllis Cheng (As the Light Goes Out)
- Phyllis Cheng (Unbeatable)
- Benny Chu, Steve Miller (Rigor Mortis)

Best Visual Effects:
 Pierre Buffin (The Grandmaster)
- Wook Kim (Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon)
- Yee Kwok Leung, Lai Man Chun, Ho Kwan Yeung, Garrett K. Lam (Firestorm)
- Henri Wong, Hugo Kwan, Walter Wong (As the Light Goes Out)
- Enoch Chan (Rigor Mortis)

Best New Director:
 Adam Wong (The Way We Dance) - Alan Yuen (Firestorm)
- Juno Mak (Rigor Mortis)

Best Film from Mainland China and Taiwan:
 Rock Me to the Moon (Taiwan)
- Lost in Thailand (China)
- The Last Supper (China)
- Touch of the Light (Taiwan)
- So Young (China)

Saturday
Mar222014

IN TOO DEEP: JEMIMA ROBINSON AND THE OCEAN FILM FESTIVAL

As the month-long run of the Ocean Film Festival Australia (OFFA) nears its end, Festival Director Jemima Robinson reflects upon her vision to bring a celebration of oceanic culture to a population with a close affinity to the aquatic landscape. The morning after the sold-out session at Sydney’s prestigious Cremorne Orpheum Theatre, Robinson spoke to SCREEN-SPACE about her passion for the marine environment and the filmmaking that brings it to life on the bigscreen…

Our mission is to inspire people to appreciate and care for our oceans,” she says of her 2014 programme, which features 12 shorts that screen over 2 hours. “We were really working along the Jacques Cousteau principal, (that) people will naturally want to protect what they love, so our overriding vision is to foster that love of the ocean.”  To this end, Robinson and her team sought key partnerships with environmental bodies such as Project Aware and the Nature Conservation Council, ensuring that audiences inspired by what they had just seen had avenues to pursue immediately. Says Robinson, “We felt it was important to offer our audience practical ways (in which) they can personally have a positive impact.”

The inaugural event came about after Robinson (pictured, right), as Director of the adventure-film promotional initiative Adventure Reels, oversaw the 2013 Australian schedule for the renowned San Francisco Ocean Film Festival (the group is also responsible for successfully shepherding a local season of the popular BANFF Mountain Film Festival). This year, she felt it was crucial to brand a local event, with homegrown content mixed into the screening schedule alongside works from around the globe.

“Local filmmakers have been incredibly supportive of the initiative, especially Tim Bonython and Mark Tipple,” she acknowledges. An internationally recognized producer, Bonython cut a short from his 2012 documentary Immersion, featuring the daredevil surfers who tackle the treacherous swells of Tasmania’s Shipstern’s Bluff; Tipple produced Duct Tape Surfing, the extraordinary story of a paraplegic who was able to experience the thrill of a board ride while taped to big-wave surfer Tyron Swan.

These films play alongside the very best of global aquatic cinema. From France, Via Decouvertes’ People Under The Sea (pictured, top) chronicles the installation of statue art under the Caribbean Sea; Hawaiian Kimi Werner explores her relationship with the ocean in the stunning odyssey, Variables; the culture of the Haenyeo, South Korea’s free-diving women, is revealed in Women of the Sea; the myriad of microscopic lifeforms who inhabit a Balinese feather hydroid are captured in the award-winning Hydropolis; Guilklame Nery, single-breath free dive world record holder, is profiled in the Sportlife Saga episode, Water, from The Netherlands; a quirky comedic short from Irish director Orla Walsh, Riders to the Sea; and, the breathtaking sand artistry of Tony Plant is celebrated in ‘Till The Luck Runs Out.

Of particular note are the Australian premieres of works from the Italian pair Daniele Iop and Manfred Bortoli, two of the genre’s most respected filmmakers. The Trip, a surreal odyssey that tracks two water molecules as they journey the great ocean currents of the world, recently won the Silver Prize at the Marseille Festival of Underwater Images; and the breathtaking The Giant and The Fisherman (pictured, right), which captures the interaction between Indonesian fishermen and the whale sharks of Cenderawasih Bay.

At the Sydney screening, audiences were particularly engaged by Englishman Ben Finney’s And Then We Swam (featured, below), the hugely entertaining story of two adventure seeking Brits who set out to row the 3500 miles of open water between Australia’s western coast and the island of Mauritius. In addition to being a funny and thrilling study of the human spirit, their journey captures the physical scale and emotional scope of mankind’s relationship with the ocean.

It is a broad selection reflective of the many aspects of man’s co-existence with the sea and its surrounds. Jemima Robinson knew the greatest hurdle she had to overcome was the perception that the Ocean Film Festival would be a greenie love-in. “Having attended a number of ocean environment events in the past I often had the feeling that they were preaching to the converted,” she says. “We really wanted to break from this mould and make the OFFA accessible and enjoyable to everyone, even someone who has never set foot in the ocean. Rather than showing a program full of problems, we aimed to show a program full of inspiration, that would make our audiences fall in love with the ocean.”

Robinson hopes that audiences will take from her festival a fresh perspective on this increasingly unsustainable imbalance between modern man and open water. Despite the breadth of issues raised and the consummate artistry on display in the programme, Robinson acknowledges that, “the message was always the same - there is a problem, this is the problem, this is how you can be involved in the solution.”

The Ocean Film Festival Australia has four engagements left of its 2014 Australian season before undertaking a European tour. Full details can be found at the festival’s official website.

Friday
Mar072014

BAND OF BROTHERS: THE HIMIONA GRACE INTERVIEW

Director Himiona Grace is part of a literary legacy responsible for some of the most moving accounts of Maori life in New Zealand history; his mother is renowned writer Patricia Grace and his wife, multi-talented authoress Briar Grace-Smith. The father of four contributes his own take on Maori traditions with his debut feature, the musical drama The Pa Boys (pictured, below; the director, right, with star Matariki Whatarau), which launches this week in limited release on this side of ‘The Ditch’. He spoke with SCREEN-SPACE about the origins of the story, its themes of mateship and spirituality and of his desire to reflect the true nature of young male Maori culture...

What inspired the story?

The inspiration for the story came from several sources over many years. As a kid, I was fascinated by the traditional journey of the spirit and the many other concepts behind this journey. We have a very metaphoric view of life, which translates well to the big screen.

I also played in bands for decades, touring several times a year, including all of the places in this movie. ‘The Road Trip’ is such a huge part of my life and our culture here in New Zealand. When I first started writing the script I knew two things. 'No one will give me a lot of money to make this film,' but  'everyone loves a good road movie'. I knew I had a chance.

Are these young men and their journey of self-discovery familiar to you both in particular and Maori audiences in general?

I grew up at my Pa (my mother's tribal community) and my Father was staunchly Ngati Porou (East Coast tribe) so I didn't have the same identity crisis that the character Danny has. But there are countless people within my culture who weren't as lucky as I was. Genealogical lines and history is crucial within our culture and sadly, for many the lines have been severed. That is partly what drove me to tell this story.

Another driving force was that history, education, media and the system in general have always given an outsider's negative perspective on our people, especially of our men. I wanted to tell a story from the inside. I grew up at the Pa and experienced first hand what our fathers, uncles and grandfathers were like. They weren't the people I read about, or heard about, or learned about.

Once Were Warriors was a powerful film. But it wasn't how I grew up and I couldn't relate to it. I was shocked and also angered by the film because it portrayed us in the same old stereotypical way, but worse. Whale Rider, again, a beautiful film. But I had never met a grandfather who treated his grandchild like that because she was a girl. That's just fantasy and not even historically correct. We weren't a patriarchal society in pre-European times. Your lineage is your lineage regardless of what sex you are. That is still true today.

So I wanted to tell a story about some young Maori men who are just feeling their way through life and death. Just like many other young men around the world. They're not losers, or violent. They're not perfect either. They are passionate, have talent to burn and are living life to the only way they know how.

Francis, Matariki and Tola have a very natural way of interacting on screen. Tell me about the casting of the film; of finding these three extraordinary actor/musicians. And how did that wonderful chemistry between all three happen?

Casting the boys and girls was mostly instinctive. I met Matariki many years ago. He was fresh out of drama school. I said, 'do you know how to play the bass bro?' He said, 'yeah I've got a gig tomorrow.' I didn't make his gig but when it looked like we were actually going to make the film I sent him a script. He was 'in'.

I didn't really audition Francis either (pictured, left; behind mic). I knew of his rep as a musician, had seen him perform with his band Kora a few times. I also knew he had trained as an actor. We had an opportunity to workshop the script and shoot a few scenes. He auditioned for Cityboy and gave the character a really interesting energy, different to what I had written. But as time wore on and we got to know each other really well I came to realise I wanted him for the lead role. It was just gut/heart instinct. I knew he'd nail it. He is a generous man and an amazing talent.

Tola did audition but for another part. Again it was instinct. I knew he was Cityboy as soon as I met him. The dynamics are crucial. The boys and girls did know each other through work and networks before we hit the road. We had several workshops, readings and a couple of weeks of rehearsals to bring them all together. Before we hit the road we were a tight knit family.

Once Were Warriors, Whale Rider and Boy have all been very successful in foreign markets. Why do these films, intrinsically indigenous in their storytelling, find such favour with a broad audience? 

Stories that are specific to a culture can also be universal, so that's not really an issue. I have been asked if I am isolating my audience by telling such a 'Maori' story. Of course I don't think so and wonder if that would be asked of a Spanish director telling a Spanish story.

I think outside of New Zealand the Maori culture is quite exotic. It doesn't come with the baggage or insular perspectives that we often face here in our own country. People are interested in us and our perspectives. Culturally we are strong in story telling, music and the visual arts. Which is why I think we are particularly good in this medium.

Did the shooting of the film reflect the actual road trip the band went on? It appears you covered many miles through some of NZs most beautiful countryside. 

It was just like being on tour with a band except we ate well and didn't have to pay for the gas (laughs). And the fun and beautiful landscapes captured on film were only a small percentage of fun and beauty we actually experienced. It was the best shoot I've ever been on (pictured, below; Grace, right, with Warren Maxwell, his music composer).

The story was always a road trip around the East Coast to Northland. I have traveled this road all my life. With a small budget in mind we knew shooting in places where we have family connections was going to make sense. "Puti's Mum's house" was actually my Aunty's place where I hung out as a kid. Wharekaahu, the beautiful land where the bulk of the second act was set is actually where my Father's is from. We shot on his land and at his cousin's beach house. We have family connections in Tolaga Bay and Tokomaru Bay, where the first pub scenes were shot. Ainsley (Gardner, producer) grew up in Whakatane and has ties to the Bay of Plenty. We spent quite a bit of time there, including the shoot at Te Teko pub, all the motel scenes etc. So the whole shoot was run like a family outing, visiting long but not so lost relations.

The film portrays a very spiritual essence, of needing to be in touch with family, friends, heaven and earth to be whole. Is the value in learning of the past still relevant to young Maori men?

It's absolutely relevant today but our youth have much more to deal with. They are part of the junk generation. That's not dissing our kids but the crap they are bombarded with every day. The fight for any culture to survive against the shallow, dominant 'globalised digital' culture is a battle we all face. It could be compared to a small budget independent film going up against the Hollywood blockbuster (pictured, left; star Francis Kora, right, with actor Calvin Tuteao as Uncle Toa).

But I do feel positive about our future. Amongst us there are still many very proud youth who, like the characters in the film, are 'feeling their way through life'. More and more people dismiss the hype and are choosing to watch more independent films.

The Pa Boys is currently screening in Australia at Event Cinemas Pacific Fair with additional dates to follow. Further information can be found on the films website here.

Tuesday
Feb182014

SKIN DEEP: THE GREATEST FULL BODY MAKEUP PERFORMANCES

CGI technology has seen the art of acting under a full body prosthetic all but disappear. Performance-capture technology, made famous by actor Andy Serkis’ mastery of the dotted leotard in the roles of Gollum, King Kong, Caesar and Captain Haddock, has meant the painstaking detail needed to dress an entire torso in character is a fading skill. In honour of the practical effects brilliance behind some of cinema’s most iconic characters, SCREEN-SPACE offers an entirely subjective look at some of the best full body prosthetic performances…

Mystique in X-Men (2000) and X-Men: First Class (2011)
The shapeshifting mutant Raven Darkholme, aka Mystique, was first brought to life in Bryan Singer’s 2000 franchise starter by Rebecca Romign-Stamos; ‘It-Girl’ Jennifer Lawrence put her own spin on the blue-skinned assassin in Matthew Vaughan’s 2011 retro-themed update.
"MAKEUP!" In the decade between the films, little changed in the prosthetic technology used to create the on-screen look of Mystique. Both Romijn-Stamos and Lawrence spent 8-10 hours in the makeup chair prior to filming, undergoing the application of adhesive skin and air-brushed body-paint.

Chewbacca from Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983).
The Wookiee co-pilot of the Millenium Falcon became one of the most endearing characters from George Lucas’ space saga. Actor Peter Mayhew, who donned the late Stuart Freeborn’s intricately detailed full body fur suit and wonderfully expressive face mask for all three features (pictured, top), last wore it at the 1997 MTV Awards, where Carrie Fisher presented him with the medal denied the heroic sidekick during the final scenes of the 1977 film.
"MAKE-UP!" Following the famous ‘trash compactor’ scene in Star Wars, the fur suit retained a foul odour for the remainder of filming; cast and crew would steer clear of Mayhew when he was in costume due to the smell.

Cast of Planet of the Apes (1968; 2001)
The groundbreaking work of John Chambers and his small team on Franklin J Schaffner’s 1968 sci-fi classic was matched by the legendary Rick Baker and hundreds of wig, denture and foam latex technicians on Tim Burton’s 2001 remake. So skilfully articulated by an unrecognisable Tim Roth was the brutal simian soldier Thade (pictured, right; with co-star Mark Wahlberg) in the new version, a concerted campaign was mounted to secure him a Best Supporting Actor nomination.
"MAKEUP!" Chambers, who would work on all the Apes… sequels and TV series, was only the second person to be awarded a Special Achievement Oscar for makeup; the first was Wiliam Tuttle, four years earlier, for 7 Faces of Dr Lao.

Emil Antonowsky in Robocop (1987)
Although Peter Weller’s cyborg law enforcement officer is one of the great performances in genre cinema, it is more a melding of actor and costume (see also Alien and Predator). The full-body prosthetic star of Paul Verhoeven’s ultra-violent satire is Paul McCrane (pictured, left; the director and actor on-set), who donned a suit of oozing flesh to portray the demise of henchman Emil. His skin melting of his bones having been doused in toxic industrial waste, the actor stumbles before a speeding vehicle and…, well, once seen the sequence is never forgotten.
"MAKEUP!" The great Rob Bottin took an upper torso mold of McCrane, which was then rendered in latex and sculptured into the detailed disintergration of skin and muscle. The sequence was one of the first that the MPAA ratings board wanted cut out, but the producers fought for its inclusion when test audiences said it was their favourite part of the film.

Darkness in Legend (1985)
For Ridley Scott’s epic fantasy adventure, actor Tim Curry and makeup creator Rob Bottin crafted one of cinema’s most vivid portrayals of the Lord of the Underworld, in this case simply known as ‘Darkness’.
"MAKEUP!" As the early makeup tests closed in around Curry’s face, the actor pleaded with Bottin and Scott to at least leave him his eyes to act with; scleroid lenses were fitted, giving him cat-like slits for pupils. With the full body prosthetic in place (including hooves and horns), the actor stood over twelve feet tall.

The cast of The Wizard of Oz (1939)

MGM’s Louis By Mayer wanted to one-up Walt Disney’s Snow White and The Seven Dwarves blockbuster when he greenlit the adaptation of Frank L Baum’s much-loved literary classic. Mayer’s ambition infused the every department on the production, most notably makeup creator Jack Dawn’s largely uncredited team of 29 craftsmen, who would envision and construct some of the most iconic full-body character makeup in film history.
"MAKEUP!" In striving to be innovative, the makeup department did not make a lot of friends amongst the cast. When a pyrotechnic effect went off close to Margaret Hamilton (The Wicked Witch), her makeup seared her face and hands, leaving second- and third-degree burns; rubber skin glued to ‘Scarecrow’ actor Ray Bolger to create the illusion of fabric left lines on his face which lasted a year; and, original ‘Tin Man’ Buddy Ebsen left the production when aluminium dust in his silver facepaint coated his lungs and brought on an allergic reaction.

El Fauno and The Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
These two unforgettable creations are just two of the characters played by Doug Jones, an American actor who has established a reputation as being the greatest full-body makeup working today. In addition to Guillermo del Toro’s Spanish-language masterpiece, the pair worked together on the Hellboy films, in which Jones played several parts, most notably the hero’s sidekick Abe Sapien; trained as a contortionist, Jones has featured behind the body makeup in films such as Legion, The Watch and Lady in the Water.
"MAKEUP!" It took Jones five hours to get into the Pale Man makeup/costume before shooting his scenes for Pan’s Labyrinth. So unnatural was the visage, the actor had to look through the nose holes of the face prosthetic to see his fellow actors.

Seth Brundle in The Fly (1986)
Shonagh Jabour’s makeup melded seamlessly with Chris Walas’ Oscar-winning prosthetic creature effects, capturing the transformative stages of Jeff Goldblum’s genetically-fused man/fly (pictured, right) with a grotesque commitment to putrid detail that remains unsurpassed today. From early-stage symptons to latter-stage metamorphosis, it is one of the most perfectly refined ‘collaborative performances’ in film history.
"MAKEUP!" Chris Walas’ name is the first to appear when the end credits roll. At the first test screening, audiences cheered; producer Stuart Cornfeld turned to him and reportedly said, “You’re going to win the Oscar…”

John Merrick in The Elephant Man (1980)
From 5am until midday, actor John Hurt would have layers of makeup applied that transformed him into John Merrick, a Victorian era sufferer of Proteus Syndrome that deformed his appearance so radically he would become known as ‘The Elephant Man’. Despite graphic and disturbing in its detail, the malformations portrayed in the film were less severe than those suffered by Merrick in real life.
"MAKEUP!" Below-the-line industry bodies around the world were outraged when the makeup artistry of Christopher Tucker was overlooked at Oscar time, due to their being no category for that discipline. The outcry lead to a Best Makeup award being introduced in 1981, the inaugural honour going to Rick Baker for John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London.