How to Find Make Up Jobs in Film

As mentioned previously, there are a number of avenues to build your portfolio. FINDING those jobs is a little bit trickier. First off, become very familiar with local film programs in your area. The more you know about what is available to you, the easier it will be to begin. “Knocking down doors” is not confined to Hollywood. Student projects are sometimes as competitive. Keep in mind that famous filmmakers most likely began in a film program. Think of George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Steven Soderbergh, McG – all worked in some film program. These students you are going to hopefully work with are up-and-comers, just like you and their talent could very well be legendary. (Now don’t assume every director or student project will be genius because that is rarely the case. The point is – always keep your eyes open because you never know who they will become.)

The next thing is become familiar with the film Bible: Hollywood Reporter and the Daily Variety. Tried and true, for years these periodicals have placed WANTED ADS and casting calls. Casting calls simply mean that a film is being produced. Go to the location or contact the producer or whoever placed the ad and find out how you can work on it. Offer to assist, whatever you have to do to get in the door (ethically, of course). You will be surprised how willing some of these low-budget producers and directors will be to give you a chance. Everyone starts somewhere and most people working on lower budget projects or Independent films understand what it takes to get in the Industry. If you show tenacity and backbone (not ego), you will at least get one shot. The key is you HAVE to make that one shot work. There are thousands of makeup artists and those interested in makeup out there and your job is to stand out. Be creative, create a resume, create a basic website, know your vision, and don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. Above all, be willing to work with others. If you have talent but a personality that is abrasive or not conducive to working with all different kinds of people, film may not be your calling. That is something you’ll have to decipher on your own.

So now that you know where you want to look, let’s get back to talking about film schools. Initially, you’ll need to go to those schools. In every university or film program, there are bulletin boards posted randomly around campus. Some looking for roommates, some for tutors – but some are for students looking for a willing crew to work on their film projects with them. Find out who’s got a film they want to make or has an upcoming film project. Every semester there are dozens. Then, be bold and tell them you will work for them and in return, you’d like a copy of the project OR a couple of stills. They will usually, and appreciatively comply. This will give you some real, in the trenches experience. You’ll have an opportunity to work with a live crew, learn what jobs everyone is responsible for, get a much better understanding of lighting and camera tricks, and above all how to do makeup for film. That is a priceless experience.

So now that you’ve got some experience under your belt, you’re ready for Film.

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