What brand of soap? 

26 June 2023 tbs.pm/78161


Cover of Angles 6

From Angles, the house magazine of Anglia Television, issue 6 from early 1963

Make-up has been used by the Theatrical profession for generations but during the past forty years certain specialized techniques have been developed in the film industry, and more recently television has emerged with its own requirements. In the majority of television productions most people appear as themselves and must therefore look as natural as possible, but in close-up the camera is extremely critical so the make-up artist must be equally careful that her work is not obvious. In addition to understanding facial bone-structure, she must have a working knowledge of the cameras optical capability and must learn to sec a face as it appears on the screen. This is most important when one realizes that an application of rouge to the cheeks will appear as a black smudge while an over generous treatment of eye-shadow could make a beautiful leading lady look as if she had just emerged the loser from a recent ‘punch up’!

A great deal can be done to enhance the appearance of a face by means of highlighting and shading with make-up. It is also possible to alter facial tone which cannot always be achieved by lighting effects. She must work as ‘a team’ and in co-ordination with lighting and racks. Whilst applying this corrective make-up, the makeup artist must arrange her own lights in the make-up room so that they model the face comparatively with the main studio lights on the set in order to achieve a similar effect. This factor must be taken into account for if not certain faults which arc noted by the make-up artist during a camera rehearsal, may not always be apparent in the make-up room with very different lighting.

The training of a make-up artist covers several years for there is much to learn, and it is possible that a trainee will work for what may seem a life time learning the use of all the make-up preparations, the making and fitting of wigs, being able to deal with all types of hair, and long periods in the control room under supervision, making detailed notes of what each subject requires — the way of make-up before ever doing a ‘live’ make-up. However much can be learnt from practice and experience of ‘trial and error’!


The make-up department


Contrary to popular belief the best training for a make-up artist is not received in a beauty salon, where one is more concerned with skin colouring and beauty treatments, but rather in an art school. Television makeup is purely technical, and is in no way a beautifying treatment. This is not always easy for a girl with a beauticians background to learn. As she will always want to picture a person’s face in colour, and will try to make it look pretty to the ‘eye’ instead of thinking of a face as it will appear on the screen in tones of grey. In fact it is possible to do a full make-up using only two colours — black and white. If you can draw a portrait in charcoal, and have learnt the principle of light and shade, you have the basic ingredients in this field.

Character make-up is perhaps the most interesting work for a make-up artist, although this is strictly limited in a small company such as Anglia. Here the artist must follow directions or a picture, sometimes week after week, and build up a picture on the subjects face with make-up or even plastic skin. The present interest in hospital programmes often calls for imitation burns and other authentic disfigurations which have to ‘get better’ as each episode is transmitted. Like many other professions, constant practice alone is not enough to make a good artist, as she must keep up with television’s rapid technical progress. Above all she must be able to think and act quickly. Whilst a film make-up artist may spend several hours on one person, television is essentially a live entertainment and depends on agile minds and hands. Last but not least, she is frequently the last person to talk to an artist before they appear before the cameras, so not only the work of her brushes, but also her personality help you to enjoy your favourite programmes. You see, most people do require make-up — whatever brand of toilet soap they use!


Just to see what Make Up could do Angles asked the girls to make up two members of the staff of Anglia House. Here are the results. See if you can guess who they are!


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Liverpool, Thursday 20 June 2024