Image Source: unsplash.com/Mirko Fabian
As much as the success of a movie depends on direction, acting and costumes, makeup and hairstyling also plays an important role in making it a hit and bagging awards. Indeed, it requires a lot of research, study and ingenuity to understand makeup requirements of the cast of a film and do justice with their characters, and there are only few people who are able to do it.
Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier are two of those talented and creative makeup artists who surprised the audience, film fraternity and other nominated makeup artists by winning the Best Makeup and Hairstyling Award for ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ movie during 87th Annual Academy Awards held at Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA on 22 Feb 15.
However, while their work was appreciated and lauded, their achievement was followed by diatribe by some critics who thought Foxcatcher’s Bill Corso and Dennins Liddiard would walk away with the Best Makeup and Hairstyling Award because they deserved it more.
Oscar is the most significant and popular award and winning it is a great achievement, but did Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier deserve it?
Frances Hannon: A Journey from BAFTA TV Award to Oscar
In 1986, a six – episode mini TV serial, The Singing Detective, became a popular program in the UK and USA. Based on crime and suspense, this musical TV series was listed among 100 Greatest British Television Programmes by British Film Institute. The makeup, partly, contributed to its success and it was Frances Hannon who did it and won BAFTA TV Award for Best Makeup. She won BAFTA TV Award again in 2003 for showing his phenomenal makeup skills in the movie ‘The Gathering Storm.’ She provided her makeup and hair designing services in numerous famous series and films such as World War Z (2013), The King’s Speech (2010), etc.
The reason she has been able to collect so many feathers in her cap seems to be her understanding of the plot and characters. Every time she thrives is because she strives and makes efforts to do her best. She doesn’t rely on imaginations and works thoroughly before finalizing the makeup and hair styles.
The movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, where one sees different beards and mustaches, is the outcome of her comprehensive study and research work.
“I covered the spectrum completely so that with will all the mustaches, not only would I find something that suited that actor’s face, but I could give something different,” said Frances Hannon.
She added, “They are made of real human hair, which you buy in all different textures and colors. There are usually five minimum colors in each mustache.”
This shows that she did extensive research on mustaches and beards. In short, the movie entailed a mélange of beards and mustaches inspired from 16th century and different eras, which could be called works of art.
Mark Coulier: The Man behind the Mummy & Wizards
Frances Hannon wouldn’t have done it without Mark Coulier, a renowned makeup artist since decades. Also, ‘Arabian Nights,’ ‘The Mummy,’ and ‘Harry Potter’ wouldn’t have been a hit without the makeup and prosthetic skills of Mark Coulier. This makeup star’s first project was Clive Barker’s Hellbound. It was late 1980s when he worked as a special makeup technician. He remained associated with horror and science-fiction movies in the initial years of his professional journey. Later, he gave creature effects on Alien3 and worked as the makeup effect designer in three movies about Frankenstein.
In 1996, he founded Coulier Creatures, Ltd in London. It was a big achievement for him which also won him an Emmy Award. He performed as an actor as well, but he lost interest in it soon and continued his career as a makeup designer.
He, mainly, worked for horror and sci-fi films and became the specialist of prosthetics makeup and special effects.
Before the Oscar 2015, he bagged Online Film and Television Awards, and Emmy for Outstanding Makeup for a Miniseries (Arabian Nights). Beside this, he was nominated on different occasions for different movies and series as well.
At present, he also gives lectures on prosthetic makeup and shares his vast experience with emerging makeup artists.
The creator of Lord Voldemort on the Harry Potter movie, therefore, is an acclaimed makeup artist of the film world.
What gives him an edge over Frances Hannon and other makeup artists in Hollywood is his vast experience and his association with diverse projects. Also, it is not his first Oscar. He won it before as well in 2012 for the movie, ‘The Iron Lady, where he transformed Meryl Streep into Margaret Thatcher.
Now that he has won the Oscar for The Grand Budapest Hotel, he has scooped it for the second time telling why he deserves it.
Where Frances Hannon’s work is always an evidence of her thorough research, Mark Coulier nails at giving special effects and ingenious makeup ideas in all his projects. The British-duo, therefore, could be an inspiration as well as a tough competition for emerging makeup artists and other counterparts.