Last summer, I had the opportunity to work on a Feature Film as the Makeup Department Head. It was a period film, based on a book called "The Iron Orchard" published in 1966. The story was set in the late 1920's to the 1950's. Having a hefty cast of men and women that spanned the 30 year time frame, I knew it was going to be an exciting challenge. We filmed during the month of June mostly in Big Spring TX, with some dates in Midland and Austin, TX.
Taking on a film set in this time period, with this amount of talent and a small crew was a life, as well as a career changing experience. I was responsible for designing looks with the Director - Ty Roberts as well as coordinating with the Hair Department Head - Ashley Rihel, Wardrobe Designer - Juliana Hoffpauir, and at times the Art Designer and Practical Effects Designer. As I type "looks" mind you, this includes beauty, spfx, dirt, creating crude oil, synthetic sweat mixed with natural sweat, making sure the talent is properly protected from sun and wind, and dealing with slight aging. Because we were filming 80% of the movie outdoors, that meant their skin has the opportunity to become more dry or oily. All of those details need to be recorded into a continuity bible, (books) with descriptions, photos, drawings and product listings. Having a second pair of hands as my Key Makeup Artist - Cassie Cole, made it a lot easier to handle, but we could have used more help, (this is a common indie film occurrence).
You may be thinking, this all sounds like a lot of work. Why would you take on this challenge in West Texas with the summer heat indexing at 118 degrees at some locations? Well, I love a challenge, and I have been collecting vintage makeup for 22 years now, including beauty advertising. I am a makeup geek and a vintage beauty lover. I was so excited to rock this movie.
Then we began to create a beautiful film. So much happened in the next 5 weeks, a book is needed to tell the stories of just awesome, fun, stressful and life-changing things that happened, but I digress. I walked away from this movie the proudest I have ever been of all of projects. I hope you enjoy the trailer. I haven't had the opportunity to watch the film yet, it has only screened at the Dallas International Film Festival earlier this year. Hopefully y'all can watch for it this winter!
I want to thank the entire cast and crew, for making this experience so rich and so memorable. Especially the late night Karaoke singing, (until we got kicked out) every weekend we were off work. I still have some blackmail videos stashed away, teehee. Check out our IMDB listing, because without them, this film would not be possible. THE IRON ORCHARD
I also want to thank my awesome makeup/skin care sponsors that helped us with our product needs:
Make Up For Ever
During an errand the West Village, NY
February brought NEW experiences, I got to take my first trip to New York. I got to curl some hair and sling some makeup at a Brooklyn soundstage, for a music video with Miss Rachel Arianna, "Walking Away With Your Heart". Then traveled over to Long Island to beautify Mrs. Lisa Matassa for some inserts on her television pilot. It was a COMPLETE adventure, I cannot wait to get back to visit New York. It was such a fast & busy trip, but oh so amazing! I am so grateful for that experience. I don't know what I would do without my talented friends!
March continued to bring creative surprises. Micky Hoogendijk brought me onto an Austin Monthly Fashion spread for May release. We shot at St. Elmo Soundstage with beautiful models, wonderful clothes and Micky's amazing concept!
You can see more images from the shoot by CLICKING HERE. Photo by Micky Hoogendijk, Model: Lauren James, Wig by Coco Coquette for Austin Monthly, May 2013. Grab your issue before they are gone!
Spring into Summer, to be continued.....
Below, enjoy the video by Adam Curry of the fabulous Austin Monthly shoot experience! Thank you for uploading Mr. Curry!
Happy 2013! I hope everyone is having an amazing year so far! I got to start the month off by traveling to Nashville to work on a television pilot. An interesting, and educational trip that was! Although I cannot post images from the filming. I have a couple of gorgeous location photos to share.
In the photo above, the sun setting over trees on 80 acres of land in a outskirt town of Nashville, TN. Such a hauntingly beautiful location.
(Image below) Behind the Red barn, opposite angle from previous image. With a car we are filming in the background.
The rest of the month was followed by fashion shoots, makeup and hair planning for brides to be, musicians and videos.
Below is a beautiful photo by www.mickysees.com from a photoshoot that Micky masterminded. Coco Coquette designed the wig of amazement, I maintained the wig, and was lucky enough to do the makeup on model Johanna.
I cannot wait to show you more images as I get them for Februarys adventures! Until then cyberspace, have a wonderful journey!
April 20th of 2012 in Austin, TX at the Moody Theatre - ACL Live was the date and The Johnny Cash Benefit Concert was a magical night to be a part of. I am still in awe of all the amazing talent in one place honoring The Man in Black, Mr. Johnny Cash.
Working with me that night were some awesome makeup artists and hair stylists. Helping me with makeup was Jenny Bailey, along with Bobbie Kleman and Angelia Sheets doin' up some hair. It's going to be exciting to finally watch the show, (without being backstatge). Don't get me wrong, the excitement of a living and breathing animal, (live event show makeup & hair work) is intoxicating. And it was an amazing night. It was also a treat that writer/director for the upcoming movie "Zombex", Jesse Dayton was there as well with his lovely wife, (my friend, actress in Zombex, a.k.a. Misstressclegg VonSinister & Emily Kaye). Jesse sang with the evenings host, Mr. Matthew McConaughey.
This weekend is the beginning of the four air dates on your local PBS station. For Austin, TX be sure to tune into KRLU at the dates and times below. You won't be sorry.
Another amazing addition to this year has been working, (as an additional mua/h for green screen interviews for shippers Jennifer and Ronnie) on A&E's Shipping Wars. Last night was the Season 2 Premiere. UShip had their party at The Alamo Drafthouse -The Ritz in Austin, TX. I got a delightfully surprising call from Jennifer to get her glamified for the party! It was so fun to be able to do her makeup outside of greenscreen! We definately had fun with a smokey look, and she was off with her beau, Brandon to paint the town.
Below are a couple candids from the night. Hopefully more will come soon!
The year has really brought some amazing opportunities and it's barely August! One of these times was with NIKE. They have been all over the U.S. filming cultural spots and a few months back, I was fortunate enough with them in Dallas, TX. We filmed the meeting of Felix Jones and Ace Hood at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium. It was a real treat to be hired on for the Grooming of these very talented men. Enjoy the video link below to see the fun!
Check out this video on YouTube
ISES is the International Special Event Society, which I have been asked to take part in. I've been crewing up a team of talent and artists for ISES Austin Gala. If you want a peek at what ISES Austin will be doing, (hosted by Allied PRA) click this link:
ISES Austin June Gala Newsletter
My job for this amazing event, where do I begin? I am bringing 3 characters in full costume, (hair, makeup, wardrobe, props and bodypaint), to play a part in photo booths and to add to the overall atmosphere to the event. I am also bringing 2 other artists with me, Mendy Hoffman and Susan Benson. The look I am designing is so beautiful! I cannot wait to show you all the event photos!
Below I have added a couple of costume image peeks! Oooh, it's going to be STUNNING! And with the makeup and hair plans, I cannot wait for tuesday!
Those are my Art Department kids from the June session of summer camp, (Austin Film and Arts Academy). The talent and heart those girls have is so inspiring. I really give them credit. They begin filming on Monday, thier first indie film. So excited that I got to be their teacher.
The two girls on the left in the first image are my set design/prop team. And the girl on the far right is non other than the makeup, hair and wardrobe stylist. We were ecstatic to reveive help today from other film students for prop building. And they really brought it! They did 3 banners, made a hook for a hand, blow-pipe weapon, darts and began to acquire the set design elements.
The last two photos are of Charlotte learning how to make prop/wounds along with adhesion to the skin. I cannot wait to see their finished product!
I am a very lucky and thankful Jessi!
Yesterday, after photo printing: Miss Cari Wible invited me to join her in Pfluegerville, TX to watch a photoshoot. I am so excited to tell you that the shoot was for Bliss Bridal Magazine. And although we did not get to work on the shoot, we were THERE! I will not divulge the details, besides those parties involved worked their tails off! It's gonna be amazing.
We did meet a fascinating dynamic duo! They represented some of the talent on the shoot. I believe there were 8 models.
Drumroll please: I present, the lovely ladies of A Premium Blend of Talent. Mrs. Kim Van Vliet and Summer Edwards. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for us all. So kismet!
Knox Photographics is an Austin, TX based photographer. We met through a mutual friend, Harper. Harper called me over a year ago to do her pinup/boudoir photoshoot makeup & hair for her significant other, (now husband). Instantly I knew Knoxy and I would get along smashingly. Our busy schedules cause us to miss each other more often, but whenever she calls me up for my services, I always know I'm in for a treat. Which brings me to the photo above. (Knoxy is famous for her instagram iphone photos, as well as her professional camera portraits.) I was touching up the mavens Mary & Ali of STRANGE FRUIT PR, when Knoxy snapped the photo above. They are a wonderful pair of partners that own the Austin based company, Strange Fruit PR. I know big things will be sure to come from those talented ladies! The set was designed by Strange Fruit, Knoxy and her fabulous assistant Christina. That day will surely go into the FireMakeup history books of fun, adventure filled shoots! The finished product has yet to come out. Be sure to check their websites for the images! CLICK HERE to contact Knox Photographics.
Jessi Pagel is a makeup and hair artist working in commercial, lifestyle, corporate, editorial, tv and live events. This blog has everything from how-to's to the adventures of her life and works in progress.