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The Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylist Guild Awards

Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylist Guild Awards

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On a weekend that is typically associated with Valentine's Day, the Make-Up and Hair Stylist Guild threw a star studded party in the form of the Make-Up and Hair Stylist Guild Awards. Paramount Studios played host to the event on the night of February 15th that was meant to celebrate and reward make-up artists and hair stylists for their contributions to motion pictures, television, commercials and stage shows.

Johnny Depp accepting his Distinguished Artisan Award.
Oscar Benjamin
The iconic water tower of Paramount Pictures
Oscar Benjamin

In an industry that many cynics claim that there are already too many awards given for anything and everything, this particular awards show was a stunning rebuke on why these ceremonies are necessary for a business that sometimes values the bottom line over artistry! The often unsung heroes of the entertainment business are those that alter the looks of the leading actor or actress. These dedicated artisans will inevitably report to a set earlier than the rest of the crew so they can prep up their alginate and often are the last to leave because they are on stand by for spot touch up work as filming continues throughout the day and night.

If there is a common denominator in all awards ceremonies in the entertainment business it is that of the red carpet photo opportunity celebrity press shoot. Many awards ceremony presentation shows pride themselves on the celebrity talent that they are able to cajole into walking upon their carpets. The Make-Up and Hair Stylist Guild awards presented an impressive array of A-list talent from both ends of the camera. Walking the carpet, photographers were presented with the opportunity to scream at and photograph stars such as Jane Lynch(Glee), Kat Graham(The Vampire Diaries), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje(Pmpeii) and veteran make-up artist, Rick Baker(Men in Black 3).

The red carpet star parade lasted for an estimated one and half hours with many of the stars being interviewed at the final portion of the carpet, the opportunity to explore the historic Paramount Pictures was too irresistible for this columnist to pass. There is a palpable atmosphere of history that drifts through the lot like a low lying fog that one usually encounters in ​San Francisco, California. The lot is immaculate with strict attention paid to maintaining the greenery that is elegantly placed along the walkways and in front of stage sets. The famous and often photographed Paramount Pictures main entrance gate is awe inspiring and immediately inspires this columnist to indulge in an opportunity for elaborately staged self portraits! It is an historic landmark that transports one through the history of motion pictures.

There was a brief cocktail moment that the nominees, presenters and guests were able to enjoy before the actual show was to begin at approximately eight thirty in the evening. Although there was disappointment that Johnny Depp did not walk the carpet, this columnist was allowed access to the actual show itself which was a rare credential access for these kind of events and I captured his images as he spoke at the show itself. The opportunity to listen, watch and capture the show photographically was an entertaining indulgence of which a printed thank you in this article must be given to Cheri Warner of Weissman/Markovitz Communications who professionally handled all media requests and accommodated accordingly.

The show was hosted actor, Tom Arnold who proved to have a fine balance of reverent and irreverent behavior. It was gratifying to see and hear so many speak of how important and necessary make-up and hair artisans are to the industry. One of the nights highlights among so many was listening and seeing veteran and master make-up artist, Rick Baker talk about his connection and love for celebrated make-up artist, Dick Smith. Smith's many amazing and groundbreaking accomplishments have included The Exorcist, Altered States and The Godfather. Rick Baker's emotions overwhelmed him when he spoke of how important he has been to his own celebrated career and how he is concerned for his health which was the explanation to why Dick Smith could not personally accept his Lifetime Achievement award that he was presented with that evening.

It was a night to celebrate achievement in make-up and hair artistry and even the presence of the ever popular actor, Johnny Depp could not upstage this fact. Depp was present to accept his Distinguished Artisan award and candidly spoke of his love for the craft of make-up. He also took the opportunity to poke fun at many of his career choices of which the star studded audience roared with laughter. Depp was genuinely humble as he spoke for an amazing fifteen minutes upon the darkened stage and it was quite evident that the actor truly feels blessed to be in an industry that often celebrates heroism on an epic scale and Depp was able to put a human face on the celebration.

The most baffling mystery of the night is why this celebration is not broadcast! The show is professionally run with a comfortable running time of about two hours and this columnist is convinced it would be a very well watched event. All economic decisions aside on why this show is not broadcast, it would also give fans the opportunity to share in the celebration of the art of transforming a human being convincingly and for that reason alone-this show should be broadcast! Congratulations to all the winners and nominees on what proved to be an exceptionally brilliant celebration of the sometimes little noticed craft of the make-up and hair artisan!

WINNERS FOR THE MAKE-UP ARTISTS AND HAIR STYLISTS GUILD AWARDS:

FEATURE LENGTH MOTION PICTURE (FEATURE FILMS)

BEST CONTEMPORARY HAIR STYLING:
Lee Daniels’ The Butler
Candace Neal
Robert Stevenson

BEST CONTEMPORARY MAKE-UP:
Prisoners
Donald Mowat
Pamela Westmore

BEST PERIOD AND/OR CHARACTER HAIR STYLING:
American Hustle
Kathrine Gordon
Michelle Johnson

BEST PERIOD AND/OR CHARACTER MAKE-UP:
Dallas Buyers Club
Robin Mathews

BEST SPECIAL MAKE-UP EFFECTS:
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
Stephen Prouty
Tony Gardner

TELEVISION and NEW MEDIA SERIES (Episodic Television)

BEST CONTEMPORARY HAIR STYLING:
The Voice
Shawn Finch
Jerilynn Stephens

BEST CONTEMPORARY MAKE-UP:
Breaking Bad
Tarra Day
Steve LaPorte

BEST PERIOD AND/OR CHARACTER HAIR STYLING:
Vikings
Dee Corcoran

BEST PERIOD AND/OR CHARACTER MAKE-UP:
Boardwalk Empire
Michele Paris

BEST SPECIAL MAKE-UP EFFECTS:
The Walking Dead
Greg Nicotero
Jake Garber

TELEVISION MINI-SERIES or MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION (M.O.W) – CABLE NETWORK/M.O.W.s

BEST PERIOD AND/OR CHARACTER HAIR STYLING:
Behind the Candelabra
Marie Larkin
Yvette Stone

BEST PERIOD AND/OR CHARACTER MAKE-UP:
Behind the Candelabra
Kate Biscoe
Deborah Rutherford
Hiroshi Yada

THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS (LIVE STAGE – LIVE THEATER)

BEST MAKE-UP/HAIR STYLING:
Magic Flute
Darren Jinks
Samantha Wootten
Brandi Strona

COMMERCIALS

BEST CONTEMPOARARY MAKE-UP:
Wash the Day Away (Delta)
Tyson Fountaine
Brian Penikas