Local 706 - The Artisan

Spring 2023

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/1490669

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Page 38 of 51

The wonderful Department Head Make-up Tym Shutchai Buacharern and I were brought on to Nope in the early stages by the producers of the film, with whom Tym and I have both collaborated before. My primary job was to focus on the character of Mary Jo Elliott, played by Sophia Coto, as well as the prosthetic elements for additional characters. From early discussions with Jordan, we came up with a vision of what Mary Jo should look like when audiences first see her after years of multiple reconstructive surgeries and skin grafts, post the chimpanzee attack. After researching attacks, we learned that lips are often the first target on a human's face, so the idea became to create a look of deconstructed soft tissue around the lips to portray an attack of the lower half of Mary Jo's face. The first time Mary Jo's face is shown in this this state, the camera comes in on her from a side angle, which gives an opportunity to showcase the make-up and prosthetics from a unique perspective. In this revealing scene, a flowing, sheer veil hangs from her hat and lifts in the wind which gives an eerie glimpse of her disfigured face in a very beautiful way. In our first session with actress Sophia Coto, we had extensive photographs taken, along with dental casts. I knew I wanted to create an out-of-the-mouth denture rig for her to wear to compress and conceal her own lips. While the denture rig was being created, I crafted a series of designs by referencing just her photos, to provide production an idea of what the final look would be like. Once we had approval on the look, we brought Sophia back in for a scan while wearing the dentures and printed her head, to B Y V I N C E N T V A N D Y K E | M A K E - U P P R O S T H E T I C S D E S I G N E R PROSTHETICS create the positives and explore sculptural design. I wanted to try for a seamless blend of prosthetics onto the gumline of the denture, which posed many issues. The primary issue being that it locked her into the denture rig essentially for the whole day. Because I had researched and had real references of this type of healed injury, I had a vision and really wanted to recreate a fleshy, smooth transition of tissue that marbled right into the wet gum line. The prosthetics we used were full silicone and just two pieces: a main facepiece and a neckpiece, along with the acrylic dentures. I tested her make-up with Tym and we were able to curate a nice beauty treatment in the final result. We tried a few different hat and veil options for the final scene and ultimately got the shot seen in the film. The onset application was brilliantly handled by Mike Mekash. We additionally created the prosthetic for the injured eye of Keith David's character, Otis Haywood Sr. Pieces like this are inherently tricky to make, as the eyeline must look and feel appropriate and not lower than the real eye. With scanning talent, we have the ability to have an open and close eye scan, which helps us immensely in recreating a proper undistorted anatomy of the eye area to align our fake eye as low-profile and cohesive as possible. We created a silicone prosthetic with painted eye injury glaze and punched lashes and a lace brow. We opted for a lace brow to help align the brow perfectly with Keith's own brow, which allowed any small adjustments to still be made after the piece was glued down. Overall, Nope was an extremely rewarding film to work on and I'm quite proud of the work we contributed. • Sophia Coto as Mary Jo

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