Local 706 - The Artisan

Fall 2016

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38 For Nat Turner's visions and a scene with African elders, an 'earth' clay (developed by a friend and colleague, John Blake) was employed. Nate would end up being covered from head to toe. His younger self (actor Tony Espinoza) would also be covered from head to toe, but with iridescent shades of green and blue powders that I had pre-mixed and had to glue to the poor kid's entire body due to the heat and humidity. As fate would have it, it actually rained the evening we had all these clay-covered elders, clay-covered Nate, and blue- and green-covered Tony working. Every production assistant, costumer and assistant director were employed to hold umbrellas while team make-up stayed in touchup mode. Date: June 14, 2015 Subject: A fi nal note … … I will be leaving with a dream realized. I owe so much of that to you all. You've given me the very best of you, day in and day out—and the quality and heart of our fi lm is living proof. I've done a few fi lms in my career, and can say without hesitation, this is the best experience I've ever had. Words will never be able to properly articulate the apprecia- tion my heart holds for you all. As much as I've said it before, I'll say it again. Thank you. With brimming gratitude, Nate Nate said two things to me very early on that helped me to justify having my hands in nearly everything that came out of the Make-up Department … "Trust me" and "I trust you." I know that Nate was counting on me like no other director ever had before. It is my prayer that he was never let down or disappointed. Since he very graciously gave me his blessing to use the emails he sent to all of us before, during and after our incredible journey; I'm guessing he isn't let down at all. I personally have never been so proud, not just of the work that was carried out, but of the story and message. Being a history buff, I am a little ashamed that I did not know this true story. Nate did not fl inch. It's all true. The story of a God-fearing and confl icted slave who had very real visions. And saw that all human beings were and shall always be … EQUAL. And that this God-given right was worth fi ghting for. Date: June 28, 2015 (a week after we have wrapped) Subject: On my mind … … Wherever you are and whatever you're doing, know you're not out of mind. There's a young director out there still singing your praises and sending positive energy your way. May the Lord continue to bless you all!!! Nate The Birth of a Nation, shot in 27 days, the South in 1831. If you can't tell that it was shot in 2015, then mission accomplished. After all, no one knows what we do unless we don't do it. • of time and money, said we simply could not afford to do another take. As Armie stood ready to slide down the wall yet again, I watched Preston shaking his head 'no' while fi rst AD Dutch and Nate discussed the obvious issue. This is when I made a move that as a make-up artist, this is seldom if ever called for or in any way acceptable. But we were a team after all. I approached Nate and Dutch and asked for permission to give my opinion. Understanding the dilemma (no one was at fault, these things happen) and appreciating Preston's responsibility, I asked Nate if he intended to give the fi lm a pass for digital cleanup. He immediately got it. Tens of thousands of dollars now with an entire crew already in overtime or a couple thousand dollars later to digitally erase the tube. Without a pause, Nate called 'that's a wrap.' Time to clean up Armie. After seeing a press screening of the fi nished fi lm, I saw no evi- dence of the tube in what I know was the hero take. Armie also sold us a sad and confusing death. To my knowledge, no aspect of the work my crew and I did was given any help or cleanup digitally in post. As much as I would like to have seen a few minor things cleaned up, I can recall one par- ticular conversation (of the many) Nate and I had during preproduction. He explained to me that we were depicting some real horrors and ugliness, and that it was okay if what happened while doing so wasn't perfect. I appreciated that he wanted to keep it 'real.' Keep it organic and sloppy if that's how it played out. The death and suffering we were depicting was never and never should be 'well done.' I get that … Penelope Ann Miller was also a character that I was eager to do. She would also appear both younger and as her actual (approximately) age. Although not completely thrilled that I pushed the envelope quite liberally with regards to her 'older' self, she loved what I did to make her look younger!

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