‘Meet the Experts’ film makeup and hair panel: ‘All Quiet on the Western Front,’ ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,’ ‘Blonde,’ ‘Emancipation’ [Exclusive Video Interview]

How critical to the success of a project is a director’s ability to clearly communicate their vision to the film’s creative department heads? What are the most common challenges experienced on set by the makeup and hair department These were some of the secrets revealed by four top film makeup and hair Oscar contenders when they joined Gold Derby’s special “Meet the Experts” Q&A event with 2023 awards contenders: Heike Merker (“All Quiet on the Western Front”), Camille Friend (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”), Tina Roesler Kerwin (“Blonde”) and Christien Tinsley (“Emancipation”). Watch our fascinating full group roundtable panel above and click on each name above to view each nominee’s individual interview.

SEE dozens of interviews with 2023 awards contenders

“It’s vitally important. I mean, ultimately you want everybody to be able to communicate well, all departments. And it starts with the director,” Tinsley says. “Ultimately we’re there to serve the director’s vision and if the director can’t communicate what he’s looking for in a timely enough manner, of course it makes the whole process more difficult,” he explains. “I agree one hundred percent with what Christien just said. Movies are made in prep and we need time to make movies, make appliances, to make wigs,” Friend concurs. “All of these things take time and people always have to remember what we do is still a handcraft. Everybody is craftsman who we work with. So, all of these things take like so much time and that’s the most beautiful part about it.”

“We’re there to serve their vision,” Roesler Kerwin says. “For Andrew who had been working on trying to do ‘Blonde’ for 10 years, he had a crystal clear vision, which is amazing. It is also unwavering. So you have to meet his expectations and not only his expectations, but also the enormous fan base that Marilyn Monroe has,” she explains. “On ‘All Quiet on the Western Front,’ we had a director who was so approachable and so absolutely kind and lovely to work with,” Merker says about the upside to a director who shares their vision. “here was never a moment when you say ‘oh my God, he’s so stressed and I can’t ask him.’ You could always ask him for everything, so this was a very nice team collaboration with the costume designer, the DP, Edward the director. Honestly a dream to work even in that battlefield.”

“All Quiet on the Western Front” brings to life a young German soldier’s terrifying experiences and distress on the western front during World War I. Prior to the hit Netflix war drama, makeup and hair designer Merker’s career includes “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Crazy Rich Asians,” “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” “Without Remorse” and “The Matrix Resurrections.” In “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” the people of Wakanda fight to protect their home from intervening world powers as they mourn the death of King T’Challa. Hair department head Friend was an Emmy nominee for “3rd Rock from the Sun,” and other projects include “The Help,” “Django Unchained,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay,” “The Hateful Eight” and the original “Black Panther.”

“Blonde” is a fictionalized chronicle of the inner life of pop culture icon Marilyn Monroe. Makeup and hair department head Roesler Kerwin was an Emmy nominee for “Mrs. Harris,”with other projects including “Beginners,” “Lovelace,” “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” “Seberg” and “Top Gun: Maverick.” In “Emancipation,” a runaway enslaved man forges through the swamps of Louisiana on a tortuous journey to escape plantation owners that nearly killed him. Prosthetic makeup artist Tinsley was an Oscar nominee for “The Passion of the Christ” and an Emmy winner for “Behind the Candelabra” and “Westworld.” His other Emmy nominations were for “Nip/Tuck,” “Glee,” “American Horror Story,” “The Normal Heart” and “Olive Kitteridge.”

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