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From Romulans to Vulcans; Star Trek XI And The Best Makeup Oscar

From Romulans to Vulcans; Star Trek XI And The Best Makeup Oscar

J.J. Abrams's "Star Trek" was over looked this year for several Oscar Nominations like best picture or director, but it did manage to score a few noms (not the little bunny eating a carrot kind) for Best Achievement in Sound, Best Achievement in Sound Editing, Best Achievement in Visual Effects, and Best Achievement in Makeup.

The Oscar nominated team responsible for Star Trek's fantastic Vulcans, Romulans, and other creatures consisted of Barney Burman, Mindy Hall, and Joel Harlow.  In a recent interview Mindy Hall recalls the task of convincing Zachary Quinto and Eric Bana, among others, to shave their heads and eyebrows.

"It took a little bit of negotiating with casting," Says Hall. "Our characters had to look as organic, as real as possible. We were working with really tight closeups and we couldn't hide behind the lighting so, we had to be very precise. Doing eyebrow covers wasn't an option. Even a slight cover can alter the bone structure."

Apparently all of the prosthetics were made on set in their own makeshift lab.

"We sculpted all the appliances -- the ears, all the Romulans' foreheads," she explains. "These seamless molds were developed by (prosthetic makeup supervisor) Joel Harlow, and 'Star Trek' is the first film to use this almost three-dimensional process."

Commanding as few as 20 and as many as 70 makeup artists at a time, Mindy ran an assembly line for Vulcans and Romulans.

"The makeup artists were their own city," says Hall. "Two artists and a hairdresser could turn out a Vulcan in 1 1/2 to two hours, with one artist putting on ears, another doing the face and another laying the hair. A single Romulan was a two- to 2 1/2-hour application for three makeup artists."

One key aspect of her job was to make sure the prosthetics didn't end up in the wrong hands or on auction sites like Ebay.

"We insisted that everyone have scissors at their station when they did the removals," Hall says. "We had to make sure those pieces weren't going anywhere."

Watch the 82nd Annual Academy Awards March 7th, 2010 to see if Star Trek will pick up an Oscar.

(quote source Variety)

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