My Foray Into Production
How Being Proactive Changed My Movie Career
People often ask how I made the transition from Makeup Artist for motion pictures to the production side of things. My answer is this: While working as a Second Unit Makeup Artist on the film, The Chase (starring Charlie Sheen), I learned of another movie that was beginning to hire crew. After landing an appointment, I arrived at the production office to find two people, a woman and a man, in different parts of the office, engaged in separate, and intense, phone conversations. The woman motioned for me to have a seat. In less than a minute, another phone started ringing and, when I motioned that I could answer it, she gave me the go-ahead.
Twenty minutes later, I had answered several calls, taken notes, dug through a file to give someone information and poured coffee. When the man (who turned out to be the producer) finished his call, he interviewed and hired me to head the makeup and hair department. Principal photography on his movie, House on Todville Road would begin in seven weeks, so I had time to complete my final week in makeup on The Chase.
- Photo: Third Coast Entertainment
When I arrived home the phone was ringing. it was the woman from the office who told me that the producer wanted to know if I would be interested in being trained to be the production coordinator for House on Todville Road. She told me that they were so impressed with my initiative and willingness to just jump in. I said, “yes” and asked if I could still head the makeup and hair department once production began. He agreed. I completed my work on The Chase and after one day off, began work as Production Coordinator on the new project.
The following year, after much more makeup and progressively responsible production work under my belt, the same producer called and hired me as production manager on his next film, The Dark Dancer (starring Shannon Tweed and Francesco Quinn). This marked the beginning of my road to becoming a producer (though I’m still an industry Makeup Artist). The moral: Answer the phone… even if it’s not yours… Go the extra mile and more…. Abiiba Howell