Tom’s Tattoos

Last night, I was finally watching the first few episodes of Face Off, a new reality show on SyFy.  It focuses on special effects make-up artists.

What in the world does this have to do with Catching Up?

In the second episode, the first challenge the artists were given was to design tattoos for themselves.  The host introduced the challenge by saying that any good makeup artist should be able to create a believable tattoo for the screen, that the design can say so much about the character and reveal things that dialog could not.  (I’m paraphrasing here, the episode is not up on Hulu yet, but I’ll post a link when it is).

I started laughing when she was halfway through her explanation.  I talked about this in my thank you post for our makeup artist, Kelley Coleman, but in Catching Up, Tom’s tattoos are a vital part of his character.  When you see our trailer, the first thing that you will see is a rose design that Kelley painted on Tom’s arm.

She and I had a few long conversations about the different ways she could accomplish the task, and they were all the different ways that the artists on Face Off used to apply their own fake tattoos.  We talked about the designs, even if the tattoos should look like they were done by a skilled artist or not.  We decided on the rose on his forearm, and flames creeping up his neck, which you can almost see in the photo here.  I sadly don’t have any that really show them off, but when you see start to see clips from the film you’ll see what I mean.

It was so much fun for me to watch that first half of the show (though I love the entire show, I adore makeup artists) because I had lived through something so similar.  Sometimes when you watch a reality show, you wonder how those challenges have anything to do with the reality of the profession.  You watch Top Chef and they have them create a dish out of the vending machine, and you think “really?  That’s what makes a top chef?”  But this was a challenge that I can tell you really was presented well, and was something that really is vital to the filmmaking process.  And I personally think Kelley would have aced it.

Photo Courtesy of Katie Neff

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