This year at the 41st annual Saturn Awards in Burbank, California, David White and Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou took home the prize for Best Film Make-up for their work on the film Guardians of the Galaxy.
The Saturn Awards are a staple of the film community, giving out honors to Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films that do not always receive the same amount of attention when ceremonies like the Oscars or the Golden Globes give out their awards. Everything from acting and directing, to sound editing and cinematography is honored.
Film makeup is no exception. In the case of films like Guardians of the Galaxy, it was an absolutely integral part of the film and of the cinematic universe that director James Gunn was hoping to create. With a diverse cast of humans, animals, and of course aliens, much of the work of portraying the universe could have been accomplished with cgi. However, Gunn wanted everything to look as real as possible while staying within the panels of the comic book source material for the film.
For the sake of appearing real, this meant completely covering all the actors, many of whom would only appear on stage for a few frames. This meant developing make-up techniques that would last through long days of filming and require minimal upkeep. White and Yianni-Georgiou were able to work with their team to layer their unique product onto the actors and create characters that really stood out.
Up against talented artists from films like Planet of the Apes, The Hobbit:Battle of the Five Armies, and X-Men: Days of Future Past, White and Georgiou’s work on Guardians of the Galaxy stood out as a difficult and vibrantly executed effort that stands as an example for make-up artist across the industry.