Life Lessons from Makeup & Hairstyling Nominees

The Oscar contenders share their stories

It’s Oscar Week and we’re sharing lessons every filmmaker can learn from this year’s nominees. Here, the artists behind the films nominated for the Makeup & Hairstyling award discuss their inspiration and their process.

It takes a lifetime of work and dedication to elevate your craft. Few know that better than our nominees for Makeup & Hairstyling. These artists have worked in the world of Harry Potter and the Star Wars universe, for directors including Francis Ford Coppola, David Fincher, James Cameron and Clint Eastwood. But everyone has to start somewhere. So we asked some of them where they began their journeys and if they had words of wisdom for building a career.

What was your first job?

Pamela Goldammer, On-Set Makeup Effects and Prosthetic Supervisor, Border

My first job was on Anatomie 2, and I followed my supervisor to London College of Fashion, where he taught. After one year of university, I became a trainee on Harry Potter, and I never looked back. I’ve been working in my field ever since.

Göran Lundström, Makeup and Prosthetics Designer, Border

I took a night course in theatrical makeup when I was 17. My teacher hired me as an assistant on a commercial. I knew nothing, but he could see I had an eye.

Göran Lundström and Pamela Goldammer of the Oscar-nominated film “Border”

Patricia Dehaney, Hair Department Head, Vice

I was working in a salon when a film came to shoot in my hometown of Cleveland. After I worked on that, I had the opportunity to follow them back to LA to work on another movie, and that got me in the union. I didn’t realize then how important that would be, but of course, it was.

Jessica Brooks, Principal Makeup Artist, Mary Queen of Scots

The Upside of Anger with Kevin Costner. They brought me on for one day, and I ended up staying. It helped that I was like, “Whatever you need, I’m happy to do it!”

Jenny Shircore, Hair and Makeup Designer, Mary Queen of Scots

I started in TV, on a series called Pennies from Heaven with Bob Hoskins.

Makeup & Hairstyling nominees Jessica Brooks, Jenny Shircore and Marc Pilcher, “Mary Queen of Scots”, Greg Cannom, Patricia Dehaney and Kate Biscoe, “Vice” and Pamela Goldammer and Göran Lundström, “Border”

What advice would you give aspiring filmmakers?

Pamela Goldammer, Border

Follow what makes you happiest. Whatever makes you happiest in your heart, keep doing that.

Göran Lundström, Border

Practice and always be working on your technique. Especially when you don’t have formal training, you have to put in the time to develop great technique.

Patricia Dehaney, Vice

Take every job, even if it seems boring or outside what you want to do. You’ll learn something and get better with every job you do. Learn the fundamentals of your trade and practice, practice, practice!

Jessica Brooks, Mary Queen of Scots

Keep up your enthusiasm for your craft and for the people you work with. It can be an incredibly rewarding career if you let it.

Jenny Shircore, Mary Queen of Scots

Keep your eyes open and look at everything. See it for what it is and store it in your memory — you never know when you’ll need it! Always be looking.

We are The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and we champion the power of human imagination.

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