Video production crews can have a wide range of resources – it all depends on the time of shoot involved. Just to give you a basic idea, Media Match lists over 300 different positions (collected from IMDB, Wikipedia and skillset.org). As you can see, there are many different skillsets to consider when assembling a production crew. The difference between having a specific crew member or not, can have a huge impact on the video.
One of the most overlooked crew positions is the make-up artist, or “MUA.” At first, you may be thinking “Oh we really don’t need a makeup artist, our employees look great everyday.” My response to this is “Yes, I agree that the employees look great. But, have your employees ever been on camera?”
If you have ever been on a video shoot, you know that there are a lot of moving parts. Setting up lights, positioning cameras, checking audio and going over script are just a few of those moving parts. With all of the gear being brought in and then set up, it leaves a limited amount of time for making sure the talent looks as good as possible. The MUA(s) we use are not just people who can apply powder. We use trained professionals experienced in applying make-up for high-definition (HD) video.
While we are setting up, they can be doing the talent’s hair and make up. Furthermore, while we are shooting they can be prepping the next talent. This keeps the shoot moving and keeps the entire production, on time. Although our Director can point out when the talent has a shine on their nose, or their hair gets some static, that is not his primary job. The Director’s job is to continue the flow of the shoot and be sure we are covering everything discussed in the treatment or script.
A good MUA will establish a comfortable environment for the talent and build a relationship. The artist makes sure the talent is comfortable having product applied and fussing with hair during the shoot. This is really something that no other crew member has the time to do while on set. As the make-up artist deals with the talent, this allows the rest of the crew to concentrate on getting the best looking shots.
In addition to applying make-up, a true artist contributes to the video. A make-up artist has the ability to collaborate with the Director and make suggestions that contribute to the story. A make-up artist also validates wardrobe, checks continuity and strictly focuses on the talent’s appearance. This is all part of the creative process that makes every project unique.
Ultimately, a make-up artist is not just for movies or television. If you are producing a recruitment video or promotional video, you’ll want to consider having a make-up artist included. At the end of the day, you don’t want the CEO to have a shiny forehead or a hair out of place.