I joined IATSE Local 798 as a Boston Makeup Artist to work with famed Director Martin Scorsese on the movie “Shutter Island”. The movie was produced by Paramount Pictures with the location at the abandoned Medfield State with a call time of 5am.
I had to get up at 3am for grooming and transportation. I used a livery service to ensure that I arrived on time. The makeup setup was in one of the abandoned buildings where the male talent was seated. These men were the extras in the scene.
BOSTON MAKEUP ARTIST, VICKI MORGENSTERN, HIRED FOR FILM MAKEUP WORK
It was my first time doing special effects. The goal was to take clean-cut men and transform them into greasy haired with a sallow complexion and looking haggard. I used baby oil through their hair, a paler cool toned foundation, and eyeshadow under their eyes. I was given an outline with the makeup products for the palette so I could use this same disheveled look on every man in this scene. The men changed into "dirty, stained" wardrobes.
Mr. Scorsese frequently had the background extras look as realistic to the scene. The extras gathered in small groups in the scene. The carpenters had broken up the furniture and taken large branches of trees to look like an abandoned hospital. The scene was shot panning over the trees and swerving over the small groups of men to focus on the lead character Leonardo DiCaprio who I saw huddled with Mr. Scorsese.
As a Boston Makeup Artist, I finished all the makeup on time and went outside to view the scene on a monitor. But it was February and lightly snowing, so I returned to the shelter of the makeup room.
At the appointed time, I went to the catering area for lunch. The catering area was down the bottom of the hill. I remember lunch was abundant to fill us up. While at lunch, I learned that the Key Makeup Artist had chosen me as an Additional Makeup Artist to work steadily on the film. It was an honor to be selected, but I already had the movie credit.
BOSTON MAKEUP ARTIST, VICKI MORGENSTERN, BOOKED FOR PERIOD MAKEUP WORK
After several weeks, the Key Makeup Artist selected me to do period work in the North End. The period work was 1950s women with arched eyebrows and blue-red lipsticks. It was time to break out movie makeup artist Julie Hewett's collection of red lipsticks.
The Director was on a high crane so the camera could sweep across the street for the scene. It was thrilling to see Hollywood movie-making at its finest.