Costume Musings

Becoming Alfred Hitchcock: Toby Jones’s four-hour makeup process – timelapse video

For the upcoming TV movie The Girl, actor Toby Jones had to don prosthetics and a fat suit in order to play the British director Alfred Hitchcock in a drama about his troubled relationship with Tippi Hedren, played by Sienna Miller. Here’s some accelerated footage of the four-hour preparation process Jones endured to get in character every day http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/video/2012/dec/09/alfred-hitchcock-toby-jones-video-girl

Toby Jones as Alfred Hitchcock

 The Makeup

A multitude of applications are made throughout the process of transforming Jones to Hitchcock. Silicone, adhesives, tints, cosmetic gels, powders, and so on.

One of the products used in the above video is an alcohol activated makeup. Alcohol activated makeup (or AA makeup for short) is a newer category of makeup that uses a special polymer base which readily dissolves in alcohol, but not in water. AA makeup is an extremely valuable tool in effects cosmetics. It’s staying power is nearly unparallelled on skin. If needed, makeup can remain in tact for days. It is completely waterproof making it ideal for aquatic makeup or scenes shot in the rain. It is highly opaque to the level that it is beginning to see regular use as a concealer; replacing thicker heavier oil-based makeups. It applies very thin. It is flexible, allowing the makeup to resist cracking. It blends simply by redissolving already applied makeup with additional alcohol. A few grams of makeup base can last for years of professional makeup applications.

Alcohol activated makeup is most commonly supplied as a dry cake in a pallet or makeup pan. 99% alcohol must be purchased to activate the product. Lower concentrations of alcohol, such as 93% are ineffective at dissolving the makeup. Though rarely kept in stock, 99% alcohol may be special ordered from a local retail pharmacy. Aditionally, there is exists BIC Activator which is made specifically for use with Alcohol activated makeup and has a reduced odor.

AA makeup may be applied by brush dipped in alcohol, or the product may be entirely dissolved into alcohol and loaded into an airbrush. Urethane foam wedge sponges are not as recommended as a large amount of makeup can go to waste in the center of the sponge.

AA Makeup can be removed with additional alcohol, soap and water, or any of a wide array of makeup removers. Overuse of alcohol as a makeup remover is not particularly recommended, as it can cause excessive drying of the skin.


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