As Department head of some of my favourite films I am very excited about this interview, you might not have heard of Kim Greene but you have certainly seen her work. Kim has worked on some of the most iconic films to have come out of Hollywood in the last 20 years such as Anchorman and Superbad. She was Department head on Charlies Angels, 17 Again, You Me and Dupree, Wanderlust and the most recent Judd Appatow hit 'This is 40'. Kim has over 20 years experience in TV and feature film at the highest level and has probably worked with every Hollywood A-lister there is. She is also owner of The Kim Greene Line of bags for pro-artists as well as focusing on beauty education through her other company Greene Street Beauty. I am so thrilled Kim gave me some time to talk about her career, as well as sharing some of her professional tips for everyone.

a snapshot of a 20 year career

MANW: Hi Kim, how did you start your career and what was the progression it took?
KG: I studied radio, tv and film in college with a minor in art and theater at Indiana University and then I moved from Chicago, where I grew up, to Dallas. I was working as a PA at Channel 13 when I saw a makeup artist touching up the newscasters and I remember thinking “I’m artistic. I could do that!”. I went to LA for the summer and studied with Vincent Kehoe* and on my flight back fate would have it that I sat next to a low budget film producer. I ended up working with him on 3 films in the next year and then JFK (directed by Oliver Stone) came to town which I assisted on. Afterwards I moved to LA with my now husband Logan, who was an apprentice editor on JFK, and when I got there I called Ron Berkeley, the Makeup Dept Head from JFK and he ended up being a wonderful mentor to me for a number of years. He taught me the basics not only in the craft but in set etiquette and professionalism, I honestly credit him for so much of my success. He educated me on the path to becoming a Department Head and I soaked up his knowledge like a sponge and followed all his advice.

MANW: You mainly design make-up for feature films, did you ever want to work in fashion or beauty?
KG: I’ve always been a film buff and my dream was to be part of the film and television community, I really enjoy being part of a team of people all working toward the same goal of creating a film. I like designing makeups for actors that have full character arcs and I love the gypsy lifestyle. I like being on sets in the mountains or on the beach or in a cemetery! I just enjoy everything about film and television. Within my genre I get to do fashion, beauty, period, f/x and character makeups, it’s very rewarding.

MANW: Did you ever want to do special effects or period makeup?
KG: I do f/x makeups all the time! On almost every film I do there are f/x from bruising to cuts to bald caps to bullet wounds to facial hair application. I think there is a misconception that f/x makeups are only big monster makeups but we “straight” makeup artists in film and tv are expected to know how to recreate anything that occurs in a person’s life. People get dirty, they get hurt, burned, scarred, they get shot! They get drunk and then hungover. They grow facial hair, they age and they die. There is an art to subtle recreation of reality, it is absolutely ”f/x” makeup and I do it every day at work.

I have also worked on plenty of period pieces. Again, period makeup doesn’t always mean Sixteen Century or 1920’s or that it’s a serious drama. I’ve worked on numerous tv and films that took place in the 1940’s -1990’s (confessions of a Dangerous Mind, King Pin, The Wedding Singer, Anchorman, Riding in Cars with Boys to name a few). The same issues hold true for any period that is not present day, you need to research the time and match the looks that were in at that time. The biggest issues are creating and applying facial hair and running all of your extras through the works in time constraints.

MANW: You have worked on legendary films and with some of the most loved actors of our generation. Can you tell us about some of the stand out moments of your career?
KG: I feel so fortunate to get to work with some of the best craftsmen and artists in the world from crew to cast. I remember once watching Gary Senise in an intense scene with Matt Dillion in a small film I did called Albino Alligator. I was watching the monitor and he was so good and so real that I started to cry. Kevin Spacey, who directed it, came up and whispered in my ear “He’s just acting Kim, it’s not real.” Obviously he was messing with me but I'm sure he was happy that I was so moved.

I also get to work with amazing people from other creative fields. On “Funny People” James Taylor came in to perform for a scene in the film. I grew up on James Taylor’s music and not only did I do his makeup and chat with him but I got to sit 6 feet away and listen to him sing for 2 full days. It brought back wonderful memories from my past and was a unique experience I would never have had if I wasn't in this business.

MANW: You've been in the industry a long time, how do you think it has differed and what advice would you give to new artists starting out?
KG: My company Greene Street Beauty is all about educating and one of our seminars is called “Getting What you Want”. It's a two hour seminar advising new artists but it boils down to these basic steps 1.) Get a clear idea in your mind. Write it down. 2.) Choose it. 100% with all your heart. 3.) Educate yourself. Ask the questions and find out the answers. Prepare for Action by practicing. 4.) Take Action. Whatever it takes. Do it until you succeed. 5.) Continued Growth. Made up of steps 1-4. It seems simple but each step has to be taken seriously and you have to be 100% invested. Most importantly, don't listen to the nay sayers especially if it's you!

MANW: All artists have 'the wish list'; a face they would love to work on or a show or film they would have loved to have worked on? Christina Applegate has always been one of mine. Who or what are yours?
KG: It’s not about a specific actor or project for me. I just want to feel challenged, interested and needed.

MANW: On to the good stuff, what are your tricks for flawless looking skin?
KG: A good cleaning and moisturizing regiment, a really good concealer and foundation.

MANW: What are your top 5 holy grail kit products?
KG: Judith Augusts' Killer Cover, a Beauty Blender, Sigma's flat angled Kabuki brush, La Mer lip balm and The Kim Greene Line bags (of course!)

MANW: What's your best make-up artist tip to give women?
KG: Take a break from being mean to yourself and every once in a while tell yourself 3 things you like about yourself, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Laugh often and surround yourself with positive people.

MANW: Finally, false eyelashes - the longer the better or enough already they look ridiculous?
KG: I love that makeup allows everyday girls and women to express themselves. If crazy long lashes supports that, then I’m in.

You can find out more about Kim, her blog and seminars at GreeneStreetBeauty.com, watch her YouTube makeup tutorials and see her incredible pro-bags for makeup artists at THE Kim Greene Line.

* legendary makeup artist, google him

If you liked this interview and would like to read other leading industry makeup artists stories have a look at the rest of the 'Meet The Artist' series here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...