How much can make up de-age an actor?
Thanks Thanks:  0
Dislikes Dislikes:  0
+ Add Reply
Results 1 to 30 of 30

Topic: How much can make up de-age an actor?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,961
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default How much can make up de-age an actor?

    I have an actor and really like his talent, and I want to use him for a project. However, he is 60 almost, and the character should be someone who should be in his late 40s maybe, no later.

    Is it possible to get a make up artist, who can pull it off? However, a lot of movies have actors that are too old for the role and people complain that the actor looks too old. For example, people complained about Roger Moore looking too old in his last two Bond movies. So why didn't they just get a make up artist to make him look as young as he did, five Bond movies ago, if that's the case?

    Or is make up, not possible?

    Related Topics:

  2. #2
    Member   scooterwolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    South New Jersey/Philadelphia
    Posts
    51
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Not really possible, but it also greatly depends on the actor and how they look. Today it's done digitally. Look at what they did to Orlando Bloom in the Hobbit movies, or the digital flashback scene with Robert Downy Jr. in Captain America Civil War.

    Maybe re-write your script to fit the actors age. Could be easier and cheaper.

    - Wolf


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,961
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Well the character is suppose to be police sergeant or lieutenant around and he has to be going out, and making arrests, perhaps even using a gun and all that. But is someone in their 60s too old for a cop character to be doing that, since they normally have to be a bit younger?

    As for having to do it digitally, we're not talking about just a couple of scenes here such as Robert Downey Jr, we're talking about a main supporting character here, with lots of scenes.


  4. #4
    Super Moderator   How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? mara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Lakewood, NJ
    Posts
    1,322
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Write in a 1 or 2 sentence explanation of why the character looks older than he actually "is" - hard living (drinking/drugs but since recovered), war experiences, etc.

    Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,961
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Okay thanks. But I feel that the character does not live a hard life. Life has been good for him until this point of crisis, but a tragic or hard past for him just kind of comes off as redundant to the theme of the story. What if I died his hair from grey to brown? Would that help at all, along with some make up?

    I mean I would rather use practical effects that can be achieved in shooting, rather than post production touch ups if possible. People always say that practical effects is better than CGI, so there must be something that can be done.

    Last edited by ironpony; 12-24-2016 at 03:14 PM.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator   How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? mara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Lakewood, NJ
    Posts
    1,322
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Why don't you try it and find out?

    Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,961
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I can try it. I can look for a make up artist as well, and see if there is any that can make an actor look younger. I am just surprised if they can't, since make up is used for such wonderful effects in movies, that I thought it could work, rather than more expensive CGI.


  8. #8
    Pro Member   How much can make up de-age an actor? Mick Scarborough's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Tampa Bay
    Posts
    1,167
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Look for a good actor that fits the age of the written character. Dont make concessions and compromise your story.


  9. #9
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,961
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Yeah but I really want this actor and think he's right for it. There are younger actors but this one is just more right for it, other than the age. But I figure the age is fixable, since movies make actors look different all the time.

    I did some research though and I read it's actually cheaper and less work to make someone look younger through make up than it is through computer effects. Is that true though?

    As for as compromising goes, this is kind of the opposite as to what I have been taught, cause filmmakers make compromises all the time, and I worked under other directors that constantly had to make them. Not the age compromise particularly, but I thought compromising was normal.

    Last edited by ironpony; 12-24-2016 at 10:52 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member   How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? Walter B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Rotterdam area, The Netherlands
    Posts
    485
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    1) Stay away from computer effects to achieve this.
    Why?
    - It takes a lot of time to fix it in a way that looks natural
    - You won't be able to do it yourself in the next 10 years
    - It will slow post so far down the movie might not premiere before your actor dies of old age

    2) If this can be done in camera, that is always better.
    Why?
    - The 2 or 3 hours in makeup make sure every shot that day has an consistent look. (vs spending ours per shot in post.)
    - What you see is what you get.
    - No time wasted in post.
    - However: it will cost you extra money to achieve this.

    3) Ask some good makeup artists.
    Remember this: it is easier to add wrinckels than to fill them.
    I don't know how your actor looks, but older people tend to have 'more skin' in their face: creating wrinckels and hanging.
    Don't forget: not only the face ages, the hands can tell.

    4) Mara has a good point. Some people look older, because they have been through hell. This can be emotional hell: losing a child, witnessing some terrible accident or crime (maybe even the reason he became a cop).
    Don't just dismiss the simple solution, because you 'feel' the MC had an easy life. Explore this idea before dismissing it.

    5) The best option is to cast the actor that fits the part. Or adjust the part to fit the actor.
    You have been worrying about 'the audience' accepting and believing your story. And now you are willing to undermine that concern, because you put your teeth in an actor?
    Besides that: applying such makeup every day will cost you money for no real reason. You are not creating a monster or a hobbit or a movie where the MC has different ages.
    I know it is hard to not use a gifted actor. But you really have to evaluate whether it is worth the cost and effort. Time and money you could use in other ways that do show in the final result.

    6) What if you meet half way? A 50 year old MC? Making the age thing easier and more believable. If you really can't do without that actor.


  11. #11
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,961
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Okay thanks. I can meet halfway maybe, as long as audiences will believe a 50 year old cop kicking down doors and all that, and all that at his age.

    However, make up will still be needed to make him look 50 won't it, since he is around 60 now?

    As for make up costing extra money, don't actors typically wear make up to look good anyways? I thought it was normal for a make up artist do all the actors in a shoot. So since I will have a make up artist to do everyone anyway, won't the make up artist already be being payed, and having to do one actor a little different, won't really make much difference, since the make up artist is already there?

    I also did some research and I read how they used make up to make actors look younger for movies like Mean Girls. So if that's true, than maybe it's achievable? Unfortunately I do not have the luxury of having dozens of actors to choose from and pretty much go with what I can get, which means having to make them look the part, rather than the other way around.

    For example, Christian Bale had to get a lot of muscle for Batman Begins, rather than just hiring an actor who already had muscle, or how Keanu Reeves had to learn martial arts skills for The Matrix, rather than hiring an actor who was already a martial artist. So I thought this was normal.


  12. #12
    Super Moderator   How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? mara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Lakewood, NJ
    Posts
    1,322
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Will audiences believe a 50 year old cop kicking down doors? It depends on what kind of shape he's in. If he's not in great shape, get him to the gym starting NOW.

    Yes, all actors will get some make-up, but you need someone who edges toward special effects make-up to really make the actor look younger as opposed to just good on camera. And it will also take longer each day to do that actor's make-up, so you might need an extra make-up artist.

    Lots of actors play younger than they really are - plenty of 20-somethings playing teens - but the actor needs to be in good shape to make it possible.

    Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

  13. #13
    Senior Member   How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? Walter B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Rotterdam area, The Netherlands
    Posts
    485
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Okay thanks. I can meet halfway maybe, as long as audiences will believe a 50 year old cop kicking down doors and all that, and all that at his age.

    However, make up will still be needed to make him look 50 won't it, since he is around 60 now?

    As for make up costing extra money, don't actors typically wear make up to look good anyways? I thought it was normal for a make up artist do all the actors in a shoot. So since I will have a make up artist to do everyone anyway, won't the make up artist already be being payed, and having to do one actor a little different, won't really make much difference, since the make up artist is already there?

    I also did some research and I read how they used make up to make actors look younger for movies like Mean Girls. So if that's true, than maybe it's achievable? Unfortunately I do not have the luxury of having dozens of actors to choose from and pretty much go with what I can get, which means having to make them look the part, rather than the other way around.
    There is a difference between makeup to prevent shine and make the actors skin look even (or with a blush) and makeup to change the perception of age. Talk to real MUAs about this: they can tell you a lot more about it.

    Look, we don't know how old your actor looks.
    My dad is over sixty, but looks younger. Me and my brothers all look younger than our age. Some people look like their age and some look older than they are.
    If your actor looks younger and you can do the thing with some difficult times in his life, and he is fit enough, you might be able to get away with the actor without extreme makeup solutions.
    BUT WE CAN'T TELL: you know how he looks like.
    Mean girls isn't about a guy in his 40s right?
    Wardrobe styling, hair styling and makeup can transform a young person in her/his 20s look like a teenager, but they need to have the physical look and fitness to make that happen. Most teenagers and 20ers don't wrinkle yet, don't turn grey or bold yet, don't start shrinking yet and don't have old hands yet. There are processes than can go pretty fast between 40 and 60.

    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    For example, Christian Bale had to get a lot of muscle for Batman Begins, rather than just hiring an actor who already had muscle, or how Keanu Reeves had to learn martial arts skills for The Matrix, rather than hiring an actor who was already a martial artist. So I thought this was normal.
    They got paid to train for months to get into the right shape. So they had the luxary of person trainers special diets and regular checkups. Probably even a gym for themselves.
    Did you see Taken? Or The Expendables?
    It can be believable.

    Remember all the talk about writing for what you have access to?
    Now you discover you have an actor you want but not really a fitting role.
    Change the part or change the actor. It is that simple. Changing the actor might take some time, but maybe not so much effort and money as changing the part and making it believable. Only you can tell. At least I hope you can.


  14. #14
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,961
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Okay thanks. The actor has eye bags, and some wrinkles in his neck. I think maybe if we die his hair brown, it will help, or it will just make him look old, cause his face will then look older than his hair. Not sure.

    Plus the actor is interested and it's hard to find good talent that is interested.

    But I was told before that I was being too much of a perfectionist, and that I need to cut corners, and actually get a movie made. Now that I am cutting corners, I am told I need to have everything perfect to begin with. So which is then?

    I was told I need to learn to work with what I have, and now that I am doing that I am told it's not perfect enough, and to go do something else. How am I suppose to make compromises if I am told that I cannot get audiences to accept them?

    Last edited by ironpony; 12-25-2016 at 07:08 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member   How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? Walter B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Rotterdam area, The Netherlands
    Posts
    485
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    We can only tell you what challenges you might face.
    You need to make informed decisions.
    As I said: we have no clue how the actor looks like and you said you didn't feel like adjusting the script.
    You are the only one who can judge whether or not the audience will believe your story.


  16. #16
    Senior Member   How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? Walter B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Rotterdam area, The Netherlands
    Posts
    485
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    You shold ask yourself:
    is adding hours of applying 'special effects' makeup really cutting a corner?
    It might be a way to get things done. That's not the same as cutting corners. It's only avoiding having to cast someone else.
    With the right tweaks this might work perfectly. :)


  17. #17
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,961
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I also feel bad cause not only is he a good actor, but we also became good friends from working together, and I feel like I am cheating him as a friend, since I said he could have it and thought he would be good for it I told him that two years ago when I first started working on the script, but my other friend said he is getting old for the part. So that's a large part of it as well.

    Maybe I can hold auditions for the character with others and see who else shows, and maybe if no one else shows then I may have to resort to the make up solution.

    I also read you can make actors look younger by giving the movie a soft lens look as well, if that works at all.

    Last edited by ironpony; 12-26-2016 at 01:42 AM.

  18. #18
    Pro Member   How much can make up de-age an actor? Mick Scarborough's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Tampa Bay
    Posts
    1,167
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mara View Post
    Will audiences believe a 50 year old cop kicking down doors? It depends on what kind of shape he's in. If he's not in great shape, get him to the gym starting NOW.

    Yes, all actors will get some make-up, but you need someone who edges toward special effects make-up to really make the actor look younger as opposed to just good on camera. And it will also take longer each day to do that actor's make-up, so you might need an extra make-up artist.

    Lots of actors play younger than they really are - plenty of 20-somethings playing teens - but the actor needs to be in good shape to make it possible.
    I'm 50 and can still kick in a door. ;)


  19. #19
    Super Moderator   How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? mara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Lakewood, NJ
    Posts
    1,322
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I'm 50 and can still kick in a door. ;)
    I have no doubts :)

    Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,961
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    There is one idea that was suggested to me by another filmmaker. He said I should shoot the movie in a style with no close up shots, cause it can help to hide the actor's aging, and just shoot him in mastershots as much as I can. Do you think that will help?


  21. #21
    Senior Member   How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? Walter B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Rotterdam area, The Netherlands
    Posts
    485
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    That is silly advice.
    Who said that?
    Ed Woods?*

    *He was working on Plan 9 from outer space while Bela Lugoshi died. He found a 'double': but he had to hide the lower part of his face to make it 'believable'. LOL

    It also sounds like the reverse advice someone gave Steven Seagal: only show extreme closeups from stuntdoubles doing action scenes, so you can go home early.

    I think you got some good advice here to make a decision. You only knows how old the actor looks. And you are the one who needs to ask a MUA about using makeup.


  22. #22
    Pro Member   How much can make up de-age an actor? Mick Scarborough's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Tampa Bay
    Posts
    1,167
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Pony, look at Sons of Anarchy. Clay Morrow was played by Ron Perlman who was 58 years old when the show began. He got in fights and was generally portrayed as a bad ass despite his age. If your actor is good, he can pull off the guise as a bad ass cop at 50.


  23. #23
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,961
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Okay, as long as the audience doesn't think why doesn't this character retire. I mean in The Last Dirty Harry movie, The Dead Pool, a lot of people complained that Eastwood was too old for the role, for example.


  24. #24
    Super Moderator   How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? mara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Lakewood, NJ
    Posts
    1,322
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    That is why you TELL THE AUDIENCE WHY HE DOESN'T WANT TO RETIRE. His work is his life, or he lost the love of his life (death, divorce, whatever), or any reason that works for you. Doesn't need to take more than a sentence or 2 of dialogue to convey the info.

    Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

  25. #25
    Senior Member   How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? Walter B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Rotterdam area, The Netherlands
    Posts
    485
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Okay, as long as the audience doesn't think why doesn't this character retire. I mean in The Last Dirty Harry movie, The Dead Pool, a lot of people complained that Eastwood was too old for the role, for example.
    OMG!
    You've been pointed multiple possible solutions AND you are the only one who knows what the actor looks like.
    And still you are afraid.
    I think this means the actor looks to old?
    We are not saying you should cast him. You did that.
    We can't guarantee the audience's reactions, neither can you, but you are having all the info and you are the one who needs to weigh the options and act to make your movie work.
    By now you should have realised that solving 1 problem can often mean that you have to do multiple things that can cause a chain of 'events' that force you to do some rewriting.

    Mara gave you an elegant solution to explain his age.


  26. #26
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,961
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Yeah I guess so. It's just Mara's idea goes against the theme of the character and the story. The theme is about a good honest cop, who is happy with himself and has had at all going for him but then falls into corruption and tragedy by the end. So because of the theme that I was going for, the character has to start out stress and anxiety free, if that makes sense. But maybe I could still have the cop age poorly and still have the same theme...


  27. #27
    Super Moderator   How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? mara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Lakewood, NJ
    Posts
    1,322
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Then re-cast the role.
    Repeat after me: You cannot have everything.

    Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

  28. #28
    Junior Member   How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? SleepyDogFilms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    28
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Look at Mark Harmon. He is over 65 at this point and still headlining NCIS as a full time field agent. I think an actor's charisma outweighs physical appearance.


  29. #29
    Senior Member   How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? How much can make up de-age an actor? Walter B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Rotterdam area, The Netherlands
    Posts
    485
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyDogFilms View Post
    Look at Mark Harmon. He is over 65 at this point and still headlining NCIS as a full time field agent. I think an actor's charisma outweighs physical appearance.
    Yep.
    And IP keeps asking us to decide while we don't know the looks, shape and charisma of his actor.


  30. #30
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,961
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Actually coming back to this, I was cast in a part of a supporting character in a movie, and on the script the character is 17, and I'm 33. I didn't go audition for that character specifically, but the director got back to me back later and said he wanted me for that character. I told him I was 33 for that part, and he said that that is what the make up department can help with.

    However, later on now, after seeing the premiere of the movie at a film festival and inviting a couple of friends to come along, they said that their is no way I can pass for 17 again realistically, not even with make up on.

    So maybe make up cannot do much good then, when it comes to audience believably. However, perhaps with good storytelling you can still create suspension of disbelief, along with the make up?


+ Add Reply

Tags for this Thread



Contributing Members

Follow us on

Twitter Facebook youtube Twitter