Makeup students have a brush with the world of television

08 February 2017

Hair and media makeup students got a valuable peek into the world of television recently following a visit from Emmerdale’s Head of Makeup, Jess Taylor.

Over 30 students took part in the workshop in which Jess shared her wealth of experience working on the award winning soap opera.

Starting her professional career as an intern at Granada Studios Manchester, Jess has worked on a number of star studded shows such as Stars in their Eyes, before taking up freelance work across the country on sets including Happy Valley, Life on mars, The Village, Vera, Coronation Street, Last Tango in Halifax and Many more.

Now Head Makeup designer on the set of Emmerdale, which was crowned Best Serial Drama at this year’s National Television Awards, Jess manages a team of around 25 makeup artists. Ten of which are full-time staff and fifteen who support on a freelance basis.

Alongside the costume and production designer, part of Jess’ role is to meet with the show’s director on a regular basis to discuss his creative vision for the script. Armed with a detailed overview of how the characters are to be portrayed, Jess and her team work in a busy environment to transform the soap stars so that they are ready for set.

Jess showcased examples of her work from a range of televisions shows, whilst giving students advice on how to be a cut above in this competitive industry.

She commented: “Now is the time to get as much work experience on your CV as possible.
“From finding a Saturday job in a hair and beauty salon to volunteering at an amateur theatre; make time to work with real clients to develop your confidence.
“It’s all about developing those personal skills to deal with tricky customers!” She added.

Jess was joined by Gayle Woodruffe from Northern Film and Media who supports production companies looking to film in the North East.

Responsible for promoting the region to film and TV production companies, she maintains a comprehensive database of information on crew, facilities and locations.

Following a successful stint in the NFM Film and TV Boot camp for many of the students in 2016, she was on the look-out for aspiring freelancers to join the Northern Film and Media database.

“There is a perception that this is a glamorous industry, but in reality it’s long days and can be tiring.” She said.

“That being said, it’s a fantastic career route to go down- and with a skills shortage locally of makeup artists there are even more opportunities!”

Hair and media makeup tutor and coordinator Heather Ferguson thanked the ladies for sharing their knowledge with the students.

“Our Level 2 and 3 Hair and Media Makeup students enjoyed every minute of this workshop and found it so beneficial.

“It’s been a great opportunity to showcase to the aspiring artists the opportunities available locally in this profession, but also the demands and expectations of the job.”

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