Hunger Games make up artist Ve Neill talks creation of the Capitol looks & more

March 30, 2012 | No Comments »
Posted by in Ve Neill

Fearnet recently got the opportunity to talk with famed make up artist Ve Neill about her work on the Hunger Games, Catching Fire and more.

Here’s an excerpt from their interview :

The book describes the Capitol citizens with various skin colorations and plastic surgery to resemble felines, none of which made it into the movie.  Was there a lot of testing to see just how far you should go in the film?

I’ve got to tell you we didn’t have to do too much because we did [the coloring] once and I immediately said, “Oh, no, no, this is not going to fly!” It’s really great to read that stuff but when you actually start seeing it then it’s different from your mind’s eye.  For some of the things, it was just too garish. When you put makeup on to color coat skin it never looks right. Maybe in one of the future books, if they want to start tinting people digitally that might work, but just very faintly. As far as doing it with makeup, it never really reads well and looks like the Hulk, or something. You really have to be careful with things like that. And as far as alterations, like making people look like cats, it wasn’t the story we wanted to tell. All we had to do was make sure that these people were very Imperialistic and outlandish and just over-the-top. We didn’t need to go there with those other things. Plus, it’s very time consuming to do that type of work and we didn’t have that much time to do it. We had upwards of 400 people working some days and it took nine hours just to get [the citizens] into beauty makeup, hair and wardrobe. Turning them into cats just wasn’t an option for us.

Aside from the Capitol looks, you also created the wounds and blood makeup for a PG-13 movie about kids killing kids. Did you inherently know how much pull back you were going to have to do on the gore?

I’m very aware of it because I had just done The Amazing Spider-Man which is also PG-13 and we did a lot of prep work there. I knew the coloring the blood had to be, I knew how much we could do, and what we could do and couldn’t do with the blood. I really knew our limitations ahead of time and it was good that I did because most people don’t know that going into a film if they haven’t actually done it, you know? It winds up getting taken out or they can’t use it so it was good that I had that knowledge going in of what we could see and what we couldn’t see.

[Spoiler alert] In the book, Peeta‘s leg wound is particularly gnarly and he eventually loses it. Was actor Josh Hutcherson’s leg injury makeup more intense at any point because of that plot point? 

No, we never talked about losing the leg. We did do part of a huge wound but we wound up not seeing a lot of it which was fine because I think it was too much. I think they showed just enough of everything to really get the point across of how severe the injury was, along with [Katniss’] burn. I think all of it worked out really well.

Read the entire interview HERE 

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