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OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

Makeup & Hair
"The characters in 'Oz The Great and Powerful' are fantasy characters, but they're reality-based to some degree. We wanted to make them feel alive and real."
-- Howard Berger, SFX makeup artist

Over 100 characters in "Oz The Great and Powerful" required prosthetic enhancement, so SFX makeup artists Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger were involved in the design and execution of all the specialty characters needed for the film, including the witches, China Girl, Munchkins, Winkies and Tinkers.

Academy Award winner Berger talks about the team's approach to the process: "We had to take the concepts from the book and re-envision them to fit into the world that Sam Raimi was turning into a whole new universe, which needed to be fresh and different, yet familiar."

Berger's crew on Raimi's film, almost three dozen, was a "who's who" of award-winning Hollywood veterans including several OscarĀ® winners and nominees like Steve LaPorte ("Beetlejuice"), Kevin Haney ("Driving Miss Daisy"), Stefan Dupuis (Cronenberg's "The Fly"), Gregory Funk ("The Way Back," "The X-Files"), Ken Diaz ("Mi Familia," "Dad") and Mike Mills ("Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country").

His staff also included a number of Primetime Emmy winners and nominees such as Peter Montagna ("Saturday Night Live"), Garrett Immel ("The Walking Dead"), Craig Reardon ("The X-Files"), Jamie Kelman ("House, M.D.," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), Greg Nelson ("Dad," "Star Trek: Voyager"), Steve Prouty ("Castle," "Earth 2") and BAFTA nominee Toni G (Burton's "Planet of the Apes," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas").

Over the course of the five-month shoot, Berger estimates he and his staff applied over 2500 character makeups, saying, "When you have 40 Munchkins, 30 Winkies and 30 Tinkers playing every single day, it adds up mighty quickly. All those characters are in prosthetic makeups, foam rubber or silicone makeups, which meant cheeks, noses, ears and brow sections for the Munchkins," Berger concludes.

"Stephen R. Hart, an actor from Canada, has a very specific look and voice," Berger notes about how this 6 foot 9 inch performer inspired his designs for the Winkies. "When Sam cast him, I immediately knew we should make the other Winkies feel genetically linked to him. So, we sculpted all the makeups, the prosthetics, to look like Stephen. With all due respect, he just has this ominous face. A very cool, very scary, threatening look. Of course, he's a super nice guy with the deepest voice I've ever heard."

For the Munchkins, Berger liked the fact that the production's extras casting directors chose "a racial mix...the Tinkers as well. We had African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics and Caucasians, which was nice. A very colorful community, which gave us a lot of different faces and complexions to work with."

In tackling the Munchkin makeup, Berger "wanted them to be realistic. They're not comical. They don't have big, goofy teeth or giant ears. They feel earthly and fit within the world of Oz. Their makeup also had to mesh with the fanciful costume designs that Gary Jones came up with."

"The Munchkins and Tinkers were all part of Howard's team," states Berger colleague and makeup department head Vivian Baker, whose own staff, like Berger's, exceeded three dozen Hollywood artists and included such award-winning veterans as Primetime Emmy winners Steven E. Anderson ("Pushing Daisies") and Kunis' personal makeup artist, Tracey Levy (1997's "The Shining" miniseries), two-time BAFTA nominee Judy Chin ("Frida," "Black Swan,") who supervised actress Weisz's makeup), and Franco's personal makeup artist and hair stylist, Nana Fischer ("Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," "The King's Speech").

Baker supervised the makeup (with two-time Oscar winner Yolanda Toussieng handling the hairstyles and wigs) on those folks who played Glinda's Quadlings, Evanora's Emerald City residents and the characters who appear in the film's opening sequence in the Kansas carnival.

Baker and Toussieng used no prosthetics for these characters, instead designing and manufacturing "the facial hair for every individual, hundreds of extras, designing it down to the letter," per Baker. "We spent at least an hour on each and every extra in fitting them and making eyelashes, beards and mustaches for them. It was quite a task and I had an amazing team to do that. We made over 500 sets of lashes for the women in Quadling Land."

To maintain the personality differences between the people under Evanora's rule in the Emerald City and those ruled by Glinda in Quadling Country, Baker explains, "The Quadling women had eyelashes that kept their eyes open, giving them this happy, rosy look. The men had a similar look portrayed in their facial hair, which was always in an upward style and very fun. In Emerald City, those sets were more Deco with harder lines and colors. So, we used hair color that fit in this motif, like deep purples and shades of green. Even some yellow tones. All very subtle."

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