Talking pictures : how they are made and how to appreciate them (1937)

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Talking Pictures Dawn added that a costume with a white yoke often reflects so much light under an actress' chin that the camera does not record the actual shadow, and a dou- ble chin may appear which is not there at all. Properties or parts of settings sometimes create reflec- tions which do strange tricks inside the camera, and impair the planned effect of a make-up. Work stops until cures are found. A dress may need to be remade, or reflections from furniture or mirrors ended by rub- bing putty over the offending object. The most popular feminine screen stars use less than half the make-up for street wear that the average girl or woman does. Norma Shearer contents herself with a dab of lipstick. Joan Crawford uses a bit of powder and very little rouge. The star soon learns the danger of too much make-up, except in deliberate application for a specific character effect. Hair is a most important commodity in any studio make-up department. Two costume pictures, May time and Parnelly in which many hirsute characters took part, required the use of much hair. Some wag has said that the make-up department of the studio had "hair enough to put a beard on the man in the moon; hair enough to make a mattress for an elephant." Wigs and beards require artistry in handling. The artist must study the way the hair lies on the skin of his subject, and then carefully set in his strands to follow these specific curves and dips. A good artificial beard cannot be distinguished from the natural, even in the most severe close-up, but a beard badly applied will betray itself if a few strands run in false directions. [152]