Ve Neill is an American makeup artist. She has won three Academy Awards, for the films Beetlejuice, Mrs. Doubtfire and Ed Wood. She has been nominated for eight Oscars in total. Neill serves as a judge on the Syfy original series Face Off which features makeup artists competing for $100,000. Ve Neill has worked on all of the films of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Other notable films she has worked on are Austin Powers in Goldmember, The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Hook, and Edward Scissorhands.
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My short bio: -Native Californian. I have over 30 years experience making movies like The Hunger Games, Mrs. Doubtfire, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Amazing Spider-Man, Pee-Wee's Big Holiday, Galaxy Quest, and Star Trek the Motion Picture. I used to dress rock and roll bands. Got my start as a makeup artist at a science fiction convention. Now i'm sharing my knowledge with curious and and aspiring artists across the country in my Master Class series
My Proof: https://twitter.com/VeNeill/
Thank you guys for all of your questions, these were great. If you've got more questions about my Master Class, go to http://www.veneillmasterclass.com/. See you at the movies!
Have you hired any of the artists from Face Off?
Have any of them stuck out so much that you thought to yourself, "Wow, this person is going to win awards for sure!"?
Yes, I hired Connor on all the Hunger Games, and I've also hired Anthony, Laura, Tate, and Roy. There's a lot of talented people on the show, I'm really excited to see how well they do in the real world.
Do you have a specific make-up you're the most proud of?
Is there a piece that you've done that you weren't particularly pleased with or proud of at the time that actually ended up working in your favor in the long run?
I'm really proud of all of the stuff I got to do with The Hunger Games, but in general, as an artist, all of us at some time in our career say, Oh man, I wish I would've done that! Hindsight is 20/20. especially now that we don't get to do test make-ups as often. All in all, I'm pretty happy with the way every thing has turned out.
I am a huge fan! What was your favourite makeup on Faceoff, and is Glenn always so serious, or is it just for the show? What was your favourite movie to work on?
Glenn is really fun to work with and he's funny, you just don't get to see it :) My last favorite films I got to do were the Hunger Games because we got to do every thing from avant-garde beauty to special makeup effects.
Do you work with DOP's to get the makeup lit properly? Can a fine makeup job be destroyed by the lighting or editing or acting? Has that ever happened to you?
Yes, I do work with DP's often, they can be your best friend on set. Movies are a collaborative effort, a make up can be enhanced by good lighting or effected by poor lighting as well, especially like cross-lighting on prosthetics for example. Acting can affect it too. If the actor isn't feeling the character it's difficult for them to bring the character to life.
I want to start by saying thank you for inspiring an entire generation of makeup artists, myself included. The kids that looked like Edward Scissorhands and realized that they have something special to offer the world.
What made you want to start a Master class?
Is there hope for the master class to become available to people outside the US?
If you could go back and talk to the Ve Neill that was just starting her film journey, what would you say?
I'm competing in IMATS Vancouver Battle of the Brushes Prosthetics competition in July; Do you have any words of encouragement or top secret master class tips you can give me?
I felt like at this point in my career it'd be good to start sharing what I've learned over the years with other artists. I believe that education and training is fundamental for makeup artists today. I wanted to personally share some of the unique experiences I've had on set, and the things I have learned over my 30+ years in the biz, so I started my Master Class Series and am taking it all over the US(for now...:) http://www.veneillmasterclass.com/ so that as many people can get access to it as possible. Just like any other field, be it doctors or teachers, you are only as good as your training.
If I could talk to the Ve that was starting her film journey i'd say go to school! I have told this to many of my assistants over the years when they have asked for my advice. Back when I started we didn't have any makeup schools, so I always encourage people to take advantage of whats out there now.
as for the Battle of the Brushes....don't forget your KY and glitter! You'll sure to need one of the two! :)
Hi, Ve! I wanted you to know how inspirational you are to my 8-year-old, who also goes by Ve. Face Off is her favorite show.
What advice do you have for a younger fan who is interested in makeup?
That's fantastic. My advice to her is take all the art classes she can find in school, learn how to paint, draw, sculpt, because if she decides to choose make up artistry as her career, all of these things will help.
Have you been approached about the possible sequel to Beetlejuice? If not, I'm starting an online petition ;D
Love you, love your work! <3 Thanks for being such a visible and powerful influence to other women in SFX!
I saw an interview with Tim Burton last week and he said he didn't want to do anything until the script was right, so nothing's in the works for now.
Hey Ve thanks for chatting, what was it like working with Robin Williams ?
He was fantastic and loved being in the make up. This one time he (dressed as Mrs. Doubtfire) was standing next to me in downtown San Francisco when someone came up to me and asked, "hey, I hear Robin Williams is filming here, is he on set today?" and I looked at Robin who said nothing and we said "Oh, he's around here somewhere" ;)
What's the most important part of character design that people struggle with?
Functionality, especially if it's a creature. How does it breathe, how does it walk, where does it live, etc.. thats the why and the how of it.
How much is foam latex used in make up these days? Has silicon replaced it?
Foam latex and poly-foam are used for large pieces because they don't weigh as much as silicone. Silicone is not replacing foam latex, but fantastic because it gives the make up a more life-like appearance. It mimics skin, the way light passes through it. You can also skin different foams with silicone to give it the same look.
I am really excited for your master class! As a beginner make-up artist, with no formal training are there certain basic skills one should have knowledge about or be prepared for this class?
No, there are no pre-requisites for my class. Color theory is always helpful when it comes to painting, the rest you will learn. Can't wait to see you.
Were any actors/actresses particularly difficult to work with?
For the most part, I've found that most actors and actresses are great to work with, if anything they just need a little TLC :)
Hi! What's an example of something you consider a "rookie mistake" but see in big budget films all the time?
On film and television one of the mistakes i see the most is too much make up on men and the artist will forget to paint the neck and hands of the actors.