Complections graduate Lisa Gustafsson has been making a splash in the make-up industry since graduating second top of her class from the Comprehensive Make-up Artist Program (26 weeks) in 2009. She began her film career in Sweden in 2007, and has since obtained over 15 film credits as key, co-key or first assistant make-up artist. Big names that she has worked with include Jayne Eastwood (Chicago), Art Hindle (Paradise Falls), Neil Crone (Little Mosque), Tony Nappo (SAW franchise) and renowned choreographer Shabba Doo (Michael Jackson’s World Tour, Madonna’s World Tour). This past fall, Lisa keyed her first feature film, Moon Point. When Lisa landed her second job as key make-up artist for the feature film Dead Dreams, she extended a fabulous opportunity to Complections, bringing recent graduate Cassandra Kehren on as her make-up assistant.
Cassandra graduated from the Complete Make-up Artist Program (32 weeks) as one of the top graduates of her class this April 2011. Since leaving Complections, Cassandra has dived head first into the industry, creating victim make-up as part of a team for an episode of a national television show, working on a music video, acting as Second Head of Department for the Miss Canada Universe Pageant finals and more.
“Cassandra was awesome,” Lisa said about her assistant. “A lot of the time, she was watching me, learning how a film shoot works and listening to me describe the applications, but she also had the opportunity to apply the make-up for one of the female characters. She even processed the lead character a couple of times.”
Dead Dreams began shooting on June 6th in Collingwood, Ontario, and was completed on June 16th. The thriller begins when the lead character, played by Corey Sevier, wakes up in a motel room, not remembering how he got there. Events are slowly pieced together through a series of flashbacks, and the details become more gruesome as a series of murders come into the picture.
Lisa was required to apply a variety of make-up looks for Dead Dreams, from natural make-up looks for the male lead to beauty looks for the female characters. Special make-up effects were also heavily used. Scar make-up effects were applied on actor Christian Potenza, a pair of silicon dismembered hands were created, various cuts and bruises were used, and of course, included copious amounts of “blood.”
“What new artists and students will come across is that anything can happen during a shoot day,” Lisa said. “Scenes can be switched around, crossed out or even added. Always be flexible and willing to think fast. In many cases I saw an opportunity on set where it would look better and “make sense” if a character was dirty or had wounds or scars or a different hairstyle. Don’t be afraid to ask the director if you can grab 15 minutes and make that happen. It adds great production value to the film. These are the kind of opportunities you create and it will not go unnoticed!”
Dead Dreams is currently in the editing stages, and has already been selected for the Montreal World Film Festival and the Rogers Super Channel. The film will be out on shelves for the public to rent this fall. Keep an eye out for Lisa, who is set to key two more feature films in the near future.