“Black Panther” has received abundant praise, including for its wide-ranging, multi-dimensional female characters who get to drive the story and don’t just exist to motivate male characters. I echo all those sentiments about warrior Okoye (Danai Gurira), spy Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), scientist Shuri (Letitia Wright) and queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett). But I was just as excited as the end credits rolled to see that Marvel and director Ryan Coogler put their money where their mouth is by hiring women in prominent roles behind the scenes, and I don’t think it’s too early to highlight their accomplishments as worthy awards contenders for 2018.


Friday, 23 February 2018 15:44

Spotlight – Joel Harlow

To create cinematic illusions, you need conjurors. In this series of spotlight interviews, we ask movie magicians what makes them tick. Joel Harlow is a makeup and special effects makeup artist and designer with a career spanning decades. He created 56 unique alien species for Star Trek Beyond and has been Johnny Depp’s makeup artist for many years. Recent screen credits include the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films, Hellboy (2019), The Lone Ranger, Logan, Black Mass and Black Panther.


People aren't just excited for Black Panther, which finally comes out on February 16, because it's a big-budget Marvel film with Michael B. Jordan's abs and Chadwick Boseman's charm. From the moment the trailer surfaced late last year, people of color of all ages took note of the kings, queens, and warriors of Wakanda (a fictional East African nation) that look just like us, with rich brown skin and textured hair.


Eyes may be the windows to the soul, but makeup is the doorway to our superhuman selves. As a young girl, I was intrigued by the gravity and sensuality of my mother doing her hair and makeup for special occasions. Her hands moved across her face and through her tresses with the grace and determination of a sculptor, inspired to capture both the essence of her heritage and conjure her inner heroine.


To say that Marvel's "Black Panther" is one of this year's most anticipated films would be an understatement. Following the star-studded premiere, fans are sure to be flocking to cinemas worldwide on Friday. But before you settle into the cinema seats with your popcorn...


"Black Panther" is a celebration of black culture that both powerfully pays homage to African heritage, while honoring the future through the highly advanced Wakanda, powered by vibranium, an indestructible (and very coveted) metal native to the never-colonized (and hidden) Afrofuturist nation. To help tell T'Challa and Wakanda's stories in such a powerful way, the costume, hair and makeup were designed to create new, never-before-seen, and sure-to-be iconic looks and personas to inspire generations (and sequels) to come.


With the release of Star Trek Beyond in 2016, viewers were given a spectacular visual treat as a whole host of new aliens made their appearance for the first time in the rebooted franchise.

At the heart of the process of bringing these breathtaking intergalactic species to life was Academy Award-winning make-up artist Joel Harlow. Together with his team of amazingly talented creatives, Harlow set to work on creating aliens from over 50 different races for the film and documented the entire creative process for each one in exhaustive detail, from preliminary sketches to final make-up application.

Star Trek Beyond – The Makeup Artistry of Joel Harlow presents the extraordinary work done by Harlow and his crew. Featuring fascinating pencil sketches, stunning concept art and beautiful photography, this visually arresting book gives fans a unique in-depth look into the remarkable work that went into this immensely popular movie.


 Star Trek Beyond, in additon to a whole lot of action, delivered a galaxy of fresh aliens that made their debuts in the rebooted franchise. The man behind those aliens was Oscar-winning makeup artist Joel Harlow, and now he and his work are the subject of an upcoming book titled Star Trek Beyond -- The Makeup Artistry of Joel Harlow, written by Joe Nazzaro and illustrated with countless color illustrations and photographs.


Star Trek Beyond was recognized at the 43rd Annual Saturn Awards for Best Film Makeup during Wednesday night’s ceremony in Burbank, California.

The award was accepted by Monica Huppert and Joel Harlow for the outstanding make-up effects seen in the 2016 film, which starred Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella.


Black Panther is unleashed in the first teaser trailer for the upcoming Marvel movie.

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