An Industry Interview with: Paige Badenoch

Paige badenoch

You may remember us talking with hair and makeup artist Paige Badenoch about her new agency back in June. Well, we couldn’t wait to have her back on the blog. Today she talks about working with movie stars and how to get ahead.

Working extensively in the film and tv industry for over two decades, Paige has been an integral part of the makeup and hair department on many projects. She is known for her work on films such as X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), The Chronicles of Narnia (2005), Superman Returns (2006) and most recently Truth (2015), starring Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett. She co-trained with Academy Award winner Peter Frampton and shared her wisdom as head trainer at The Australian Academy of Cinemagraphic Makeup. She now represents a curated selection of seasoned and emerging artists through her new startup The Agency to Makeup Artists.

What is your favourite film and why?

The Wizard of Oz would have to be my all-time favorite movie. Going from a black and white cinematic experience to a magical land of technicolor, meeting colorful characters along the way and following a yellow brick road to see a wizard in the emerald city. Learning valuable life philosophies ticks all the boxes for me and this is a big film that captures the heart and fantasy.

What inspired you to pursue a career in film makeup?

Like many, Rick Baker inspired me to be a film make up artist. Watching the behind the scenes makeup transformations he applied to Michael Jackson in his music video Thriller was completely mesmerising to me.

How did you get started and get your foot in the door?

It all started with my make up mentor and educator, the Oscar-winning Peter Frampton. His wise words were always chanting in my head.

“The phone won’t ring and it won’t come to you, you need to find it yourself.”

I woke up one morning not long after I had finished my makeup course with a tip-off that a film was shooting near Byron Bay and there were star wagon vans everywhere. I jumped in the car, drove to the unit base and managed to hand my resume into the make-up department. Impressed with my determination they offered me paid work the following day. It all started from that day.

What’s the holy grail product you have to have in your kit?

At the moment it’s my Stila 3 in 1 primer corrector. Good makeup always starts with skin prep, and these 3 colours neutralize uneven skin tones and redness so well. It’s my go-to.

Tell us about one of your favourite film jobs that you’ve worked on?

Peter Pan (2003) was the longest film project I have worked on, shooting for almost 12 months. It was a blast getting to make up 18th-century characters, mermaids, pirates, fairies, Indians and more. The sets were amazing, especially considering it was all filmed at Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast and the cinematography by Don McAlpine was beautiful. I made life-long friends on that shoot.

Tell us the most rewarding moment of your career so far?

The most rewarding moment was working on the US feature film Truth (2015) and having the privilege of overseeing Robert Redford and Elisabeth Moss under the makeup design direction of Nikki Gooley while also getting to work with Cate Blanchett. They are true masters of the silver screen and it was an honour to work with such an A-list cast. Working together on a film with such strong controversial views, I had many pinch-myself moments along the way.

What is your advice for artists entering the film industry?

Like most creative industries, it’s a love job. You need to be prepared for the highs and lows and see the industry for what it is. We are all chasing the dream and trying to support ourselves along the way. We all worry about where we will be tomorrow. Network your community first, and project the right mindset and confidence. How you carry yourself on projects with others, especially in business. Love yourself and be realistic about your career path. Don’t give up. Keep growing and learning as an artist. Work hard and challenge yourself. There might be a lot of unpaid hours at the start but it will happen in the end if you work hard.

What are your plans for the future?

I am in the process of launching a representing agency in Australia. The Agency to Makeup Artists has been created to fill a niche market in the Australian Creative Industry. I want to represent emerging and professional makeup artists.