By Katie Chambers
This week, we continue to reminisce about Designing Women’s past with photos, videos and anecdotes here on the NYWIFT blog while we gear up for this year’s event on June 13th! Now in its 17th year, Designing Women, co-presented by Variety, has become a staple of the NYC entertainment industry’s spring calendar, celebrating the creative alchemy of design, character and story…
In 2004, four years after NYWIFT began honoring costume designers at what was then called Designing Hollywood, we added a category for makeup artists to the mix. We began paying tribute to the subtle artistry of designing an actor’s, well, face – how makeup artists use their tools to catch the light a certain way and portray age, stress, culture and other factors that make a character real, alive and unique.
The very first Designing Hollywood makeup honoree was Naomi Donne. Donne’s TV/Film career started in 1983 when she was a makeup assistant on the TV movie adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse.
What is perhaps most notable about Donne’s long career is its incredible range. After that first job she went on to work on the Jerry Lee Lewis bio pic Great Balls of Fire:
Dennis Quaid in Great Balls of Fire
Followed by the sketch comedy show The Comic Strip Presents, Six Degrees of Separation, Mulholland Falls, Chocolat:
Johnny Depp in Chocolat
Zoolander, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Producers (the 2005 adaptation of the Broadway hit), Shrek the Musical:
Shrek the Musical
and every James Bond film since 2008, starting with Quantum of Solace and including last year’s Spectre:
Daniel Craig in Spectre
Classic early 20th century literary adaptations…romantic comedies…sketch comedy…Wes Anderson indie darlings…James Bond…Shrek…what CAN’T she do?
Beverly Jo Pryor with her longtime agent and friend Susan Wright, who presented the award
Fast forward to 2015, when we honored another artist with impressive range, Beverly Jo Pryor. She has designed such hits as Empire, The Vampire Diaries, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, and Selma, the latter of which posed a particular challenge as she strived to make each actor look as much like their real-life counterpart as possible. Pryor was brought to tears as she accepted her Designing Women award, saying, “This is the most exciting time of my life.” See her heartfelt acceptance speech – and the highlight reel – here:ARVE Error: need id and provider
Next week we honor our next Designing Women makeup artist honoree, Anita Gibson, who has worked on Madea’s Big Happy Family, the HBO movie Confirmation and the Starz series Power. Power star Lela Loren will present the award.
Lela Loren in Power
Join us! Buy your tickets for Designing Women – June 13th at 7 PM at the CUNY Graduate Center. $75 for NYWIFT members; $150 for nonmembers.
And stay tuned to the blog in the coming weeks for our exclusive look back at Designing Women’s 17 year history!
Welcome to the NYWIFT community, Grace-Mary Burega! Grace-Mary is a composer for film, TV, and video games as well as a woodwind multi-instrumentalist on saxophone, clarinet, and flute. Her compositions have been on TV PSAs and in short and feature films, and she has scored over 30 films to date. Grace Notes is her media composing company, specializing in custom music for a variety of projects such as documentary, horror, comedy, animation, and more. Grace-Mary is a recent Masters in Film Scoring graduate of Berklee Online. She is the Secretary of Women in Film and Video of New England and Secretary of the Female Composer Safety League. Grace-Mary spoke to us about her favorite projects, latest game obsessions, and how Women in Film organizations have shaped her career.READ MORE
When NYWIFT Board Member Kathryn O’Kane headed off to direct season two of The World According to Jeff Goldblum for Disney+ it was, in her words, “the worst of times” – the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, before vaccines were available and film production felt particularly dangerous and fraught. But the difficult work paid off, and has led to the best of times! Season two of the docuseries, which follows the beloved quirky actor as he pulls on the thread of a familiar topic to unravel a world of fascinating secrets, has been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special.
We checked in with Kathryn to offer our congratulations, learn more about the filming process, and discuss what’s next for her.
The La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival is a community event bringing together collaborative global creative industry leaders to La Jolla, one of the most beautiful places in California. This location is surrounded by pristine coastline, seaside resorts, wildlife, and birds, adding to the ultimate experience. La Jolla welcomed guests to the 13th annual event this July with open arms, and the awards event sold out once again and received rave reviews by all! Jean Criss shares are the details.READ MORE
Let’s welcome Sheherzad Raza Preisler to NYWIFT! She is a native New Yorker who attended undergrad at Columbia University, where she majored in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African studies and followed the pre-medical track. After an identity crisis, Sheherzad fell in love with all things filmmaking and is now an MFA candidate at Brooklyn College’s Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema. Much of Sheherzad’s work deals with growing up Muslim in post-9/11 America. She spoke to us about her unusual path from pre-med to science writing to filmmaking, how storytelling is innate to her culture, and her post-graduation plans.READ MORE