Halloween Makeup Secrets of 'R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour'
Halloween is less than a week away, and The Hub is celebrating with its 'Haunted Hub' programming block - a collection of spooky episodes of current shows and original programming. The centerpiece of 'Haunted Hub' is R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour, a "kid horror" anthology series, and this Saturday it's bringing plenty of scares: six top episodes plus one brand-new installment, starting at 4 PM ET/1 PM PT.
There are plenty of monsters lurking within The Haunting Hour, of course, but what you might not know is how those creepy creatures come to life. Debbie Lelievre [pictured above] is the makeup artist on the show, and she recently pulled back the curtain on her process of transforming men and women into things that definitely aren't human.
For one, she has a lot more work to do than just applying the makeup. "I break down the script and meet with the director and producers to discuss the look of each character," she explained, "[then] I research and design the makeup, which is my favorite part.
"I hire additional makeup artists, set their work schedule and supervise them during production. I get the supplies and try staying within a budget. I'm also primarily responsible for the makeup continuity. Of course, I also make sure to share the work and pick a team that complements one another [with] different strengths."
Once it's time to actually put actors and actresses in the chair and get them ready for their close-up, that presents a whole separate set of challenges, namely the temperature. "For a while I was using gelatin pieces and when an actor sweats, it becomes very difficult to keep the piece in place, as it may melt from the heat," Debbie said. "When you have an extreme close-up at the end of a hot summer day, it becomes a challenge to hide the edges of your prosthetic. I use silicone pieces as much as possible now."
The show is the latest endeavor in a long career for her. "It started with my love for the arts," she explained. "I always wanted to be a painter but also be able to pay the rent; the film industry gave me that opportunity. I went to Blanche Macdonald [Centre, a Canadian makeup college] in 1993 and started keying shows [being the key makeup artist] very quickly on Victoria Island.
"At the time there weren't a lot of makeup artists there and I took the shows not having a lot of experience. I was extremely shy and terrified, but somehow I must have done a good job because I kept getting more work.
"In 2000, I went to the Art of Makeup College in Australia, to learn what people were doing at the other end of the world. I learned a lot and loved every minute of it. When I came back, I moved to Vancouver and started teaching out of kit effects at Blanche Macdonald for a year and a half, which I enjoyed very much. [I've been] back to working in film and TV in Vancouver since then."
What's her favorite piece of work from The Haunting Hour? "I really loved doing a young actor who becomes a marionette," she said. "[I] simply used an old-fashioned rubber mask grease paint palette and the results were as good or even better than spending hours doing prosthetics on him. I was very happy with that one."
You can also get a peek at Debbie's handiwork on the show by checking out a shot from today's all-new episode, "The Weeping Woman," below - it's what the woman that Debbie is working on in the picture at the top of this article looks like after makeup!