“It was like working on eight movies,” says the makeup artist. Sean Sanson about “Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities” in our recent webchat. his collaborator mike hill adds, “It was, ‘How long do we have to build before the next episode starts?’ We had to come up with a plan.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.
The Netflix anthology series consists of eight episodes, each telling a different horror story. The collection of stories was curated by del Toro, two of which had been written by him. The Oscar-winning filmmaker for “The Shape of Water” (2017) also handpicked the eight directors for the series. All the stories are dark and touch on various moral issues.
Sansom and Hill serve as the series’ key makeup and prosthetics co-directors. For the Emmys they are presenting the sixth installment, ‘Dreams in the Witch House’. It tells the story of a brother trying to connect with his twin sister who died mysteriously when they were children. In his efforts, he confronts the executed witch Keziah Mason. Hill reveals: “She was a fun character. Seeing a creature in all its splendor is extremely satisfying. You can work for weeks on something that you see in the blink of an eye,” Sansom agrees, “She was essentially a main character in the episode, and the character was a great collaboration with other departments. It all has to work together.”
It’s not the first time the couple has worked with del Toro. The two joined the director on numerous projects, including “The Shape of Water” and “Nightmare Alley.” Hill admits, “He just makes you a better artist, because he’s an artist himself. He knows these creatures better than we do. Not that our hands are tied, if we can do better, he’s all for it. What he is really good about is that he has a great eye. If all else fails, you do exactly what he wants and he’ll look great. You could build the scariest mansion in the world, and he’s just going to focus on not enough rust on a pinhead in the corner. It’s just having a great eye.”
In 2009, Sansom won an Emmy for his work on “Grey Gardens.” It reflects that great makeup “is where it allows the actor to act. It is his acting that brings the makeup to life. That’s what it does. It is allowing the actor to do his job.”
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