Saturday, November 18, 2006

My Moustache

Thursday I had my first 'lesson' with Victoria Wood. She has a studio behind her house in Long Beach. I was amazed to realize it doesn't take me any longer to get to Long Beach (1/2 hour) than it does to take Eden to school. Of course, it adds up - 1/2 hour to school, 1/2 hour home, 1/2 hour to LB, 1 hour back to school, 1/2 hour back home. That means I spent 3 hours driving on Thursday!

Anyway, she has a small room with set ups for 3 plus herself. She also has women who sub-contract in their homes. In another room she keeps all her hair. Straight, curly, wavy, every color and everything in between. In another room she has shelves and shelves of head blocks, each customized for her individual clients. The names written on the heads read like the credits from every movie you've ever seen.

First she had 2 of her ventilators show me their techniques. This is a ventilation tool. You will probably have to click on the photo to enlarge it so you can see the teeny tiny hook.

This is what I have to wear to see the hook and the tiny threads of the net that you tie the hairs around.

She continued my lesson by beginning to discuss the techniques used to create the custom caps from nylon netting. I had no idea that netting has a grain and different bias grains. The bias isn't just at a 90 degree line from the length-wise grain. Not only does this make a difference in fitting the cap to the head, it will also be a factor in the way the hair falls. Using the wrong bias grain on a moustache, for instance, will make it so the two sides never lie equally smoothly along the face.

I got really nervous about grain. Imagine doing all the work of ventilating about a gazillion tiny hairs onto a head cap and then the hair doesn't move correctly and the entire film is RUINED! Well, not really ruined, but delayed and you are blacklisted from ever being called by a hairstylist to work on another film because you used an incorrect bias!

While I was there, Sam Jackson's hair stylist came by to discuss Sam's hair needs for his new film. He brought a couple of Vikki's older wigs with him (I'm not sure why). They absolutely blew my mind! One was almost white, but on closer inspection was really very pale grey with little bits of black. It was cropped very short and almost looked like it was felted (a knitterly interpretation) The hairline was complicated and incredible! Even on the head block, it looked absolutely real!

The other was from the film 'Jackie Brown'.

This is an amazing accomplishment because the hair is very thin on the top and sides and you can see his actual scalp coming through. I had no idea how this was accomplished before, but now I know the secret. I am amazed.

This makes knitting a sweater seem like a walk in the park. Will I ever be able to make something like this? Will I be able to see well enough? Am I insane to spend time trying to learn?

My first assignment was to make a moustache. Vikki says a moustache has all the elements of a wig without needing all the ventilating. It has an edge like a hairline and the hairs grow in different directions, just like on head. The color and texture has gradations.

Since I groom my DH's moustache, I am quite familiar with all that. I decided to make a moustache just like his. It took me about 8 hours.

Here is the unused hair - 3 shades. The curl on a moustache is looser than on the head.

Here is my finished moustache before trimming. Can you see the light hairs at the top?

After trimming. By the way, the black outline is a guide and is drawn on the form underneath the net the moustache is made on.

And here it is as if being worn. (I haven't learned what to do with the net edges yet)