Indian filmmakers lack trust in homegrown make-up artistes and are sometimes even ready to shell out thrice their budget to sign up foreign talent, says Subhash Shinde, who has been working with movie stars — especially in Bollywood — for over two decades.
For several years, Shinde assisted senior make-up artistes and it was in 2005 that he landed an independent project in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Black”. He has since also tried his hand at prosthetics, which he proudly used without any training, in “Mary Kom” and “Sarbjit” — giving Priyanka Chopra and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan dramatic makeovers.
“I am also doing prosthetics for ‘Haseena’ and ‘Mom’. People have started becoming aware that prosthetics are available in India as well,” Shinde, who recently visited Paris for the French European Indian Fashion Week, told IANS.
In the 2009 film “Paa“, Hollywood make-up artiste Christien Tinsley was roped in to lend megastar Amitabh Bachchan his look as a child affected by progeria. Multiple Oscar winning artiste Richard Taylor came on board to use his expertise for Shankar’s Tamil movie “I”. These are just two examples in a list of many instances.
“People (Indian filmmakers) don’t trust Indians only. I feel that they can at least trust us and give us a chance. The budgets for international make-up artistes is three times that is set aside for us Indians… Why’
“If you give us the same budget here, we will deliver better too. But the trust is not there,” said Shinde, who has also worked in the TV, fashion and ad industries apart from his portfolio of 39 film projects in 22 years.
Having primarily worked in the field of glamour make-up for the majority of his career, he says doing prosthetics was a “risk” he took without any formal training. It was by way of observing its nuances and by doing some trials that he learnt it.
Now, through his Subhash Shinde International Academy — which offers courses in Professional Make-up Artistry, Advanced Professional Make-up Artistry, Prosthetics, Professional Hairstyling, Bridal Make-up, Bridal Hairstyling and Personal Make-up — he hopes to share his talent and knowledge about the craft with young aspirants.
“I want to share my talent. There’s no point of keeping it to myself. We do batches of 25 students and I believe it’s a superb career option for those who are serious about it and creative enough,” said Shinde, whose assistants and co-workers also train students at the academy.
He feels newcomers are increasingly getting a chance in the industry as there is demand for “freshness”.
“Also, there is something new to learn from them all the time. Even I get to learn interesting things when my assistants or students come up with something creative,” he said, adding that while “links” may be helpful, “ultimately, if your work is good, people automatically recommend you and you get noticed”.
That apart, Shinde said there is a definite progress in the type of make-up done in Indian films.
“Earlier, there used to be normal make-up with typical cuttings. Nowadays, there’s more interest towards natural make-up and get-ups that match a character. With more real stories coming to cinemas, everything, including the actors’ look and make-up, is changing.
“And as make-up artistes, we go as per a project’s script. We can’t do things on our own.”