Teacher's Guide Series: Costumes and Makeup

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About the Academy and Its Awards

The first Academy Awards® were handed out on May 16, 1929, not long after the advent of sound films. By 1930, enthusiasm for the ceremonies was so great that a Los Angeles radio station did a live, one-hour broadcast, and the Awards have enjoyed broadcast coverage ever since. The number and types of awards have grown and changed over the years to keep up with developments within the motion picture industry. Awards of Merit— Oscars®—are presented in each (or in subdivisions) of the following categories: acting, animation, art direction, cinematography, costume design, directing, documentary films, film editing, foreign language film, makeup, music, best picture, short films, sound, visual effects, and writing. In an age when awards shows seem as common as nightly news programs, the Academy Awards presentation is unique because the judges—the approximately 6,000 voting Academy members—are top filmmakers from around the world. The question “Who gets the Oscar?” is decided by a true jury of peers.

While the Academy Awards provides a wonderful opportunity to teach your students about the many craft areas and the many communications techniques that play a part in creating a motion picture, it is only one of many programs and events sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. For more information, visit our Web site, www.oscars.org.

Filmmaking is by nature a collaborative process, with each creative area supporting the story and its depiction. Because our space is limited, this kit focuses on the art of makeup and costume design. Other kits can be downloaded from www.oscars.org/education-outreach/teachersguide/index.html.

Selecting Films for Student Viewing

Students may select the films they wish to view for the following activities, or you may wish to suggest films that are appropriate.

The following films have been nominated for the Academy Award for Costume Design, are available on DVD, and may be suitable for your students: (• indicates winners): • All That Jazz (1979); The Addams Family (1991); Malcolm X (1992); Beloved (1998); Sleepy Hollow (1999); Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000); 102 Dalmatians (2000); Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001); Seabiscuit (2003); • The Aviator (2004); Troy (2004); Ray (2004); Pride & Prejudice (2005); Walk the Line (2005); Dreamgirls (2006); • Marie Antoinette (2006); The Devil Wears Prada (2006).

The following films have been nominated for the Academy Award for Makeup, are available on DVD, and may be suitable for your students (■ indicates winners): ■ An American Werewolf in London (1981); ■ Mask (1985); ■ The Fly (1986); ■ Harry and the Hendersons (1987); ■ Beetlejuice (1988); Edward Scissorhands (1990); ■ Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country (1991); ■ Mrs. Doubtfire (1993); Ghosts of Mississippi (1996); ■ Men in Black (1997); Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999); A Beautiful Mind (2001); Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003); ■ The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005); Cinderella Man (2005); Click (2006); ■ Pan’s Labyrinth (2006).

These features have been nominated for both Costume Design and Makeup, are available on DVD and may be appropriate for your students (• indicates Costume Design winners; ■ indicates Makeup winners): • Gandhi (1982); •■ Amadeus (1984); The Color Purple (1985); Coming to America (1988); The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989); • Cyrano de Bergerac (1990); ■ Dick Tracy (1990); •■ Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992); ■ Braveheart (1995); • Titanic (1997); ■ Elizabeth (1998); • Shakespeare in Love (1998); •■ Topsy-Turvy (1999); ■ Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000); • Moulin Rouge (2001);
Frida (2002); •■ The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003); Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003); ■ Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004).

For a complete list of Academy Award winners and nominees, visit www.oscars.org.

PDF Downloads

Costumes and Makeup Activities Guide (PDF)

Activity 1: Costumes: Telling the Story

Activity 2: Costumes: Creating Characters

Activity 3: Costumes: Painting the Frame

Activity 4: Learning from the Best

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