Leslie Shayne Kohn wouldn't let go of Kevin Costner. She pulled him aside for a photo op during a Draft Day wrap party at the Velvet Tango Room, but her husband couldn't get her smartphone to function properly.
The Draft Day star was very gracious. "He said, 'You know, I'll still be here, you don't have to hold onto me all night,' " recalls Kohn, the movie's assistant makeup artist. Then Costner stayed until her husband got the camera working.
Such encounters are the perks of being a makeup artist for film, TV, theater and print for nearly 30 years with clients including President Barack Obama and Ed Asner. But rubbing elbows with celebrities isn't why she got into the business. "I always wanted to be an artist," Kohn says.
The New Jersey native did her own stage makeup for the Shayne Twins, a singing and dancing group she formed with her twin, and landed her first makeup job after moving to Cleveland and marrying her husband.
For Draft Day, Kohn assisted co-head makeup artist Francisco X. Perez, a West Coast industry veteran, on everyday looks for the cast. She also spent long days preparing extras, including hundreds of Cleveland Browns and Seattle Seahawks fans. For the game day scene, she had only 10 minutes to apply face paint as each extra filed through a line underneath FirstEnergy Stadium. "We were rushing person to person," she recalls. Still Draft Day remains her favorite film gig because of the tight-knit crew and the subject. "You have a sense of pride," she says.
Paint By Numbers
Step One: Using a white eyeliner pencil, draw a V on the forehead by sketching diagonal lines that extend between your eyebrows. Connect the lines with a horizontal line across the bridge of the nose. Draw a smaller V inside the larger V and outline the edge of the bottom lip. Switch to a synthetic makeup brush to fill the space above the V with brown face paint from a craft store. Use a straightedge makeup brush to fill the V with white face paint. Let dry a few minutes and add second layer of white.
Step Two: Apply orange face paint to rest of the face with a synthetic brush, working from top to bottom. Close eyes and sweep over the top lids. Look to ceiling and cautiously cover bottom lid. Using your hairline as a guide, color the cheeks with a sweeping motion. Look at the ceiling to get underside of the nose. Fill any holes with a dotting motion. Let dry a few minutes. Coat the nose and eyelids again.
Step Three: Use a brush to fill brows with brown paint. Draw 1 1/2-inch-long brown, diagonal lines across middle of cheeks. Add a 1/4-inch brown bar under the base of the white V. Switch to a brown pencil to extend the lines from brown bar across the cheeks. Use the brush to fill line with brown paint. Sketch 1/4-inch lines from the corner of lips to bottom of the ears using pencil. Fill the line with brown paint covering top lip. Pucker and fill bottom lip with white paint. Set with translucent powder.
This sweet scene between a young couple looks so natural. But in reality, the art department of The Signal hand-placed the individual dandelions throughout the front lawn of Andrew Osborne Academy in Willoughby.
Art director Inda Blatch-Geib and her crew plucked the yellow flowers from a truck stop where they were filming the night before. In fact, the color is used throughout the film to accentuate the delicateness of Haley (Olivia Cooke), the heroine.
"There's a lightness and a fragileness that's part of who she is — and strength as well," says Blatch-Geib. "Yellow is associated with little accents of things with her throughout the film."
Brought on only four days before filming last June, Akron resident Blatch-Geib scrambled to ensure all the creative aspects of the movie — props, costumes, hair and makeup, set dressings and locations — convey a consistent look.
"All of your choices are a part of the storytelling," she says.
Out June 13, The Signal chronicles a trio of computer whizzes who drive across the country to attend a hacking conference. It was shot in six locations, including Nelson Ledges Quarry Park and the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, over five days.
"It looks amazing," she says. "Tyler does an exceptional job in producing these gems of film that are great storytelling."