Related News

Home » Feature » Community

Economic crisis mars the magic of makeup

LARISSA Xie has worked as a makeup artist for fashion magazines and television and film crews for 15 years. Now the 33-year-old makeup artist has just found herself in a situation similar to the one that confronted her when she had just entered the industry at 18 - another victim of the financial crisis.

"It was really difficult when the crisis just hit, from last August to the end of the year. Many crews delayed their schedules because of the Olympics, but then, suddenly, it's the financial crisis and many shooting plans had to be canceled because investment was pulled back," says Xie.

An experienced makeup artist, she has been involved in film and television for eight years and has had good partnerships with many producers booking her with constant commissions. Last August, she experienced an enforced six-week break when she could get no work at all °?- something that had never happened for 13 years.

"I'm a workaholic and I accept as many jobs as I can handle. Except for the first two years in the industry, I have never taken more than three weeks off," Xie says.

"After so many years in the industry, I had just started getting confident about receiving frequent work so it felt really bad to go begging for jobs again. And I started being asked for extras that nobody has demanded from me for 10 years."

For almost three months, Xie could only find small jobs like a one-day shoot for a fashion magazine cover, much smaller than film or television work. Her short-term service fee is usually 1,000 yuan (US$146) a day and film shoots are contracted at a confidential lower rate. She started offering a voluntary 10 percent discount last October. Xie doesn't value a major three-month film engagement above a small one-day magazine shoot and she usually accepts both, depending on her schedule. She finds fun in both, but even the small jobs now are more demanding.

For example, new magazines that she has just started working for are not reimbursing her travel expenses while at the same time asking for a discount. On some shoots, Xie has been asked to help the photographer as an assistant, which has never happened to her before.

"They just told me to bear with it. They said they couldn't afford an assistant like before because of the financial crisis," says Xie.

The situation has got better since March for Xie. She has just joined a new crew for a TV drama led by a producer she has previously worked with.

She is making 90 percent of what she used to get, but she feels more comfortable working with acquaintances.

"It's getting better, but still, we've got two fewer makeup artists and assistants in the crew this time and the producer told me it's all due to budget cuts from the investment side."

So Xie has to work even harder, making up in a different way, to cover the newly diminished team.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend