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Review of Wild Indian Interview: Hair and Makeup Department Head Angel Hanes

The critically acclaimed drama Wild Indian, starring Michael Greyeyes, Chaske Spencer, Jesse Eisenberg, and Kate Bosworth, is now available to rent or purchase on streaming platforms. As such, ComingSoon decided to speak with the film’s hair and makeup department head, Angel Hanes, about her role on the production.

Can you describe your position as the hair and makeup department head?

The hair and makeup department head oversees the hair, makeup, and special effects. I developed the looks in advance for each character. I wanted to keep the hair and makeup in Wild Indian very raw and authentic. I wanted each character to feel lived into their role while helping portray either the intensity, sophistication or devastation of the lifestyles they lead.

What is a typical day on set like for you? I imagine you’re up earlier than most preparing the cast for the day’s work.

Yes for sure. Ideally, I’d be on set a little earlier than call time for everyone else to start getting talent ready for set. Sometimes more time depending on the prep time needed for more elaborate looks. I like to arrive early to set up my station, make sure any supplies I’ll need for the day are ready and stocked. Then I’ll grab a coffee while I plan out my day per the call sheet and begin writing any notes for the scenes.

You’ve worked on a number of short films, TV shows, and films. How do you choose which project to sign onto?

When taking on a project, I always want to make sure it adds to my portfolio, adds to my work experience, or compensates me fairly for my expertise and work. Even better when it’s all three. You never know where a project is going to take you or the connections you may make during the process. Before agreeing to a project I like to sift through the script to get an idea of what I can bring to the table. I like to take projects that challenge me or push me as an artist. I also look for projects that allow me the opportunity to put together looks with ideas I’ve been wanting to try based on featured trends and artistic inspiration. I thrive on sides where my work is effortless, timeless, and undone along with sides for bringing out the refined, unique, and bold. I’d love to do more projects that allow me to be intentional about my work while maintaining raw authenticity when collaborating in the story.

You’ve been in the business since 2017. What have you learned during your time in the film industry?

Having been in the business since 2017, I feel I have learned how to push through discomfort to achieve your goals. I have been doing hair since 2013 and one of the biggest things I learned doing hair is that once you are comfortable being uncomfortable, anything is possible. I think putting yourself out there, being vulnerable and confident in yourself and your work, and allowing yourself always room to grow or shift gives you permission to accomplish a vast array of things.

What made you decide to tackle this particular career?

I enjoy filmmaking because I enjoy bringing characters to life that otherwise would just belong on a script. I enjoy telling stories but I also enjoy the creative collaboration that this industry offers.

What drew you to Wild Indian? And how did you approach the production?

Wild Indian drew me in because of the script and cast. I was living in NYC at the time, but when I found out a feature film was being shot in my hometown of Oklahoma City, I immediately jumped on board. I wanted to do everything I could to support the film industry in my home state and now that I reside here it seems like more than a happy accident that I received the call for Wild Indian.

I approached the production with excitement and humble curiosity. Getting to collaborate with Lyle, Michael, Chaske, Phoenix, and Lisa, many others allowed me to explore the native cultural aspects of Wild Indian. One of my favorite special effects moments was Chaske’s Ojibwa tattoos. It was an honor to help capture the essence of these beautiful indigenous souls.

What was the most difficult aspect of this film?

There are threads of physical abuse throughout the film that my team was expected to maintain. Younger Makwa wears prosthetics utilized by my special effects department that help portray the reality of specific child abuse scenarios. Realism is an incredibly important part of this film, which made these scenes difficult to create as well as difficult to watch.

How much direction do you require? Or, how much freedom are you given to do your work?

I require minimal direction. I appreciate open communication with a director to understand the inspiration and goals for the character’s looks. Knowing the timeline, hierarchy, and schedule allows me to be able to do my job seamlessly. When I am given a certain amount of freedom I thrive and enjoy my work. When I understand the collaborative goal and am able to plan out and gather my own inspiration, I can do my best work to provide looks that help best portray the characters.

How different is a film production from TV? At least in terms of your position?

TV and film can be different depending on the film. In terms of my position, TV can be more routine with repeating sets, themes, and looks, whereas film can be more “run and gun” or “one and done.” Basically, you get one chance, the stakes seem higher in film for sure.

What’s next on the schedule for you? What did you learn while working on Wild Indian that you can use on future projects? 

Next on the schedule for me is co-writing and producing a few features and pilots. I am in the process of purchasing a studio to launch an agency and production company in Southwest Oklahoma. I’m passionate about growing the industry in our state.

Wild Indian helped me strengthen my skills as both Hair and Makeup Department Head, it broadened my skills working with indigenous peoples while also teaching me the opportunities Oklahoma has to offer to the growing film community here. I take pride in my work when it showcases something spectacularly out of the norm of traditional film, and Wild Indian is nothing short of that.

Any additional thoughts?

I like to lace the characters’ looks together (sometimes subtle, sometimes bold) to keep a cohesive energy throughout the project. During filming Wild Indian, I heavily utilized Oribe for hairstyling. Two of my favorite Oribe products to use on set are Maxamista for a strong hold as well as great volume and Matte Waves for texture with a velvet finish. A staple in my kit is Maapilim’s Pomade that I used for our gentlemen’s hair and the brand’s All Purpose Oil doubles as a beard oil and hair serum. For my makeup brands, I loved using Kosas mascara and lip tones, Westman Atelier for skin coverage (their line is flawless, I’m in love), and always Sian Richards for special effects.

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