The Westmore Family- Film

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Research Paper The Westmore Family of Hollywood FTDM 10123: History of Film 21 October 2011 No family name in the history of Hollywood spans more decades and was involved in more productions than the Westmore’s. The family has had four generations work as make-up artists since George Henry Westmore’s creation of the first make-up department in Hollywood in 1917. The family began their careers right as the film industry in Hollywood was transforming from a novelty into one of the most financially significant aspects in America. George Westmore moved to Los Angeles in 1917 where he got a job at Selig Polyscope Studios. Soon after, he founded the very first make-up and hair department at Metro pictures. Many people found this to be purposeless for that fact that actors applied their own make-up, costumes, and wigs at the time. The techniques that he developed are the same ones that are still in use today. A few months later, he decided to move to Triangle Studios where he supervised the make-up for stars such as Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. Westmore realized and understood that makeup and hair needs were personal to the individual, and used that understanding to excel in the industry. Westmore also contributed greatly to the silent movie era. This era would not have been what it was without Westmores development of make-up effects that took advantage of the craft and art of moviemaking and story telling without audible dialogue. Westmore may not have been the first individual to identify the significance of makeup in silent movies, yet he was the first to use it for his own aspirations. Westmore realized that actors and actresses needed a look that would immediately identify them in the minds of the audience allowing them to stand out from the crowd. This realization was a major mechanism in the creation of the “star system” in Hollywood. Westmore

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