‘Whodunnit?’Crime Show is Murder on Make-up Artists

Jul 11th, 2013 | By | Category: Make Up News, Uncategorized
‘Whodunnit?’Crime Show is Murder on Make-up Artists
BELOW: The cast of ‘Whodunnit?’ and casualty make-ups
Make-up photos courtesy of John Goodwin 

Posted: Thursday June 20, 2013
John Goodwin

After doing make-up and effects for ABC’s Whodunnit?—which premieres June 23—I must say that working on what the network has dubbed “a murder mystery competition” was as exciting as being one of the contestants!

'Whodunnit?' woundI never really stopped to consider the demands a show like Whodunnit? could make on make-up and hair departments.

These staged deaths required some unusual make-ups, and we only got a few hours’ notice about who we were going to do them on, since we never know who might score the lowest! It might be a man or a woman, large or small. And then, of course, we had to create two murder make-ups at a time: one for the victim when contestants come to view the body, the other for the re-enactment of the crime itself. Some of the contestants had to have stunt doubles, so a complete line of wigs had to be ready for the doubles playing whomever was the next to go. (I don’t know how stunt coordinator Norman Howell was able to get stunt people to match at such short notice, but he did!)'Whodunnit?' wound
Whodunnit? took us back to the days of improvising make-ups out of the kit and the “lab,” which on this set was sometimes just a small room in the house. And, of course, instead of making up actors, we were  making up contestants from all walks of life, which can present its share of challenges since non-actors typically aren’t used to wearing prosthetic make-up and may not hold still during application (and afterward), or may not want to wear the make-up at all.  Luckily, everyone on this show was great about it and actually enjoyed being in some of the more extreme make-ups; we just had to make sure everyone was comfortable.
I’m thankful to have worked with Dee Dee Marcelli, who made up the'Whodunnit?' wound cast, including the maids and the butler, Giles (dedicated actor Gildart Jackson), and also helped out with the “dead” characters. Hairstylist Lynda Walker can find, cut, style and apply a wig faster than someone can get shot through a window. Here we’re sharing some photos of the make-up we did, although we can’t describe them in great detail until the show is over. And speaking of details, remember when you watch the show that details are important.

The nine episodes of Whodunnit? air Sunday evenings on ABC. Check local listings for showtimes. See the commercial for the premiere below.


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