Category Archives: Audio, Video and Film

International Make-up Artist Trade Show makes Atlanta Debut

by Mark Gresham | 22 NOV 2018

Surrounded by artists and their design models, IMATS founder Michael Key (fifth from left) presents awards for a "Battle of the Brushes" competition.

Surrounded by artists and their design models, IMATS founder Michael Key (fifth from left) presents awards for a “Battle of the Brushes” competition.

Boundless enthusiasm, bustling energy and an amazing spectrum of creativity were on display this past weekend at the International Make-up Artist Trade Show (IMATS) downtown at the Georgia World Congress Center, the first time the highly-esteemed trade show has ever been held in Atlanta. IMATS, which takes place in six different major cities world-wide each year, is the make-up world’s largest gathering where artists, manufacturers and educators gather to discuss, display and collect the best the industry has to offer.

With its other shows held in Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto and London, the decision to hold a 2018 show in Atlanta was based largely on the city’s burgeoning reputation as a creative center for film and television, and an eagerness among the region’s growing community of make-up artists for bringing IMATS to what’s often being called the “Hollywood of the South.”

IMATS and Make-up Artist Magazine founder Michael Key, himself an Emmy Award-winning make-up artist, explained the decision in a brief conversation at the trade show on Saturday.

“Why Atlanta? Our organization has a capacity to about six IMATS shows [per year],” says Key. “We had been doing Sydney, Australia from 2009, but travel costs got to be higher and it did not make sense for companies to come overseas. I pressed pause on that and I’d been thinking about Atlanta. Some of my colleagues are moving from Los Angeles, selling their home there, buying here, because there’s more work going on here than there is in LA. My colleagues are telling me they’re booked here for the next two or three years. Atlanta has become an epicenter for film and television work, and there’s a strong ‘beauty’ community here.”

Completed full body paint with headdress created by artist Stephanie Anderson and assistant Ryan Straut. (Model: Diego Serna. Photo credit: Ryan Straut.)

Completed full body paint with headdress created by artist Stephanie Anderson and assistant Ryan Straut. (Model: Diego Serna. Photo credit: Ryan Straut.)

Mr. Key points to a growing number of area make-up artists the public should keep our eyes on. “There’s talent coming to Atlanta, some being raised and groomed in Atlanta,” says Key. Among them, he cites Stephanie Anderson as an Atlanta-based artist who does “some really, really cool work.” Anderson demonstrated doing a full-body paint Saturday on model Diego Serna, assisted by Ryan Straut, over the course of about five hours. On the stage directly behind Anderson’s was Matthew Silva and Jonah Levy, co-owners of Blue Whale Studios, demonstrating the more subtle application of “aging” make-up to model Dondrey Jackson. Focused in special effects make-up, Silva and Levy maintain operations in both Atlanta and Orlando, Florida.

Matt Silva and Jonah Levy demonstrate "aging" make-up on model Dondrey Jackson -- a work in progress, to which a costume was later added. (photo: Mark Gresham)

Matt Silva and Jonah Levy demonstrate “aging” make-up on model Dondrey Jackson — a work in progress, to which a costume was later added. (photo: Mark Gresham)

Another notable area artist is Conor McCullagh, a prosthetics and special effects make-up expert who also creates sculpture and tattoo design. He moved to Atlanta late last year from Charlotte, North Carolina, where he had been based for 13 years.

Conor McCullagh with his "Android" creation: prosthetics, make-up and costume. (Photo: Mark Gresham)

Conor McCullagh with his “Android” creation: prosthetics, make-up and costume. (Photo: Mark Gresham)

“Moving to Atlanta became a necessity for me,” says McCullagh. Available work around Charlotte had dried up but he was getting many offers for gigs in Atlanta. It was only when he began working on Guardians of the Galaxy II that McCullagh seriously considered the move. “I started working at Pinewood Studios [in Fayetteville] and really loved the area. It’s outside of town, it’s beautiful, it’s quiet. You can get around easily. Long story short, I made the move in December of last year. No regrets. I absolutely love it. I’ve been setting up shop for months and work started coming in long before I was finished building the studio. I got it operational and started working, and now I’ve got more work than I can handle.”

It’s not just artists moving here to take advantage of Georgia’s flourishing film and television industry. In breaking news, Make-up Designory, a major make-up arts school with campuses world-wide, has confirmed that they will be opening a school in Atlanta. Word is they were scouting spaces on Friday.

Michael Key founded Make-up Artist Magazine in 1996, and organized the first IMATS show in 1997. His intent for starting the trade show was to promote the magazine. When he sought advice about publishing and growing a trade magazine, he was told to attend trade shows. In doing so, he learned that while the cosmetics and make-up industry generates annual revenues in the multi-billions, the trade shows of the time had a “salon” focus of mostly hair and nails, with little attention to make-up arts. He determined that Make-up Artist Magazine should create a new trade show to fill that void. “None of them really embraced media make-up artists. That’s really who we are,” Key says of IMATS.

Attendees peruse exhibits at IMATS. (photo: Mark Gresham)

Attendees peruse exhibits at IMATS. (photo: Mark Gresham)

In addition to an array of exhibits, demos and educational sessions, one of IMATS’ most engaging events is the “Battle of the Brushes” where pro make-up artists compete, with live models parading their design and execution on stage in front of gathered colleagues and enthusiasts.

Winners in the Character/Prosthetic category, which based on the theme “Victorian Emporium,” were Jo Archer of Vancouver, British Columbia, who took first place; Moona Jin, from South Korea, coming in second and Jordan McKoy from New Brunswick, New Jersey placing third. In the “Wildwood Warrior”-themed Beauty/Fantasy category, first place went to Moona Jin, from South Korea, with second and third places going to Elaina Dilts, of Clarksville, Tennessee and Daria Kruchinina, of Brooklyn, New York.

Key considers “Battle of the Brushes” one of the best ways for artists to do “shortcut” networking and get gig offers, but that having all those different artists working at the same time, under pressure, and having their work seen on stage by colleagues and enthusiasts is great for the art of make-up itself: “What a better way to celebrate it than to come and see it created in front of us?” ■

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra releases Leshnoff CD

NEWS | 19 NOV 2016

ATLANTA, Georgia — On Friday, Nov. 18, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra released its latest recording, entitled Jonathan Leshnoff: Zohar & Symphony No. 2 “Inner Space” — the orchestra’s eighth release on its in-house record label, ASO Media, distributed by Naxos of America.

The recording features the orchestra, chorus, music director Robert Spano, director of choruses Norman Mackenzie, soprano Jessica Rivera and baritone Nmon Ford.

In a press release from the ASO, Leshnoff’s music is described as drawing upon the composer’s “religious faith and belief about music’s unique ability to transport us to places that would otherwise be impossible to go. The authentic Jewish mystical schools outline in great length the spiritual architecture of the universe and its interaction with G-d and mankind. It is within those systems that Leshnoff draws his inspiration. These works are part of Leshnoff’s 10-piece multi-year meta-project which parallels the fundamental building blocks of Jewish spiritual thought.”

The digital release is now available for download on iTunes and the physical release may be ordered online via www.aso.org/asomedia or Amazon.

The ASO Media label is one of the many hallmarks of Robert Spano’s 16-year tenure with the Orchestra, and the production team includes longtime Atlanta Symphony Orchestra collaborators Elaine Martone and Michael Bishop.

To date, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and its recordings have won 27 GRAMMY Awards. •

Review: Sonic Generator revisits the old, brings in the new in Terminal West concert [ArtsATL]

by Mark Gresham | 6 Feb 2015

Violinist Helen Kim with Sonic Generator at Terminal West. (Photo by Mark Gresham)

On Wednesday, high-tech new music ensemble Sonic Generator performed the first concert of their season at Terminal West, the über-hip 7,000-square-foot music and special events …
READ MORE on ArtsATL

Review: Bent Frequency, accordionist Zöllner pay tribute to the new music of Mexico [ArtsATL]

by Mark Gresham | 27 Jan 2015

Guitarist Dieter Hennings was a featured musician. (Concert photos by Dot Paul)

On Saturday night, new music ensemble Bent Frequency performed a concert at Kopleff Recital Hall with three featured guests: composer-conductor Juan Trigos, guitarist Dieter Hennings …
READ MORE on ArtsATL

CD Review: “Sweet Chariot” conveys Atlanta composer Alvin Singleton’s unique musical vision [ArtsATL]

by Mark Gresham | 22 Jul 2014

A younger Singleton with the legendary Leonard Bernstein.

Alvin Singleton’s latest CD, Sweet Chariot, featuring seven works by the Atlanta-based composer, is out this month on Albany Records. It’s the third “portrait” album of …
READ MORE on ArtsATL

Preview: ASO gala to raise money for film documentary on legendary conductor Robert Shaw [ArtsATL]

By Mark Gresham | 8 Nov 2013, ArtsATL

Robert Shaw.

Robert Shaw.

A star-studded assemblage of performers will descend upon Atlanta’s Symphony Hall this Sunday afternoon to perform a gala recital in support of ”Robert Shaw — Man of Many Voices,” a documentary film project about the life, music and legacy of Robert Lawson Shaw, former music director of the Atlanta Symphony… • READ MORE on ArtsATL

CD review: Clarinetist Kenneth Long, saxophonist Jan Berry Baker go far beyond “Nowhere” [ArtsATL]

By Mark Gresham | 10 Sep 2013, ArtsATL

Baker and Long perform at the Goat Farm Arts Center. (Photo by Kish Mir Bubelah Photography)

Baker and Long perform at the Goat Farm Arts Center. (Photo by Kish Mir Bubelah Photography)

Saxophonist Jan Berry Baker and clarinetist Kenneth Long are colleagues on the music faculty at Georgia State University and performers in the new-edge musical ensemble Bent Frequency … • READ MORE on ArtsATL

Preview: Klimchak to debut new CD, “Nostalgia for the Future,” at Balzer Theater concerts [ArtsATL]

By Mark Gresham | 21 Aug 2013, ArtsATL

Klimchak performs on a host of instruments. (Photo by Chris Stack)

Klimchak performs on a host of instruments. (Photo by Chris Stack)

Atlanta’s unique, eclectic multi-instrumentalist Klimchak will release his new CD, “Klimchak Live! Nostalgia for the Future,” at a pair of concerts this Friday and Saturday at the Balzer Theater downtown. This will be the third summer that he has performed at Balzer, presented by Theatrical Outfit, … • READ MORE on ArtsATL

News: Online campaign quickly funds project to digitize ASO archives; new Steinway arrives [ArtsATL]

By Mark Gresham | 12 Jul 2013, ArtsATL

Bob Scarr, the archives program manager, amid some of the 250 boxes in the ASO archives.

Bob Scarr, the archives program manager, amid some of the 250 boxes in the ASO archives.

Just over a week ago, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra launched a Kickstarter fund-raising campaign with a goal of $5,000 to catalog, research and digitize video and audio tapes, photographs and printed materials from the orchestra’s 68-year history now residing in its archives. … • READ MORE on ArtsATL

ASO preview: “Opera of the 21st century”? Orchestra to perform “Final Fantasy” video game score [ArtsATL]

By Mark Gresham | 7 Jun 2013, ArtsATL

(Image ©2009, 2010 SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD.  All Rights Reserved.  CHARACTER DESIGN: TETSUYA NOMURA)

(Image ©2009, 2010 SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved. CHARACTER DESIGN: TETSUYA NOMURA)

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will make one of its very occasional forays into the world of multimedia when it performs music from the popular role-playing video game “Final Fantasy” tonight and Saturday in Symphony Hall. Guest conductor Arnie Roth will lead the orchestra in the score by composer Nobuo Uematsu, with guest vocalist Susan Calloway, known for her renditions of songs in “Final Fantasy” soundtracks. … • READ MORE on ArtsATL