Principles Of Designing And The Application Of Makeup In Nollywood Production

Project and Seminar Material for Theatre Arts

Principles Of Designing And The Application Of Makeup In Nollywood Production


This study was carried out on principles of designing and the application of makeup in Nollywood production. The place and use of make-up and costumes in play productions go a long way to identify and establish the environment, personalities of the characters and interpret with meaning the ideology of the playwright and the directorial concept without the use of dialogue. Oftentimes, these visual elements are employed unconsciously bearing in mind that they connote the same meaning as in real life and to the people at all times.

These visual elements are expected to reflect the cultural and traditional norms of the locale of the play. They are used to complement the spoken words and reinforce the mental, social and psychological status of the wearers – characters. In recent times, these elements are employed in such a way that the location of the actions are not only contradictory to the personalities of the characters, they are confusing to the viewers, especially those who have taken the audio-visual medium as educator and the video as a school of culture and traditions.

This study though agrees with the fact that the designers must be dynamic, it is out to reflect on the conformity of these basic elements to the overall interpretation and understanding of messages in productions as well as a means of expressing our identity in the pool of universal democracy and creativity.

Table Of Contents

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Certification page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of content

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background to the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Scope of Study
  • 1.4 Methodology of the Study
  • 1.5 Significance of the Study

Chapter Two:

Literature Review

  • 2.1 Functions of Theatrical Costumes and Make-up
  • 2.2 Causes of the New Trends in Nigerian Video Films
  • 2.2.1 Fashionable and Being in Vogue
  • 2.2.2 Creating Personal Identity
  • 2.2.3 Inadequate or lack of training of the designers

Chapter Three:

Theatre; An Art Of Collaboration

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 The triangle; Author-Actor-Audience.
  • 3.3 Designer / Director Relationship
  • 3.4 The Play Text: a Literary Composition that Guides a Performance
  • 3.5 The Performance
  • 3.6 The Costume Designer and the Visual Expressions of the Actor
  • 3.7 The Production Conference
  • 3.8 The Action Chart
  • 3.9 Colour Chart
  • 3.10 Rendering
  • 3.11 The Budget / Finished Costumes
  • 3.12 Costume Parade /Technical Dress Rehearsal

Chapter Four:

Set Design

  • 4.1 Functions of set design
  • 4.2 Processes of designing for film

Chapter Five

Conclusion And Recommendation

  • References

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

The origin of Makeup can be traced to a Greek actor named THESPIS. After this, during the medieval time, European theatre then introduced face paint makeup for the first time. The principles of designing and the application of makeup to Nollywood production is of great importance because Nollywood production usually entails the interpretation of a particular character. Thus, a character for a Nollywood production cannot be properly interpreted without the proper guidelines to the principles of makeup application.

Makeup is a very vital ingredient through which a good Nollywood production could be achieved. Makeup has been said to be the application of certain substances to a character’s body in order to give a proper interpretation of such characters and also enhance the character’s appearance on set. It is on this background that this project work aims to highlight the principles of designing and the application of Makeup to Nollywood productions.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The problem that is evident here is that some makeup artists in Nollywood productions are solely after the application of makeup to a character’s face in a production. Whereas, makeup implies the use of materials to alter the physical features of an actor. Thus, it maybe to add a hunch back or to pad up the buttocks or to enlarge the breast and so on. This they do without taking note of the principles guiding the application of makeup which includes thus; the facial structure, skin tone, skin type and so on.

This however, has been seen in so many movies were the principles guiding makeup application are not carried out effectively.

1.3 Scope of Study

This project is intended to impact positively on the Nigerian home-made videos and especially of Nollywood, as well as to enhance the audience enjoyment and aesthetics of the performance.

Thus, the scope of this study is to focus exclusively on not just the common facial makeup on characters but also the principles of designing and applying makeup to characters in a Nollywood production.

1.4 Methodology of the Study

The methods of research used in this project are literally and historical methods. In the literally method, data{s} will be collected and analyzed. Books, Journals and other published works on this topic will be looked into. Finally, the historical method would entail the origin, development and significance of make-up in Nollywood. This will be analyzed in relation to how it affects the actors, the makeup artist and the audience at large in a production.

1.5 Significance of the Study

This research will be of great benefit to a makeup artist and designer in a film production. The students, who will want to do research in this topic, will also benefit. Thus, this work would serve as a reference material to the students and researchers of this topic. Also, it would be of great importance to the production crew, in order for them to know more on the principles of designing and application.

Chapter Five

Conclusion And Recommendation

This work has tried to look at the current trends of costuming and make-up of our video films with special emphasis on the English version. This does not mean that other language works are completely free from our observations, but because the English version reach out to more audience, especially outside the shores of our country. This is to lay the path for the correction of the erroneous impression that Nigeria home video has nothing positive to offer the viewers and that Africans had no culture until interaction with the colonizers. Although we learnt a lot from the colonizers, they also have a lot to learn from us especially through our home video films that tell the stories of our traditions and culture that attracted and made colonization quit easy for the westerners. The fact that we have a lot to learn from other nations of the world, we should also be prepared to sell to these nations our valued cultures and traditions and not to give the impression that our cultures and traditions are not worth being presented in their totality bearing in mind that we will be seen the way we present ourselves.

It is true that the theatre industry has come of age when we look back to the time of dramatic presentation on stage and recording into video films in Nigeria, yet a lot needs to be done by all practitioners. In our bid to go along with the current trends and to modernize our works for relevance and acceptability in the global market, we have to project our cultures and traditions to the buyers in true colour and let them accept us for who we are as we have accepted others. Our works should sell us to the outside world as a people that have influenced by the outside world in a positive way and not one who has nothing to add to the global market in terms of viable cultures. After all, our works are no longer dominated by ritual killings and human sacrifice to gods. It is a collective work that all involved in the making of our video films should be interested in and make positive impact since no man is an island and no man knows it all.

We all need to understand the work of each and everyone involved in the making of our video films. We need to analyze each role in the context of the whole and in totality of our nation as the background environment of the actions. Then, we will come to realize that our stories are quit different from those from the western world and that our environment determines what we wear as a people and come to appreciate our traditional costumes and make-up which combine to make our dressing as our identity that must be cherished and uphold by all.

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