As soon as the press materials and pictures of the highly anticipated movie, The Meeting was released, one of the talking points of the movie was the ‘’special effect makeup’’ of the stars especially that of Rita Dominic who played the role of Clara Ikemba who was made to look like a woman in her 50s.
Some unsuspecting fans even went as far as believing that Rita must have suddenly aged and her 50 year old look must have been the side effects of years of heavy makeup.
However, the makeup artiste behind the makeup, Jennifer Joe-Alegieuno has opened up on how she was able to achieve the spectacular feat. According to the South Africa trained artiste, turning a diva into Clara was really exciting. According to her:
“I really love creating weird! I actually love creating effects that at first sight you say “eeewww”. The process of aging Rita involved a lot; backaches, early wake up calls, and above all, a detailed understanding of the character which I related to my matron from secondary school’’
Speaking on the challenges, Jennifer said:
Due to the humid atmosphere here in Nigeria, I had to deal with heat causing the skin to sweat and lifting the products used off her face. Also, I had to deal with the fact that special effect supplies are unavailable for purchase here so we were a bit limited and couldn’t really do the build up of character we really wanted.”
Ugo Igbokwe of ‘Make Me’ who worked on the hair said he had to read the script for proper understanding in order to realise the goals of the producer. He said:
“Rita’s character in the film, Clara, is a woman in her 50s; she is not well informed about fashion and style, but likes to dress very fashionably in her own way, thinking she is a high fashion woman in her early thirties. I worked on her look and those of others by reading the script and understanding the characters well before I got to work”
Another makeup artiste, Juliette Okoli who studied Beauty Therapy at Barnet College, London worked on Nse Ikpe Etim and Kate Henshaw to make them more glam than they already are. According to her:
It was Lola Maja-‐Okojevoh who told me about The Meeting. At first I wasn’t too keen but when she told me it was going to be produced by Rita Dominic and Mildred Okwo, I jumped at it. Nse’s character, Bolarinwa being the minister’s girlfriend is expected to look a certain way – up to date in terms of her general appearance. For her makeup I wanted her to look radiant and glowing, so I used a lot of highlighter on her face and collar bones. Her makeup generally was sophisticated and daring.
Basorge Tariah, who plays Professor Akpan, was also easy for me because it involved special effects aging which is an area I also specialize in. I also worked on the lead female Linda Ejiofor (Ejura) and her character had a tomboyish look, simple and down to earth
The movie will be premiered at an elaborate event on Friday, October 19, 2012 with a cross section of celebrities in attendance and will be in cinema the same day.
The Meeting is based on the premise of corporate espionage interwoven with political patronage, bureaucratic red tape, and Cupid’s arrow while in hot pursuit of a ‘meeting’ to secure a government contract.