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Christine Allsopp Poster

Biography

Mini Bio (1)

Christine was born in London, England and raised near Pinewood Studios in the village of Farnham Common. Her father was an Architect, Writer, Surveyor and Editor of the Estates Gazette. Her mother was the well-renowned Chief Make-up Artist Connie (Constance) Reeve who, Chiefed the original 'Moulin Rouge 'and 'Beat the Devil' for John Huston and 'The Tales of Hoffmann' for Micky Powell of the Powell/Pressberger Archers team. Her uncles Harold and Gerald Fletcher were also make-up artists. Harold trained Connie, who in the early 50's was the first woman to be trained at Shepperton Studios. Christine's Aunt, (Connie's elder sister) Eileen was also a make-up artist, but more notably Eileen was a painter who exhibited at the Royal Academy of Art. Christine was educated privately at Dair House, Farnham Royal, Brigitine Convent, Windsor and St. Helens and St. Katherine's, Abingdon, after such refined private establishments, upon her parents divorce Christine went to a couple of very forgettable, rough state schools at which she endured some bullying for being well-spoken and POSH, so to fit in and to her mother's horror she quickly learned to affect an Oxfordshire twang and not wear black patent leather shoes! Gleefully leaving after half-hearted 'A' levels in an uninspiring environment, Christine went to a private secretarial college in Cheltenham where she also took Bel Canto singing lessons. Shorthand was a huge mystery for a whole term but to her surprise Christine was nominated at Graduation from the year-long course for a Student of the Year Award in recognition of her perseverance and final grades. After her first and only interview Christine joined Oxford University Press as a secretary in the Educational Books Department and after a short while this included working for the legendary, bemusing and off-beat Chief Editor Ron Heapy of the Children's Books Department. The job was interesting enough, but at OUP unless you had a degree you were going nowhere. One day, the palms of her hands itched and 'switched on' and she knew she had to leave an office world of key clacking and paper shuffling and go to work in film as a make-up artist or possibly Continuity Supervisor. Connie had taken Christine to many sets as a child and in 1963 Christine was cast as Baby Walker in the TV series 'Swallows and Amazons' while Connie Chiefed the make-up - the role offered great childcare. Hardly surprising then that after visits to many sets including 'Cromwell', 'Space 1999', 'The Slipper and the Rose', 'The Bitch' (which included a chat with the Continuity Supervisor Ceri Evans about a career in Continuity), a spell as an extra on 'Barry Lyndon' and in 1981 a visit to the set of 'Clash of the Titans' and Ray Harryhausen's work shop, that Christine was drawn into the film industry, specifically and ultimately into make-up because it was the artistry of make-up that interested and excited her. Her first work was a daily make-up artist doing body make-up on the 1981 version of 'Clash of the Titans', and after other daily work was contracted as Make-up Assistant onto 'The Draughtsman's Contract' to work with Lois Burwell (with whom she is still in touch). Christine then got a job on 'Return of the Jedi' where the legendary Stuart and Graham Freeborn trained her in some of their skills and talents. She also did dailies on 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom' on which she was also trained by Tom Smith ('Gandhi') and other members of the team. When offered 2 jobs at the same time one on 'Greystoke' with Rick Baker to build gorillas or to go onto 'Never Say Never Again' she chose to go with the job that offered working with actors rather than creature building. On 'Never Say Never Again she looked after Klaus Maria Brandauer and did Kim Bassinger's body make-up. She Chiefed her first film 'Party Party' at the age of 22 for Terry Winsor. This film kick-started a lot of young talent. Later Christine worked as make-up assistant with Make-up Chiefs Peter Frampton and Paul Engelen two make-up legends from whom she learned a lot. In 1985 when 2 Chiefs had been fired off 'Full Metal Jacket', Christine got a call to go work on the picture for a couple of days as the remaining assistant Jenny Boost was struggling on her own. After 2 days Stanley asked if Christine would do a bullet hit test and upon seeing her test he asked her to stay which she did in a Co-Chief situation doing Matthew Modine's make-up as well as other cast. Christine has often said that working with Kubrick, the level of concentration and discipline on the set was the most enjoyable experience of her career. When Christine went to say goodbye to Stanley at the end of the contract, he said 'You did a great job'. Other features followed, and her first BAFTA nomination in 1989 but seeing that so many make-up artists (who were also trained in hair), were being let go from the BBC and other major TV studios, Christine realized she needed to learn hair in the long term. Perhaps this was a calculated backwards step, because Christine had excelled only in make-up previously, but it offered her the potential of being able to design the 'whole head'. This in turn would enable the understanding and practical skills needed have a say in 'join-up' in the areas that can often look separated, specifically sideburns in various periods and the balancing of wigs with complexions and brows. Sometimes these and can go awry when Hair and Make-up don't communicate or work closely together. Doing hair also began Christine's passion for naturalistic and convincing hairlines on wigs - especially the challenge she set herself for 'The Falling' for which she designed a huge beehive for Maxine Peake, which was achieved with a wig taking the hair straight back off the lace practically all the way around the hairline without any sign of lace, glue or edge anywhere, even on some very big close ups. Christine has also been very successful in special and casualty effects and has been hired to do work to be shot in macro and to design the Zombie make-up for the BAFTA Award Winning series 'The Fades', which she was asked to do without prosthetics to save time on the shooting day. Christine was nominated for an RTS (Royal Television Society) Award for her work on 'The Fades'. In the early 1990's she invented a very realistic way of doing wounds on black skin, which she ruefully observes a number of recent big pictures could have used - but still - her secret method is still not out and on screen! Perhaps one day soon she'll get the chance to put it on the big screen. She also has a passion for and is widely acknowledged as being excellent at doing facial hair, laid on hair and did the first fully wrapped Sikh beard on British TV. She was also the Designer behind the 2005 TV series 'Casanova' which broke the trend of being 'a slave to the period' having outrageous fun and a fashion twist with it - this predated the Kirsten Dunst 2006 'Marie Antoinette' by a year. Christine is passionate about film and loves being part of a harmonious, dedicated, creative team. She has 3 BAFTA nominations. Outside of make-up Christine has helped one very successful actor on his way by recommending him for a role which he won and which set him off on his stellar career. She also helped find the last tranche of finance for an Independent Feature but sadly did not cut herself in contractually and as a result of trusting to the honorable nature of the Producer concerned lost her finders fee - lesson learned! She subsequently studied at The National Film School attending the short course 'How to Produce a Low Budget Feature' in order to better understand the Production process. She is also a full voting BAFTA member and can often be seen there enjoying screenings, events and the company of friends.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Christine Allsopp

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