The moving story of Extraordinary arrived in 2017 from the hand of Stephen Chbosky (The advantages of being invisible), which gave us a different perspective on how hard childhood can be, even more if you suffer from Treacher Collins syndrome, which gives characteristic features on the faces of people who carry it, just like Auggie Pullman (Jacob Tremblay), a remarkable fact once the hard work behind the makeup process is considered.
This task was carried out by the Dutch twice nominated for an Oscar, Arjen Tuiten, who had previously worked on big-name productions like The Pan’s Labyrinth, World War Z The Maleficent, but it was certainly tested in Extraordinary to strike the right spot between medical credibility and visual awe for the big screen. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times she shared her preparation process.
“In the book, his condition is more severe. People with Treacher Collins have very distinguishable characteristics. They have underdeveloped ears, cleft palate, underdeveloped cheekbones, which make the eyes tilt. I spoke to experts at a Chicago hospital that specializes in treating children with this condition..”
The process prior to each day of filming contemplated Jacob Tremblay sitting for an hour and a half while Tuiten and his team put on a special helmet on which different layers of prosthetics would fall, There was even a small mechanism underneath the makeup dedicated to highlighting certain features on the character’s cheekbones and helping to keep the eyes down., this was activated or deactivated according to the time and fatigue of Tremblay.
We had prosthetic chins and noses, false eyebrows and teeth. The first time Jacob’s mother saw her with makeup, she burst into tears.
There is no doubt that the result obtained after hours by Arjen Tuiten is outstanding, a fact that at the time generated a positive impact on families with a member who seems the same syndrome: “one of the best parts of the work was receiving comments from the parents who said they were happy that we told their stories. It was also great to hear the surgeons say they didn’t realize we had used prosthetics!”
That was how the film co-starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson It was made of a remarkable acceptance within the clinical framework by ideally representing all those who see Treacher Collins syndrome as a way of life. It is also surprising to know that it was not just prosthetic work, there was also mechanical ingenuity behind plastic prostheses, who said that the makeup on a tape is a simple thing?
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