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A Shivers Interview by Joe Nazzaro


AS Make-up Supervisor on the critically-acclaimed cult TV series Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Todd McIntosh never knows what a new episode will bring. On a given day, the veteran make-up artist might be called upon to create a pack of vampire extras, killer clowns, undead demons, or worst of all, a classroomful of fashion-conscious high school students. If variety is indeed the spice of life, then McIntosh's life is pretty much one giant vampire vindaloo.


As McIntosh recalls, his involvement with Buffy came about in a somewhat sideways fashion. "The pilot for Buffy was done by the Burmans, who hired me to be the on-set person to do their prosthetics and run the show. That's how I got the initial job, and then I stayed on based on their experience with my work, plus I'd worked with the producer Gareth Davies on a TV series in Canada, so he already knew me too."
On a more practical level, Buffy is a union production, which meant that Optic Nerve whose staff is non-union, needed a reliable union make-up artist they could work with on set. "I've worked side by side with Optic Nerve for years, so they knew me and my work, and I'm actually the one who brought them on Buffy. When the producers were looking for someone to replace the Burmans, I said, 'These are my friends at Optic Nerve, they do fabulous work,' so there was really never any problem between us.
"What makes me a valuable commodity for a specific show like Buffy is that I don't have to come in and just do the beauty and someone else does the monsters. In me, they have someone who does both, which cuts down on the need for a split department. When I'm crewing up my show and looking for day people, those are the kind of make-up artists that I'm usually after: people who can flex both ways." .