Oscars glory in sight for CQ make-up artist

WHEN Shane Thomas told his dad he was going to pursue a career as a make-up artist, he was met with some scepticism.

Having grown up in a regional city, it was a career which fell outside the bounds of stereotypical masculinity.

But David Thomas couldn’t be prouder of his son, who over the weekend jetted off to Los Angeles to be interviewed as part of the shortlisting process for the Oscars.

Shane was head of the make-up and hair team behind Australian film The Dressmaker, which has been nominated for an Academy Award.

While Shane was headed overseas, David spoke to The Morning Bulletin about his son’s achievements.

After growing up in Rockhampton, Shane moved to Sydney after school to study make-up artistry, where he was scouted by a highly respected person in the industry.

In that time he’s worked on dozens of movies including Unbroken, which featured Rockhampton actor Alex Russell, Hacksaw Ridge, The Railway Man, Tomorrow When the War Began, Beneath Hill 60, Superman Returns and television show Rake.

Yet David said his proudest moment remains his work on the Sydney Olympics opening and closing ceremonies.

“I think probably his biggest challenge and his biggest work that he liked the most was that he was involved with the Olympic games in 2000,” he said.

“He actually had his 30th birthday at the opening ceremony.

“It was a magnificent spectacle.

David and his wife were in Sydney for Shane’s birthday and watching on from a hotel in Bondi, at times feeling overwhelmed with emotion as they saw what their son had achieved.

“His mother cried all the way through it, knowing he was involved in it,” David said.

While he is now on the verge of winning one of Hollywood’s most coveted awards, David said Shane had put in years of work to get the chance to claim Oscars glory.

“He’s worked hard to get where he is,” David said.

“He’s struggled lots of time because the industry is not always consistent and sometimes you have a fair bit of time between jobs.

“A lot of hard work, a lot of dedication, a lot of scrubbing dishes in the off times to put food on the table.

“Hopefully now that there is a consistent number of films being made in Australia … jobs will come probably a lot easier.”

Although he is now rubbing shoulders with Hollywood’s elite, David said Shane always considered Rockhampton his home.

“He always tells his friends what a great place Rocky is,” David said.

On January 7, members of the Academy’s make-up and hairstylists branch were able to view screenings of the shortlisted films, which also includes Deadpool and Suicide Squad.

Following this, members will vote to nominate three films for final contention.

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