The film industry has truly entered a phase where a make-up artiste is considered a master at bringing the character forward, rather than just the actor. He is no more just the make-up man, he is a creative genius. Vikram Gaikwad is the name who can be credited to bringing this change, along with Mickey Contractor. He was in town to inaugurate NIKS International, a multidimensional lifestyle academy for hair, makeup, acting, modelling, pageant grooming, dancing, photography and DJ.
You can actually state that make-up as an art began with Mickey (Contractor) and me. The National Award for Best make-up started due to me. Now, an actor know that make-up helps in creating the character for the camera and thus gives respect to people like me.
How have you seen attitudes change towards your profession?
You can actually state that make-up as an art began with Mickey (Contractor) and me. The National Award for Best make-up started due to me. Now, an actor know that make-up helps in creating the character for the camera and thus gives respect to people like me. Earlier, make-up was all about making the actor/actress fair, a little mascara and lipstick, that’s it. Mickey also changed the economic status of make-up artists. He started charging 20-24K per assignment while others would get peanuts. Things also got better thanks to the media, giving exposure to people like me or Mickey. But while he is more into glamour based make-up, I am into character-based. If someone wants to portray real characters, I am the solution for creating them.
How is your approach when you have to pick the right make-up for any film or character?
Everything I know about make-up is due to my guru Babanrao Shinde. I observe the people around me. I see how they look and read them. Then, I recreate them on-screen. It is an easy and important trick. For example, you go to any station in Mumbai and observe the women around. Despite the rush, these women come all prepared in terms of make-up. In the train, you also see them doing slight touch-ups. But how they carry themselves or do make-up is different from the women who go to high-end places like 5-star hotels and so on. Observing all this is crucial.
Which has been the most toughest assignment for you till date?
To be very honest, I never got any easy assignment. People gave me those assignment which no one else could do. That is why, I am where I am.
How much importance do you give to academies in your field?
Frankly, the guru-shishya is the best school. You should start learning under someone and then go to an academy. This way, your learning becomes more flexible and you learn things easily.
When are we going to see you act next?
Acting happened by accident. In a film I was working on, the actor could not come for some reasons and I was asked to fill in. The next thing I knew, I was not just nominated for an award, but I got it too. Though offers have come, there is more money in my field and I have a passion for it.