As indie film producers seek sets outside Hollywood, the Ohio-based Aveda Fredric’s Institute steps in with willing hands. As president and CEO of Fredric’s Corporation, Frederic Holzberger shares what his students gain when the movie industry comes knocking:
How did the Aveda Fredric’s Institute become involved with filmmaking?
We fell into it accidentally. Many independent filmmakers shoot on location in smaller towns because they can’t afford the budgets required to film in New York or Los Angeles. A few years ago, a film called Kiss of the Vampire started filming in the Hamilton-Fairfield area of Ohio. We have a reputation in the area and were approached to provide the hair and make-up on the film. We have done many hair show productions, and we have a network of instructors who are talented and have been trained by great professionals along the way, so we had confidence we could take on this challenge for our students.
How did you know which students to pick to work on the film?
Well, talent is a given. But attitude and dependability are almost more important. And we judged that based on what kind of students they were. Were they on time to class, prepared for each lesson, willing to take direction, hard-working? The movie filmed outside in January in Ohio—it was miserable conditions, so attitude was very important.
A Joy actress gets hands-on prepping from two students.
What did they learn?
First, they learned to work quickly—because every minute on set costs thousands of dollars. They learned tricks with make-up and film, how to work with wigs and how it all comes together. They were always the first on set, ready to go, and some of the last to leave. And they always cleaned up their spaces. Their names were listed in the credits on the movies and they’ll forever be listed with the Screen Actors Guild.
How did that lead to other films?
The actors on the set of Kiss of the Vampire were so impressed by the students’ professionalism, by their work ethic and their look, that led to other work. One of the actors recommended them for a film Bare Knuckles, which was shot in Malibu. And that led to work on a film named Joy.
How are students encouraged to share what they’ve learned with others?
At the Institute we have what we call Information Celebration where students who’ve been honored are invited to share their experiences. For example, one of our students who was nominated for NAHA recently talked about his inspiration, why he picked his model and the look he was trying to create. The students who worked on these films did the same.
Students from Aveda Fredric’s Institute style actors for the Joy shoot.