About Face

Watch “About Face” by Dan Sacher and Rachel Schiller

Rachel Schiller (the co-director of the film) and I interview dozens of New York women — are all unabashed make-up devotees. Most won’t leave the house without it. Some don’t let their partners see them without it. And all of them have a lot of opinions on the subject.

I have to say that I learned more from this project about self-confidence, the male gaze, and human nature writ large than from any other work I’ve done before or since. In the course of the movie, we start to see make-up as merely a stand-in for larger worldview of how we all see ourselves, as well as how we relate to men, women, friends, and strangers in subtle and unspoken ways. Echoes of these women’s perspectives still reverberate in me several years after finishing the film.

I shot the documentary in 2000 and 2001 on Hi-8 video, and edited it in FinalCut Pro.