Alani Gaunt’s passion for telling stories and expressing emotion through image is one of the driving forces behind her work as a makeup artist. She began to notice at a young age how personal image can convey character, experiences, and emotion, and how the careful control of this image can be a powerful method of storytelling. She continued her exploration of image and its relation to narrative and emotion at Oberlin College, where she studied cinema and art. Her love of makeup artistry became the perfect fusion of her two disciplines. Through her study of painting, drawing, photography and sculpture, Alani developed an understanding of form and color necessary to the makeup artist. Her work in film helped her to learn how makeup interacts with other elements of filmmaking such as cinematography, and she developed a knowledge base of cinema history and theory that became an integral part of her design process. Both disciplines taught her attention to detail, dedication, and a more nuanced awareness of ways to convey information through image.
Alani has worked in film, theatre, opera, and photography. She completed her senior thesis at Oberlin College in makeup design for film, for which she designed and applied makeup for seven thesis films. Alani has also worked in independent film, including having completed extensive design work for filmmaker Mika Johnson’s “Amerika: A Notebook in Three Parts”, an ongoing project for which the trailer will premiere in April 2010. Other credits include professional opera with Opera New Jersey, and makeup design for over 20 student film and theatre productions, as well as fashion and art photo shoots.