With recognition for its technical craft and production value in many departments and categories, one of the most impressive qualities of All Quiet on the Western Front (2022) is the makeup design that adds to the realism of the World War I setting. The characters wear fear, fatigue, and mud on their faces over the course of the film, all of which were carefully planned, designed, and coordinated by makeup designer Heike Merker and her team.
Awards Radar spoke with Merker as well as supporting actor Albrecht Schuch about what drew each of them to the challenges of the film—for Merker designing war makeup was a career first, while for Schuch performing in a war setting through the intensity of the heavy makeup and extensive sets was worth it to explore the character of Stanislaus Katczinsky (Kat). Both were convinced by the vision of the script and the unified collaborative effort of everyone involved in the production.
Shuch on this vision and why he connected with the script:
“A war movie especially could become too adventurous, and I think it was just two minutes and I realized okay no, Edward is definitely not going in this trajectory and from there on I was just trying to feel his vision and develop my own and listen to all the other vision and put them together. The DOP James Friend put it right when he said on set, he felt that everyone was doing the same movie…you really could tell that this was a teamwork procedure we went through.”