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To get the right look for a scene, film scripts often call for their Actors to wear contact lenses. Rather than striving for perfect vision, these accessories are used in much the same way as hair and makeup are: to create a specific look for a character. The job of a Film Contact Lens Technician is to design and insert these special eyepieces.
Contact lenses on set go above and beyond the basic lenses found at the Ophthalmologist ’s office. Lenses for movies can be painted with special shapes to give eyes alien-looking pupils, no pupil at all, or a different color than the Actor’s natural eye color. Some lenses cloud the eyes to make it look as though the Actor is blind, while others give the impression of eye disease or injury. From creepy monster looks to switches in eye color, your job as a Film Contact Lens Technician is to create whatever look the Director asks for.
The job of a Film Contact Lens Technician is twofold. Your first responsibility is to read through the script and figure out what look the Art Director and Director are going for. From there, you create the necessary lenses. For some movies, this will be as basic as ordering colored lenses, while for more complex movies, you’ll need to have lenses and their backups hand painted by an Artist.
During filming, you work with the likes of Makeup Artists and Hairdressers. You help insert the contacts, and then hang around the set to keep things looking uniform from scene to scene. If an Actor develops an issue with the lenses, you might suggest taking a break and filming another scene so no infection develops. While you work, you ensure that both Actor and lenses stay safe.