Private Project

Make Me Up

In Make Me Up, multimedia artist Rachel Maclean has created a world that is both seductive and dangerous; a place where surveillance, violence and submission are a normalised part of daily life. She tackles these contradictions head-on and never balks at pushing boundaries.

This darkly-comic film takes a satirical look at the contradictory pressures faced by women today. It examines how television and social media can be fun and expressive spaces to explore identity, but simultaneously a gilded prison that encourages women to conform to strict beauty ideals.

Siri wakes to find herself trapped inside a brutalist candy-coloured dreamhouse. Despite the cutesy decor, the place is far from benign, and she and her inmates are encouraged to compete for survival while being watched over by surveillance cameras, 24/7.

Presiding over the group is an authoritarian diva who speaks entirely with the voice of Kenneth Clark from the 1960s BBC series Civilisation. As she forces the women to go head-to-head in a series of demeaning tasks, Siri, with the help of fellow inmate Alexa, starts subverting the rules and soon reveals the sinister truth that underpins their world.

  • Rachel Maclean
    Director, Writer, Designer, Editor
    Dr Cute (2019, 5 min, digital video); Make Me Up (2018, 84 min); I'm Terribly Sorry (2018, ~6 min, VR) Spite Your Face (2017, 37 min, portrait format video); It's What's Inside That Counts (2016, 30 min, digital video); Feed Me (2015, 60 min, digital video); A Whole New World (2014, 30 min, digital video); Please, Sir... (2014, 25 min, looping split-screen video); The Weepers (2014, 30 min, digital video); Over The Rainbow (2013, 42 min, digital video); Germs (2013, 3 min, digital video); The Lion and The Unicorn (2012, 12 min, digital video); Lolcats (2012, 13 min, digital video)
  • David Liddell
  • Scott Twynholm
  • Ayden Millar
    Art Director
  • Jason Hillier
    VFX Supervisor
  • Carolynne Sinclair Kidd
    Line Producer
  • John Archer
  • Angus Farqhuar
  • Sud Basu
    Executive Producer
  • Mark Bell
    Executive Producer
  • Clara Glynn
    Executive Producer
  • David Harron
    Executive Producer
  • Mark Thomas
    Executive Producer
  • Jenny Waldman
    Executive Producer
  • Rachel Maclean
    Key Cast
  • Christina Gordon
    Key Cast
  • Colette Tchantcho
    Key Cast
  • Kirsty Strain
    Key Cast
  • Alice Zhang
    Key Cast
  • Jenny Douglas
    Key Cast
  • Sanaa Zaheed
    Key Cast
  • Cressentia Masuku
    Key Cast
  • Moyo Akandé
    Key Cast
  • Catriona McFarlane
    Key Cast
  • Kayleigh Andrews
    Key Cast
  • Stewart Preston
    Key Cast
    "Tweed Man"
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Feature
  • Genres:
    Sci-Fi, Drama, Comedy, Fiction
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 24 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    September 30, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    505,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Montreal Festival du nouveau cinéma
    October 10, 2019
    Canadian Premiere
    Official Selection
  • New Horizons International Film Festival
    July 26, 2019
    Poland Premiere
    Visual Front
  • Moscow International Experimental Film Festival
    Russian Federation
    July 14, 2019
    Russian Premiere
    Closing Night Film
  • IndieLisboa International Film Festival
    May 3, 2019
    Portugal Premiere
    Mouth of Madness
  • Göteborg Film Festival
    January 30, 2019
    Sweden Premiere
  • Rotterdam International Film Festival
    January 29, 2019
    Dutch Premiere
    Perspectives - Rabbit Hole
  • Adelaide Film Festival
    October 14, 2018
    Australian Premiere
    A Singular Vision
  • BFI London Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    October 12, 2018
    World Premiere
    Special Presentations
Distribution Information
  • Antidote Sales LLC
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography

Born 1987, Edinburgh. Lives and works in Glasgow.
Education 2005–09 BA Honours Drawing and Painting, Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland 2008 School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, USA.
Based in Glasgow, Rachel Maclean (1987) was educated at Edinburgh College of Art where she completed her BA in Drawing and Painting in 2009. In 2017, Rachel premiered her new film commission Spite Your Face, as the representing artist for Scotland+Venice at the 57th Venice Biennale 2017.
Maclean has risen to significant recent acclaim with major contemporary art commissions, resulting in solo UK and international presentations. With recent exhibitions including; ‘Just B Yourself’ at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin (2018), ‘Wot u :-) about?’ at HOME, Manchester and Tate Britain, London (2016-17) 'We Want Data!' at Artpace, San Antonio, USA (2016).
Her work A Whole New World won the prestigious Margaret Tait Award in 2013, she has twice been shortlisted for the Jarman Award, and has achieved widespread critical praise for Feed Me (2016) in British Art Show 8.
Maclean has also been commissioned for TV and featuring on; Random Acts Channel 4 (2013 and 2016); 'Billy Connolly: Portrait of a Lifetime', BBC One Scotland, BBC (2017) and 'Rachel Maclean: The Shopping Centre, Artist in Residence', Bullring Birmingham with Firecrest Films and Channel 4 (2018).
Upcoming shows and commissions in 2018-2019 include; 'Rachel Maclean' Solo Exhibition at Zabludowicz Collection London, 'Hooked' at London Science Gallery, Kings College London, KWA Artscentre in Beijing, Rachel Maclean curated exhibition with Birmingham Museums and Arts Council Collection.

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