Hollywood makeup veteran finds ‘good times’ in Georgia business

Updated: Jan 15

Travis Pates spent two decades as a makeup artist in Los Angeles. Starting with musical acts like Bow Wow Wow and the Grammy Awards, he moved into a long career in films.


A stint in North Carolina on the first “Hunger Games” movie brought him to the Southeast.

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Ever since, it’s been career growth, with positions of higher responsibility and credits on huge productions like the upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “The 5th Wave,” filmed in Macon.


The biggest difference between working in Hollywood and in Y’allywood?


“You can move up fast here – it’s great for people, a great opportunity,” says Pates. “When I was younger and in LA, it took a long time to aspire to get to a certain caliber of films. You really had to take your time.” The industry there was full of veterans and newcomers, and the cost of living was so much higher there than it is here.


The work-life balance is much more appealing in Georgia. Pates can still travel back and forth to California for jobs and enjoy other artistic endeavors.


As makeup department head for upcoming productions, Pates has a full calendar in Georgia, where tax incentives have boosted jobs and economic opportunity for local people and communities.


“I’m looking forward to seeing how this all evolves,” he says. “Good times.”

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