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Costuming a movie

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  • bcbnyc
    I ve designed professionally for theatre for many years, and have also done some film, but the film work has always been on very low or no budget productions.
    Message 1 of 13 , Jun 13, 2008
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      I've designed professionally for theatre for many years, and have also
      done some film, but the film work has always been on very low or no
      budget productions. I've just been hired for a shoot, not major motion
      picture, but OK money. I'm not sure what to ask for and they want my
      quote by early next week. What should I ask for fee? For budget (just
      2 actors, few changes, 1930's clothing)? And: what should I have with
      me on set during the shoot? I have a kit I bring on theatre gigs; how
      would that differ (if at all) from what I'd need on a film set?
      Any input very much appreciated!!
      Bev Bullock
      New York
    • zonironi66@aol.com
      I ve been on wardrobe crew for two films, and the most important thing was a polaroid or digital camera for continuity shots.? That way if something has to be
      Message 2 of 13 , Jun 14, 2008
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        I've been on wardrobe crew for two films, and the most important thing was a polaroid or digital camera for continuity shots.? That way if something has to be filmed again, or a scene that is supposed to be the same day is filmed later, you can be sure to get the actors back into the correct clothing and accessories, and the hair and makeup people can be sure to make them look as much the same as possible.? It's also very helpful to have giant safety pins and tags to pin onto each costume piece.? Label these with the actor's name, and ideally with the scenes that particular piece will be needed for (if you are given a very good shoot schedule, keeping in mind that things may change.)? A sharpie, as well as pens, pencils, and a notepad are all good ideas, as well as just your basic sewing/mending kit.? Something to remove stains is a good idea, too.? Sometimes you may have to dirty a piece up for a shoot, and then they want to do several takes, so either that piece has to be able to be cleaned very quickly, or you need several of the same exact piece, which isn't always an easy task.?
        As far as what to ask for a fee, I can't really help you there.? The films I worked on were low budget films, and the fee was set in advance.
        Good luck.
        Jodi


        -----Original Message-----
        From: bcbnyc <bbullock2000@...>
        To: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Fri, 13 Jun 2008 11:14 pm
        Subject: [TheCostumersManifesto] Costuming a movie






        I've designed professionally for theatre for many years, and have also
        done some film, but the film work has always been on very low or no
        budget productions. I've just been hired for a shoot, not major motion
        picture, but OK money. I'm not sure what to ask for and they want my
        quote by early next week. What should I ask for fee? For budget (just
        2 actors, few changes, 1930's clothing)? And: what should I have with
        me on set during the shoot? I have a kit I bring on theatre gigs; how
        would that differ (if at all) from what I'd need on a film set?
        Any input very much appreciated!!
        Bev Bullock
        New York






        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Siebel San
        Hi all, When trying to draft up a pattern for a basic renaissance faire irish dress, I am running into a problem.  After size 16 or so, I am noticing that
        Message 3 of 13 , Jun 14, 2008
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          Hi all,
          When trying to draft up a pattern for a basic renaissance faire irish dress, I am running into a problem.  After size 16 or so, I am noticing that the dress tends to gap at the front of the armhole, instead of lying smoothly along the curve of the bust and under the arm.  I assume I am getting my proportions wrong somewhere, or not tilting something in the right direction.  Can anyone tell me how to fix this, or direct me to a diagram or something showing how to fix it?  Thanks!
          Jess




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Kate
          Hi there, Most patterns are based on a bust measurement that is only a B cup.  Once you get to the larger sizes, the cup size for most women is larger
          Message 4 of 13 , Jun 14, 2008
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            Hi there,
            Most patterns are based on a bust measurement that is only a B cup.  Once you get to the larger sizes, the cup size for most women is larger than a B.  You can check out this website for instructions

            ---http://www.voguepatterns.com/vpm/sandra/todaysfitm.html

            Kat

            On Sat, 6/14/08, Siebel San <siebelsan@...> wrote:
            From: Siebel San <siebelsan@...>
            Subject: [TheCostumersManifesto] armhole gaping
            To: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Saturday, June 14, 2008, 10:32 AM











            Hi all,

            When trying to draft up a pattern for a basic renaissance faire irish dress, I am running into a problem.&nbsp; After size 16 or so, I am noticing that the dress tends to gap at the front of the armhole, instead of lying smoothly along the curve of the bust and under the arm.&nbsp; I assume I am getting my proportions wrong somewhere, or not tilting something in the right direction.&nbsp; Can anyone tell me how to fix this, or direct me to a diagram or something&nbsp; showing how to fix it?&nbsp; Thanks!

            Jess



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





























            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Curtis
            ... I couldn t even begin to offer a suggestion, all of my film work has either been gratis or done in trade (I acquired a couple of nice chainmail shirts and
            Message 5 of 13 , Jun 14, 2008
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              --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, "bcbnyc"
              <bbullock2000@...> wrote:
              >
              > What should I ask for fee? For budget (just
              > 2 actors, few changes, 1930's clothing)?

              I couldn't even begin to offer a suggestion, all of my film work has
              either been gratis or done in trade (I acquired a couple of nice
              chainmail shirts and some armor pieces this way...) That, of course,
              doesn't work if the film you're working on doesn't include anything
              you don't already want...*grin*

              > And: what should I have with
              > me on set during the shoot? I have a kit I bring on theatre gigs; how
              > would that differ (if at all) from what I'd need on a film set?

              When I started putting together a 'road kit' for some of my costume
              gigs, I pretty much sat down and thought, "Okay...what issues have I
              had to fix in the past, and what would I need to fix them when I'm in
              a different city with no time to go shopping for supplies?" I managed
              to fit everything into two small soft-sided tool bags (some people
              I've worked with use plastic totes, or the little wheeled
              craft-bins--whatever works best for you), which have thus far only let
              me down once (when someone was looking for masking tape). Also, as I
              find situations where it would be convenient to have something else
              (ie, masking tape, in this case), I added it to the supplies. (I need
              to sit down with my bags and my list and update...)

              What did I include? Black and white elastic and velcro, button thread
              in black/white/gray, needles, safety pins (for film work, you can
              almost always get away with safety pins as long as you can use them
              somewhere that the camera won't be shooting), seam ripper, scissors,
              markers, small hot glue gun and sticks, a squeeze-tube of contact
              cement, a small syringe-pack of epoxy, extra earring backs, glue-on
              backs to turn earrings into clip-ons, barrettes and elastics for hair,
              spot cleaner, shoe polish, duct tape...and a few other things that
              tend to change depending on which venue I'm going into. I tend to
              take a lot more than most people would think of, I think, because I
              also do a lot of props work and occasionally scenery work, so I'm also
              thinking in terms of what would be useful for those in a pinch (steel
              wire, for instance).

              Basically, especially in film, you want a condensed version of your
              costume shop available to you almost immediately. I've also got a
              travel-sized hand-held steamer, for instance, that often goes with me,
              if I'm going somewhere that will have water and electricity available
              (and I'll have time to steam wrinkles out of stuff). As I'm sure you
              know, the less time they have to hold while you fix something, the
              happier they'll be, and the more likely you become to be offered more
              work with them.
            • Cat Devereaux
              ... picture, but OK money. I m not sure what to ask for and they want my quote by early next week. What should I ask for fee? For budget (just 2 actors, few
              Message 6 of 13 , Jun 14, 2008
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                >> I've just been hired for a shoot, not major motion
                picture, but OK money. I'm not sure what to ask for and they want my
                quote by early next week. What should I ask for fee? For budget (just
                2 actors, few changes, 1930's clothing)?

                There are soooooooo many more questions you need to ask before any kind
                of a quote.

                The big question is can you pull off the rack (thrift/rental) or are you
                going to have to construct? Are the actors regular size??? Or something
                that's not going to allow you to do one of those two. Also, what kind
                of action? Are you going to need duplicates??? In which case you
                probably have to build. How "big" is this? Are you just providing the
                outer costume??? Or are you responsible down to the skin?

                All these types of question effect how much labor you put into a
                project. Remember you've got to scrounge for shoes/hats/bling, etc as
                well as basic garments.. Estimate you time for each piece and you'll
                start to get an idea.

                You can also argue you price better when the director/producer says
                "WHAT!" (since costuming is always undervalued) They may choose to have
                the actors come up w/ some things like shoes, or hit vintage shops w/
                you to cut down on time requirements (which may or may not). They need
                to understand that there are fitting times.

                It sounds like you will be on set for the shooting... so you're not just
                designer, you're dresser as well. that's another whole set of hours and
                time.

                Depending how long the shoot is, there's also cleaning of the oufits
                unless the actors are figuing it's very low budget... still you'll want
                to budget in dress shields, etc... or sell that concept to the actors.
                Shirts will need to be laundried after each day and repressed at a
                minimum... and even if you think you need only one white shirt... you'll
                need more... since shooting can be stopped for the day by one spot on a
                bright white shirt. Same w/ hose for the gal... you can go though 4
                pair easy in one day depending on the shoot and how often the actress
                has worn them.

                You may want a fee for designing and a day wage as "dresser".

                So.... all that said... is everyone really working for real wage??? IF
                so, insist on the same and be ready to loose it unless you can match a
                lowball that someone else has done. On the other hand, always consider
                the credit value (just don't tell them that during negotiations ). If
                it is a "real" film and not going straight to video, the screen credit
                can be worth it as a stepping stone up. Just don't loose money on
                materials and rental.

                Remember it's the job of the Producer and Unit Manager to squeeze every
                cent they can out of everyone to get what they want. Be ready to
                negeoate hard and convince them why they want you over someone generic
                and why it will give them a better look for their movie (ie value). If
                they try to not pay for your dresser duties... ask them if props is
                working all day for free. If they say they don't need a dresser, be
                ready to tell them the things that could go wrong w/o someone there to
                clean, repair, etc.

                >> And: what should I have with me on set during the shoot? I have a
                kit I bring on theatre gigs; how would that differ (if at all) from
                what I'd need on a film set?

                Have a mobile kit, and a bigger stash in the car. Anything that can go
                wrong will go wrong. At county and craft fairs they sell a travel
                iron/steamer. It's a must w/ a chunk of extension cords labeled w/ your
                name or you'll never see them again. A board and towel for makeshift
                iron touch up w/ the car as well.

                In the kit... all your theater stuff. You can never have too many
                safety pins or duct tape (but label your own roll and use tech's when
                ever you can. <G>).

                A number of different cleaning sticks from gel spots remover to dry
                clean chalk. A small hair dryer to dry out the cleaned spot. (Remember
                the whole crew could be twittling their thumbs while you clean if there
                isn't a dupe to switch the actor into.) Band aids, even if someone else
                is suppose to be bringing... blood on costume is bad, and do you want to
                depend on them???

                Basic jewelry repair, at least a few jump rings, needle nose pliers and
                whatever else the bling/accessories might need. Glue to pop stones back
                in quickly. Stuff high chest and above will be in close up, so you
                can't use paper clips and bubble gum ( or even just thread) to repair.

                Have extra paper, tags. Maybe laundry bags (especially if you are
                responsible for skin out). Garment bags for anything not being worn at
                the moment, or at least sheet wraps. Robes for actors that will be
                standing around long times between scene shoots (unless spelled out in
                advance they're responsible for that) and make sure the actors know
                they're not eating lunch, in their costume, or switching to a t-shirt.
                (See, this stuff can effect budget as well.)

                Make up in advance a list of what constitutes a costume, from tip to
                toes. Picture/s of final look. Put it in a sheet protected cover.
                Attach to costume hanger. Another copy of same for the continuity
                gal/guy's book. A new sheet for each version of a look, ie before after
                a fight (or any kind of action/drama). Label everything based on the
                type of labeling that production crew is using in case you can't be
                everywhere at the same time.

                Also, a fully charged camera phone. While someone on the unit should be
                worrying about continuity, you may need to do your own worrying if they
                skip that step. Until you learn to work w/ a specific crew and trust
                them, suspect that anything that will effect you, even if suppose to be
                done by someone else, may get dropped. (That's why you have to car
                stash... you don't make them look bad... but you can magically pull
                stuff out if needed. So start building your packing list.)
                (Personally, I still like Polaroids for the immediate print out... but
                the new quick print printers for camera phone are a bit expensive, and
                the pic is small.)

                Oh... and food and water for you (stashed) even if it's been promised.
                Trust no department until they prove themselves.

                I can't recommend enough packing lists


                Note: this list is assuming they've got hair and makeup on set as well.
                If actors are suppose to be doing their own... that's a whole lot extra
                to bring (else you can get blamed for the look not working) but that's
                also extra cost on set for stuff from hair spray to face power and lots
                of towels.

                Lower budget, this seldom happens... so negotiate it in day rate.... and
                also as design fee. Negotiate credits again as well. They'll hate
                you're bringing up extra costs, but your foresight can make you a
                valuable crew member.... and the trick is to make them want you back
                next time (as well as being able to afford to come back next time).


                If they're totally unrealistic in their expectations, how bad do you
                want the credit, the experience, to work with the other crew members.
                (I worked some hellish productions as a dresser, but learned invaluable
                stuff working with an older production designer... but boy did I learn
                to do stuff on budget w/ nothing and plan for everything.)

                But, there are limits on everything... When is it learning? When is is
                play? When is is work?

                -Cat-
              • Curtis
                ... Polaroids have kind of been the way to go for a long long time. I don t know what everyone s going to do now that the company has stopped making the film
                Message 7 of 13 , Jun 15, 2008
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                  --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, Cat Devereaux
                  <CatDevereaux@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > (Personally, I still like Polaroids for the immediate print out... but
                  > the new quick print printers for camera phone are a bit expensive, and
                  > the pic is small.)
                  >

                  Polaroids have kind of been the way to go for a long long time. I
                  don't know what everyone's going to do now that the company has
                  stopped making the film for them...The last film I did that had me
                  responsible for continuity shots, I took them with a digital camera
                  and loaded them onto my laptop so they were easy to reference (which
                  was good, because the makeup artist needed to check them a couple of
                  times to match up scars...)

                  I did makeup on a small film shoot...shot four different nights over
                  the space of three weekends, one of which I couldn't be there and they
                  had a different makeup artist take over (it was the last day of
                  filming). I took all my continuity pics as soon as I finished makeup
                  on each person, then went home after we wrapped for the day and put
                  the pictures, with detailed notes, in a Word document and printed out
                  multiple copies (one to keep at home, one to keep on set, one for the
                  other makeup artist to study).

                  Regardless of whether or not someone else is tracking continuity in a
                  film, it's a good idea for you to have your own pictures. It'll just
                  make you look that much more competent when the continuity person
                  doesn't have to adjust any of your work *laugh*...
                • Christine McKenna
                  Jess, you re not doing anything wrong at all. I was taught that after size 16 you need a gape dart in the armhole very often. This is because the bustline
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jun 16, 2008
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                    Jess, you're not doing anything wrong at all. I was taught that after
                    size 16 you need a gape dart in the armhole very often. This is
                    because the bustline increases but the armhole depth does not alter
                    very much , probably less than 2mm per size. What you need to do is
                    swing the gape dart into the side seam as a dart, or if you have a
                    princess line into that. Any basic pattern drafting book which talks
                    about pattern alterations for different sized figures should have
                    illustrations. Otherwise, post back here and I'll try to draw
                    something up. Hope that was helpful,
                    Christine in bleak wintry Sydney Australia.
                    http://ladyjaneswardrobe.blogspot.com/
                  • jilbyfuzz
                    I have found that on ladies over a size 16 they tend to have a bra cup size larger than a C. Typical pattern drafting plans for at minimum a C cup. With my
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jun 16, 2008
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                      I have found that on ladies over a size 16 they tend to have a bra cup
                      size larger than a C. Typical pattern drafting plans for at minimum a
                      C cup.
                      With my recent pattern drafting problems I have been turning more and
                      more to "Readers Digerst Guide for sewing" when i have a fitting
                      problem. This version is neary 30 years old but it addresses all my
                      issues.
                    • Alexadbw@aol.com
                      Jess, You can take a dart in the armscye and compensate at another dart or seam. Here are a couple of sites that might be helpful.
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jun 18, 2008
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                        Jess,
                        You can take a dart in the armscye and compensate at another dart or seam.
                        Here are a couple of sites that might be helpful.
                        (http://www.perfectex.com/sewcolorchart.html)
                        _http://www.cedesign.com/familyphotos/sewing/info/princessFBA/index.html_
                        (http://www.cedesign.com/familyphotos/sewing/info/princessFBA/index.html)

                        _http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/sewingclasses/board.pl?t=30462_
                        (http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/sewingclasses/board.pl?t=30462)

                        Alexa


                        In a message dated 6/14/2008 10:33:15 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
                        siebelsan@... writes:

                        Can anyone tell me how to fix this, or direct me to a diagram or
                        something nbsp;<WBR>showing how   Thanks!
                        Jess





                        **************Gas prices getting you down? Search AOL Autos for
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                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Alexadbw@aol.com
                        OK, don t know how that link made it into the post! I thought I had deleted it. Guess not! But then again, it IS a good site for hook & loop fasteners! Alexa
                        Message 11 of 13 , Jun 18, 2008
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                          OK, don't know how that link made it into the post! I thought I had deleted
                          it. Guess not!

                          But then again, it IS a good site for hook & loop fasteners!
                          Alexa


                          In a message dated 6/18/2008 3:12:23 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
                          Alexadbw@... writes:




                          Jess,
                          You can take a dart in the armscye and compensate at another dart or seam.
                          Here are a couple of sites that might be helpful.
                          (_http://www.perfectehttp://www.perfehttp://w_
                          (http://www.perfectex.com/sewcolorchart.html) )








                          **************Gas prices getting you down? Search AOL Autos for
                          fuel-efficient used cars. (http://autos.aol.com/used?ncid=aolaut00050000000007)


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Trim Fairy
                          My two absolute favorite stain treatments are gonzo and the new Tide pen. Gonzo gets almost EVERYTHING out, but you have to use a lot and you have to wash it
                          Message 12 of 13 , Jun 19, 2008
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                            My two absolute favorite stain treatments are gonzo and the new Tide pen. Gonzo gets almost EVERYTHING out, but you have to use a lot and you have to wash it pretty quickly or you can get a stain ring. Tide pen gets nearly everything out and does not seem to leave a stain ring...

                            --- On Sat, 6/14/08, zonironi66@... <zonironi66@...> wrote:
                            From: zonironi66@... <zonironi66@...>
                            Subject: Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] Costuming a movie
                            To: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
                            Date: Saturday, June 14, 2008, 9:05 AM











                            I've been on wardrobe crew for two films, and the most important thing was a polaroid or digital camera for continuity shots.? That way if something has to be filmed again, or a scene that is supposed to be the same day is filmed later, you can be sure to get the actors back into the correct clothing and accessories, and the hair and makeup people can be sure to make them look as much the same as possible.? It's also very helpful to have giant safety pins and tags to pin onto each costume piece.? Label these with the actor's name, and ideally with the scenes that particular piece will be needed for (if you are given a very good shoot schedule, keeping in mind that things may change.)? A sharpie, as well as pens, pencils, and a notepad are all good ideas, as well as just your basic sewing/mending kit.? Something to remove stains is a good idea, too.? Sometimes you may have to dirty a piece up for a shoot, and then they want to do several
                            takes, so either that piece has to be able to be cleaned very quickly, or you need several of the same exact piece, which isn't always an easy task.?

                            As far as what to ask for a fee, I can't really help you there.? The films I worked on were low budget films, and the fee was set in advance.

                            Good luck.

                            Jodi



                            -----Original Message-----

                            From: bcbnyc <bbullock2000@ hotmail.com>

                            To: TheCostumersManifes to@yahoogroups. com

                            Sent: Fri, 13 Jun 2008 11:14 pm

                            Subject: [TheCostumersManife sto] Costuming a movie



                            I've designed professionally for theatre for many years, and have also

                            done some film, but the film work has always been on very low or no

                            budget productions. I've just been hired for a shoot, not major motion

                            picture, but OK money. I'm not sure what to ask for and they want my

                            quote by early next week. What should I ask for fee? For budget (just

                            2 actors, few changes, 1930's clothing)? And: what should I have with

                            me on set during the shoot? I have a kit I bring on theatre gigs; how

                            would that differ (if at all) from what I'd need on a film set?

                            Any input very much appreciated! !

                            Bev Bullock

                            New York



                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





























                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Curtis
                            ... pen. Gonzo gets almost EVERYTHING out, but you have to use a lot and you have to wash it pretty quickly or you can get a stain ring. Tide pen gets nearly
                            Message 13 of 13 , Jun 20, 2008
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                              --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, Trim Fairy
                              <trimfairy@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > My two absolute favorite stain treatments are gonzo and the new Tide
                              pen. Gonzo gets almost EVERYTHING out, but you have to use a lot and
                              you have to wash it pretty quickly or you can get a stain ring. Tide
                              pen gets nearly everything out and does not seem to leave a stain ring...


                              I've become a very big fan of Spot Shot, which I've found to be
                              phenomenal at removing makeup stains, even in extreme situations (like
                              taking eyeliner pencil out of dupioni silk). It's not foolproof...but
                              it does a pretty impressive job. Make sure, if you're using it, that
                              you've got CLEAN white rags to blot with...I have given myself mild
                              coronary gyrations by transferring residue from an old stain onto a
                              garment I was trying to clean...
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