Pictures of the process...
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Pictures of the process...
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Friday, January 17, 2014
And since I don't want to leave you completely interview-less, please enjoy this interview with costume designer Christine Bean from "The Blacklist." I've worked with Christine a couple of times now and she is one of the most talented, kindest people in the business.
Monday, February 11, 2013
I studied costume design for the theatre in college at the University of New Mexico. My degree program was called Design for Performance. Everyone was required to study costume, set, sound and light design before declaring which field we emphasize in. During that time the film incentives in New Mexico were making it super busy there. While I was still in school I started interning on local productions. After graduation I started working more consistently as a set costumer and seamstress and finally an assistant designer. After about a year of working in New Mexico I moved to New York to pursue more design opportunities.
I wanted the costumes to be true to the characters and environment. My goal was to accurately reflect the world they lived in by creating natural pieces. Working with non-actors it was important that all the costumes were something they would feel comfortable in. I didn't want them to have to be worried about how they looked or their comfort level while they were on camera so they could fully focus on their character and their acting.
What was it like costuming Quvenzhané Wallis, who was only six at the time of filming and just became the youngest nominee in Oscar history for Best Leading Actress at age 9?
She is just fantastic- such a strong, tough, brave little girl who kept the whole crew laughing. She comes from a really fantastic family and is just so full of happiness, love and energy.
It was fun and exciting to take the journey with them but also a challenge. I remember constantly saying in fittings, you might not like this, but would your character?
What was your working relationship with director Benh Zeitlin, who was also just nominated for an Academy Award, like?
Benh is a very smart talented guy. He had a great beautiful vision in his head and I just strived to contribute to that.
Did you have any input on the red jersey Hushpuppy carries around that once belonged to her mother or was that a decision of the director?
That was actually a prop. I believe it was scripted that she carried around a jersey but I can't remember if it was scripted as red. It was something the art department and the director worked on together.
What was the inspiration behind the looks of the women in the bar scene towards the end?
We didn't want the women at Elysian Fields to feel like strippers, they are supposed to feel more like mother figures in this fantastical world Hushpuppy and the orphans enter. It was so long ago but I think Behn came into my office one day with that idea and I thought it was fantastic. We went thrift store shopping and bought up all the slips and negliges we could.
What have you been up to since Beasts of the Southern Wild wrapped?
We wrapped in summer of 2010 so I've been up to quite a lot! I've designed and assisted on quite a few films. I guess the biggest change is I moved from New York to Los Angeles.
Thanks to Stephani for answering my questions and good luck to the Beasts of the Southern Wild at this year's Academy Awards!
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Hello there! It’s been so long! Sorry about that! To get this thing started back up again I thought I’d interview costume designer/script supervisor/fellow blogger, Jessica Risser-Milne. Jessica is a theatrical costume designer who runs the ever-popular Costume Design Blog, which is a good resource that provides advice for students looking to get into the field. Enjoy!
How did you get into costume design?
In High School I loved to sew, but I hated my HomeEc teacher. Hate might be too strong a word... Greatly disliked would be better. So I was looking for something else to use my skills, and found the theatre!
You also work as a script supervisor occasionally, how does that differ from costume design?
I like to say that working as a script supervisor (or stage manager when I was in college) gave my creativity a break, and exercised my right brain for a while! It's all analytical, structure, and disciplined concentration. There aren't wild, last minute discoveries. And you work with a completely different side and section of people. Folks come to you looking for facts, not opinions. I find that refreshing.
I once met costume designer Jennifer Von Mayrhauser when I interviewed for a position as a production assistant with her on her current show Unforgettable and she seemed so nice. What was your time at Brandeis University as an MFA student and on Law and Order as an intern with her like?
Jennifer is a wonderful person! She was clear in school that she wanted to be more of a mentor than a teacher and this was especially true of the time I spent with her on Law and Order. Even though I could only be there for a week, she made sure that I saw/worked on every aspect of the show. I was exposed to every aspect of creating a weekly television show, from production meetings, to shopping, to shooting, to storage. There was just so much new language in that week! I still find myself going back and remembering things and saying, “Yes that's what they meant....”
What made you start Costume Design Blog?
There are so many little things that you learn on the job, that no one thinks to tell you when you are in school. I realized this and thought, "I could tell people who are interested." Blogging isn't nearly as intimidating as, say, writing a book. And if I can help people through the blog, or even just entertain people, that's great! The response to the blog so far has been tremendous. I really didn't anticipate many people reading it. That is such a cliche thing to say, but it is true.
On your blog, you give students a lot of advice and tidbits about what it's like to work as a costume designer. What's the best advice someone ever gave you?
Oh, there are so many! "Use a bigger brush" and "Don't be boring" come to mind quite often these days. Sadly, I often throw out advice when I first get it, and then come back to it days, weeks, or years later. Just a quirk of who I am.
Thanks for your great answers, Jessica!
And on a personal note, for the past couple of months I've been fortunate enough to work backstage at the Vineyard Theatre on a sweet little show called "Outside People." We close this Saturday which makes me really sad but on the bright side, we'll always have this nice little trailer to remember it by.