Saturday, November 17, 2007

Life Behind the Scenes

Life Behind the Scenes

Back to the wonderful world of costuming, today was day one of the sci-fi short I'm costuming. It was a crazy day. To begin with, outdoor shoot. Rain.

We pulled into a podunk town near the gorge for our location shoot. I got there before the rest of the crew - they had to come over the pass. We set up wardrobe/makeup/greenroom in the banquet room of a diner, and set to work transforming our actresses into a Space Policewoman, and a shape-shifting alien hooker. First snag. Our lead actress became very sick this week, and the meducine she had to take caused water retention. The costume which fit very well a week ago was tight, and the boots that we measured for but didn't try on took four people to shove them halfway onto her feet. She had to limp on tiptoe to the first location -- and only after considerable hiking did they finally go on all the way.

Water. Water is difficult on film people when falling from the sky and blowing in all directions. The actress was cold and wet, the hair that had taken so long to put up was instantly bedraggled. Then we went back to get the alien, who had to wear a miniskirt and bra in 40 degree weather and torrential downpour. In between shots she huddled under the tech ten wrapped in coats. As the shot progressed, her legs turned blue. Luckly, when it came time for the dialogue shots, the rain let up, and we were able to get them done quickly.

Then the lead actress was chauferred home, and we called in our stunt double. The only problem, she's smaller than the lead, and her costume needed modified to fit. And now it was 3:30 and what little light we had was fading fast. Once again I found myself altering an outfit while flying down the road. We basted her in, adjusted where we could, and all the action shots were filmed in the waning daylight. They called 'it's a wrap' as the sun sank behind the hill, and cast and crew went back to the diner for dinner and warm beverages to wrap our hands around.

It's funny how glamorous films look. Shooting them is a long, exhausting, and sometimes hypothermia-inducing prospect!