Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Clown Costumes

I had to make three clown costumes for today's stills shoot to be used in filming which begins a week from Friday. Today was my big push, because the main character's costume needed to be finished - or fairly finished - so he looked the same from past to present. I finished the tux vest just in time to walk out the door, run by Display and Costume, and get to the shoot. Luckily everything fit. Except the tailcoat which I knew wouldn't fit, but needed it to be tried on to determine if there was NOOOO possible way (in which case I needed to return it, and the second jacket I bought just in case), or if it could be altered to work for the film -which it could.

Part of the stress of my job is most of filmmaking is too technical for the average person to have an opinion about, with all the funny acronyms and nicknames - abbreviations flying about. I know now what is meant when someone says, "call the 1st A.D. and tell him to meet me at Craft Services," but I haven't always. Costuming seems to be the one arena that everyone feels they know something about/get to have an opinion on/should offer suggestions regarding.

This is emphatically not the case. I'm usually pretty on top of what needs to be done, and if it isn't yet, either it is not currently a priority, or there is a very good reason why it hasn't been done (ie - don't take the tags off until we're sure that we're going to use the outfit, otherwise I'll return it and get the 15% of my budget that I spent on it back.) Or that's actually the way I wanted it.

Today, having been in the costume for five minutes on the first fitting, the actor and another crew member were to be found in the hallway saying, "You know what should be done to make this look like a CLOWN costume" ...which really ticked me off.

So tonight I get to bring up the etiquette portion of filmmaking, and reminding the crew at our meeting that if they discuss it, it gives the actors permission to start taking matters into their own hands, and makes my life harder in the bargain.

On the plus side, the costumes (other than the bits and pieces that weren't done on purpose) met with the approval of the director, so all's well. Now for the finishing touches and alterations, and my major costume is ready to roll.