Thursday, 16 September 2010

Tip #46: Actor's own wardrobe where possible

By Dan Parkes and Itsuka Yamasaki

There is no underestimating the importance wardrobe can have on a production, as clothes can speak volumes about a person, their personality, particular mood or character arc. But it can also be very costly if you have every member of cast being measured and fitted out in their own particular costume which may change several times during the course of the film.

Our answer was to provide wardrobe only when the actors were unable. For example, our main character John is a restaurant chef, so we purchased appropriate wardrobe including a chef's top and apron. Also, in the flashback scenes, the characters of Wayne and Andy required specific 1980s footwear and jeans, which we bought for the actors (photograph above left). Ben Rohde, who was advising us on the accuracy of the flashback scenes, also delved into his own wardrobe and found appropriate clothing from what he remembered from his experiences.

Above: Actor Brian Capron discusses his wardrobe
with production designer/producer
Sinead Ferguson and director Dan Parkes

In the case of the rest of the cast they were dressed in clothes that were readily available to them. Before rehearsals we asked them to bring along a selection of clothes they thought would be suitable for the character with some suggestions if necessary. Then at the rehearsal we would ask them to try on different clothes and take photographs and make decisions on what we think worked best, thinking about the characters state of mind and general production design issues (such as clashes with the background).

Above: Actor Andrew Elias posing in his
wardrobe during rehearsals.

In most cases we could make decisions at the rehearsal of what will work and make notes regarding this and then include a 'must-bring' on the actor's call sheet. But also some decisions were made during filming and this emphasised the need to photograph the actor in what they were wearing so as to ensure continuity matches throughout the film.

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