Self Directed Project: Painting For Inspiration

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Filming Costume Research #3 pt 3

I have already decided to ask thee male extras to provide their own costumes where possible as it is hard to source contemporary suits for free and I'm sure everyone has something to wear. As this is a funeral of a young girl, the guests will also be young and therefore dressed more casually as it has been described by the Director as an Atheist funeral. In my communications with the extras so far I have suggested anything black/grey/brown leaving them the option to wear Vans, jeans etc if they need to.
For any female extras I have searched my wardrobe for suitable outfits to lend:

Filming Costume Research #3 pt 2

This morning I had a text from the Director saying that the middle aged man and woman characters had been cut from the script. This means two less characters to dress and I can focus on 'Isabelle's costumes this afternoon.
I went to Primark for the three versions of Isabelle's over shirt. After searching around for some other dresses and shirts I found one that I thought would fit nicely into the film. A teal long shirt, the blue is a nice contrast to the earthy colours of the forest.

So I bought 3. £.8.00 x 3= £24.00
I also bought a brown belt in the sale to add to the costume for £1.
So total outlay from the budget is £25.00 which I will claim back from the overall film budget.

Once I got the shirts home I begun to break down the two that will be for days 3 and 5.
For the breaking down I used coffee, dye, a scalpel, oil, Vaseline and scissors to create a look of extreme wear over a short period. Scratched on trees falling down, sleeping on the floor etc.




AND DAY 8 we will break down the day 5 costume on set with mud from the surrounding areas to add authenticity. I am really happy with how these shirts have turned out and I can't wait to see them on screen!

Friday, 27 April 2012

Reflection: Filming

Today I received an phone call from the director with regards to a further change in the script. The characters have been altered again to three principles and 10 funeral guests. Now it is all to be set contemporary which makes dressing the funeral party a lot easier as I will try to ask the extras themselves to supply their own outfit.
This change to the script so close to the shooting date is frustrating, I have felt that it may have happened, which is why I have left sourcing my costumes until so late. But I really need to get them on Saturday so that I have time to break them down. Working on this particular film has made me realise how changeable pre production on a film can be, right up until the last minute. I have also learnt that costumes are not a Directors priority, however they do understand how important it is to the overall film. I have tried to be as helpful and calm as possible about all of the decisions and elements of costume when discussing with the Director and I really feel that he is interested in my ideas and that he can trust me to make informed decisions without him for the final film.
The main issue the Director found with the original and second script was finding child actors to star in the film. I learnt that they can only work for 4 hours a day and must have a parent on set with them at all times. For such a short film I think it was decided that it was not worth it to get in children to act. Also being set outside it would be inevitable that the film will run on longer than just 4 hours!

Filming Costume Research #3 pt 1

After the most recent phone call with the Director, the character list has changed once again to three principles and 10 funeral guests. Now it is all to be set contemporary which makes dressing the funeral party a lot easier as I will try to ask the extras themselves to supply their own outfit. The three principle characters are now, a 19 year old girl, and a middle aged man and woman (see script)
For the girl we discussed how she should be dressed prepared for a day/two day hike in the woods, not for a week as she will end up. due to this I suggested denim shorts with black tights and trainers (preferably converse) a black vest top, a lilac hair scarf, a grey hoodie and a over shirt. Due to it being set contemporary I will use most of my own clothes for the character of 'Isabelle' and will only source three identical over shirts which I will break down. I have already collected the other elements of the costume:

The middle aged man and woman are to be guests at the funeral at the end (the mother and family friend of the dead girl) therefore they will be in black, quite formal due to their relationship with the deceased. Once the two actors have be confirmed I will attempt to see if they have suitable clothes themselves before I source anything. To keep costs down I will try and add to their costumes using the costume store archive.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Reflection: Filming Shoot 1

The 'Bridges' shoot yesterday was my first ever experience on a location film shoot and I absolutely loved it! I was anticipating the very early start and the team work needed to complete a shoot in just one day but on top of this I learnt a lot more valuable lessons from this day which I will gladly take with me to my shoot next Tuesday and even further.
One of the most key aspects of my role as an assistant this day was to basically take the stress off the designer in anyway I could and to keep the two actors warm and happy. I ended up taking photos for one actors portfolio and driving to and from a pub restroom a lot!
Most importantly on this shoot and, I am assuming, on my one as well was how patient we had to be. There was a lot of sitting around in the cold chatting with the actors, set photographer and the Make-up designer while cameras were moved and new shots set up. I was aware that this would be the case and there was apart of me that was a little worried that it might be tedious, however, I have found every single one of the crew to be fab to hang out with and time flew even when we did have very little to do during the day.
The director of this film was exceptionally well organised and professional for a second year student and it was a pleasure to work with him and his team. I cannot wait to work on the film I have designed for next week and experience a shoot all over again!

Tutorial 2: Blog

Painting for Inspiration                                                                                                    25April2012
Tutorial #2

Write 'Self Directed Project' on Blog
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Planning (Intro Included/Learning Agreement)
Content (Filming/Styling)
Reflection (Like CIC but for all)
Other Influences (Galleries/Art Hist/Other pics from pitches)

Reflection: Production meetings/On set environment, what have I learnt about this as a practise, write up reflections
What I have learnt about technical elements-sound and camera!


Shoot #1 was the film on which I assisted the Costume Designer on the day. I also got involved in the pre-production as much as I could, attending numerous meetings with the Director and the entire crew.
This film was based on the painting by Seurat 'The Bridge at Courbevoie' (1886-87):

The Bridge at Courbevoie
The script (which I have included in my film file) was very deep and serious, a tense group of scenes centralised around a girl and her estranged father. As this was all set over a few hours there was only one costume for each character and no element of continuity aside from keeping the costumes arranged the same for each take.

our call time was 7.45 at uni, and I had to pick up both the actors and the designer before this. Once we had arrived at the destination for the first scene there was a long wait for all the kit to be set up and hair and make up to be applied on both actors.
I took a lot of photos to document my day:


I have included my continuity sheets in my Film file, but I will leave them off the blog to respect the privacy of the two actors.

Monday, 23 April 2012

'Bridges' Shoot Setting

The location for 'Bridges' was determined very early on in the pre-production of the film. The storyline made it necessary for there to be a train line near by, a bay in the distance and for the surrounding area to be marshland. The setting that the Director found was near perfect!


 The weather on the day was not ideal for the mood of the story as we had hot sunshine for most of the afternoon and spent a great deal of time waiting around for cloud coverage! But when it was right the look of the shots that I saw thought the monitor looked brilliant. The setting of this film added a whole new level to the plot line.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Filming Costume Research #2

After the second production meeting yesterday the characters were altered quite significantly in terms of numbers, age and gender! I can only keep the research from one character, the little girl as the other principles, the 4 band men have been cut. Now the principle characters in the script are the a little boy, his grandma and a little girl. The following are my mood boards for these three characters:

The funeral party consisting of approximately 10 people will be a challenge as the Director is still want it to be an Amish funeral and the hats/headresses will be rather difficult to source but it will all be black wich makes it slightly easier.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Reflection: Filming

Today we had a whole team production meeting and, as I anticipated, it was far more dynamic than my one to one with the Director. There was a dispute over the how the storyline had been changed between the Director and the Writer which resulted in an almost complete change of the script.

This has meant that I have begun researching different characters and styles from the original but elements have been retained and I like seeing the progression of ideas as this project goes on. One thing that the disputes within the creative team proves is the passion that the whole group hold for producing a thoughtful and high standard film which I feel is better than if they were to not show much enthusiasm at all.

In terms of where Costume Design fits into these production meeting I am very pleasantly surprised as to how much importance the team put into it, while there was lengthy discussions over cameras/ lighting/ post-production, when we were talking through Costumes, everyone seemed very interested in what ideas I had and were inputting ideas themselves. I am really enjoying working on part of a team where everyone's disciplines are so different but combine together so neatly to create a final piece!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Filming Costume Research #1

My initial meeting with the Director was very interesting, in terms of costume there are a lot of very interesting elements to accomplish.

The main character is a little girl of about 8 years old, dressed in the traditional fashion for 1918. The director showed me images of little t shirt dresses with Peter Pan collar so I am aiming to modify this idea but keep his main ideas.

The next four characters are the 'butler' type band who she follows through the forest, trying to find the music. There was a very strong idea for the look of these characters. They will all be identical, dressed in black suits, spats and bowler hats. The director showed me a clip from 'The Thomas Crown Affair' as a visual aid as to how they should look and also to the feel of the film itself.

Items from the Costume Archive:
Bowler Hats
A Black dress coat with Velvet decoration
White Spats

The funeral party are the last group in the film. They are only in the last scene of the film but it was suggested that there would be rather a lot of them. Due to this, I suggested to the Director that whatever style he chose for them, it should be simple and kept all black if possible. His choice was for it to be an Amish funeral.


Reflection: Filming

After my first meeting with the Director for the 'Memorial' film on which I am Costume designer I have learnt the importance of team work within a Film crew. The meeting was only two of us and it gave me a great insight into how a Director thinks and works in terms of portraying their ideas and it really helped me to begin my research into the period and the overall feel of the piece.

I am interested to have the group production meeting on Friday so see the dynamics between a whole crew and how the Director and Writer communicate each of their own ideas, but what I can already sense is I will have to be resigned to the fact that things will change, i.e. the storyline, characters (gender/age) etc and for my input into the film to be successful I will need to be flexible and supportive of the other members of the team.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Final Film Pitches Chosen

April 16th marked the day where we all found out the chosen pitches from Friday's session. With so many to chose from it was very interesting to see why certain ones had been chosen and some not. A change to the original plan was that only 7 ideas were chosen rather than 8 and two designers would collaborate.

The 7 Chosen images are:

Silvia Sleigh, The Situation Group
 The film would depict a group of artists showing at an exhibition who have been asked to sit for a painting. It will show them in a semi documentary type way coming in and sitting down and interacting with each other. (Influences: 'Snuff' and 'Midnight in Paris')

Mondrian, Composition with Yellow, Red and Blue
 A dance piece with no dialogue, characters would wear blocked costumes of white, black, red, yellow and blue and move around to create the image.

Picasso, Girl with a Dove
 A young girl and boy, playing, sneak into an aviary, the boy is playing with a ball and starts to throw the ball at one of the cages, after a little while it falls to the ground and the dove inside is now dead, the little girl picks up the dead dove and cradles it as in the painting. A bird keeper notices and place a new, live dove in the cage and restores the cage in place. With a Victorian / Gothic feel, (possibly filmed in the Russel Coates museum.)

Francis Bacon, Untitled (Crouching Figure)
 This could either be a studio or location shoot. Inside a dark room a man is looking inside his own mind and is lost in a nightmare. His ego is represented by a sort of nightmarish ringmaster who will have crisp lines and contrast with the darkness of the room. The crouching figure will be naked but then realises he is also the ringmaster character. There will be lots of close ups.
Max Liebermann,
Memorial Service for Kaiser Friedrich at Kosen
 A voice over is heard of an old woman and a young boy talking about a funeral in the woods 50 years ago, cuts away to the boys imagination of the scene where we follow a young girl, dressed simply and of around the 1960's period running through the forest, as the story set to improvisational and rapid jazz music the girl finally finds the funeral party and climbs into the coffin.

Kees van Dogan, Portrait of Dolly

'A ten year old girl sees her mother getting ready to meet someone, she is applying make up as dolly is watching her. A man comes to the door and Dolly's mother greets the man with a kiss, the couple then move to the guest bedroom which is the best bedroom and they proceed to make love. Dolly opens the door and watches for some time which makes her curious and jealous of her mother so she goes to her mothers dressing table and applies make up in the same way that her mother does. As the man leaves he walks past Dolly and looks at him expectantly depicting the above image. The use of colour would be mostly with flesh tones and neutral colours, and feels it should not be viewed as seedy but in a curious and innocent way. This would be set in 1910. '
Seurat, The Bridge at Courbevoie
A girl is to spend some time with her estranged father who has been away travelling for most of her childhood. Her car breaks down and she has to spend time with him where they have to talk about their past. There is a very awkward moment spent together where we realise that nothing can make up for the time that was lost between the two of them, the girl leaves in a taxi, alone.

I really most of the ideas that have been chosen as I feel that they have really taken time to consider the back story to the paintings. I always like to look upon paintings as 'photographs', momentary shots of a situation where events have led up to it and things are going to happen as a result of it too.