Even with years of schooling and umpteen weekend classes you will never learn everything there is to know about costuming. So when you’re asked to do something you’ve never done before grab your computer. I know that sounds odd for me to say to a costumer, however, you might find the help you need is right at your fingertips!!
While working on the movie 2012 the designer asked me if I could wrap turbans and saris for our scenes set in India for the following day. Of course I said, “No problem!” I went home after work, woke up my computer and did a little surfing on the net.
The things that can be learned on YouTube are amazing!
The next morning I went into work early. I helped Kevin, my friend and truck costumer, load all the costumes into the cast rooms and then he willingly lent me his head so I could put some of my research into practice… well sorta, he did gave me the evil eye first!
(Here are my first few attempts, and yes we did laugh lot)
I went to set, wrapped the turban on my cast member and presto magico… one happy director!
Here’s a must have in every Costumers bag!
Having a tagging gun helps you lock all the folds and rolls in place on pieces like a turban. Once you’ve secured all the tucks and edges into place, the continuity will be intact for the rest of the shoot. This little helper comes in handy for everything from turbans to securing flapping jackets during stunts.
Sadly, the tagging gun doesn’t work when the actor needs to unwrap their headdress on camera. Finding a creative way to describe the complicated continuity of a special item can be a challenge… and I love a challenge!
One morning while shooting on A-TEAM my friend and truck costumer for the show, Lauren, happily let me ruin her hairdo!! With some help I took step-by-step photos of how to tie the character FACE‘s head wrap (shemagh). From this I made a photo-by-photo layout of the shemagh wrap continuity. I was able to print the document out and share with the 2nd unit set supervisor, and it worked!
Just seven years ago, while shooting a Japanese wedding, I had to order in books on dressing Kimono. Today with so much information on the net learning things like dressing Kimono, tying a shemagh and wrapping a sari is as easy as watching a video on YouTube or doing a Google search. Access to this kind of information makes working with special costume pieces a lot less unnerving and a lot more fun for all costumers.
So grab your computers and see what new and fabulous things you can add to the set kit in your mind.
Have fun surfing today!