Why did the Costumer Cross the Road?


Because Locations told them too!

Sweet little orange arrows guiding me to work

Sweet little orange arrows guiding me to work

It all starts at the very beginning of our day. While driving in the pre dawn dark I am happy to see the glow of their little orange arrows sitting snuggly tied to a post on the side of the road directing me to the safety of set. I wonder at their ability to conquer the hours they have to work to set tents up, have chairs in place and tables to eat at. They lay wooden walk ways on the rain soaked ground, make sure that the actors, directors and producer have heaters close by to keep them comfy during shooting and are the general dogsbodies of every kind of shooting prep that is needs to be done on and off of the set. The Locations Department… a costumer’s best friend!

I love working on location even if it’s nowhere more exotic than in my own city. Getting to go somewhere different every day means that the view from ‘my office window’ is ever changing. I have it easy; all I have to do is show up!

The view from my window

The view from my window

At the end of every workday we are handed a call sheet. This is our little lifeline that gives us all the information that we need to know to be able to prepare for what we are doing the next day.

It’s all the additional pages; maps, directions and safety regulations, that are attached to the call sheet that let us know where we will be going and what we should expect from the environment we will be shooting in… and sometimes you get a laugh when you actually read the directions on the map!

This is a keeper! How many people get directions to NOWHERE!

Location Managers (LM’s), Assistant Location Managers (ALM’s) and Production Assistants (PA’s) have a never ending and challenging job.

The LM and ALM start early in pre-production often before the production offices have even opened. They work with the director and producers helping to find and secure all the locations that we work in here and around the world.

Even though there are many aspects to their job, the most important is that they are the face of the production that the public sees and deals with on a daily basis.

Before the production moves in and starts to work in any community, the LM and ALM talk to the residents, discussing with them what is required for the filming of the picture. The Locations Department stays on set with the filming crew to alleviate any issues that may arise within the neighborhood during the shoot.

When filming is finished, the Locations Department stays behind to assist with all the clean up and repair of the work sites.

Nochle Macdonald helps clean up at the end of the shooting day.

Nochle Macdonald helps clean up at the end of the shooting day.

I truly appreciate this often over looked department that is the backbone of our working day.

These amazing people are often young and new to our industry, although some stay with the Location Department for their entire career, others move on to different departments. We in Costumes have welcomed many team members who originally started as PA’s to our department and it is wonderful to now work with them as new Costumers.

I want to send a thank you out to all of the wonderful PA’s that make my job easier everyday. You help me get my equipment in, up and out of the many wonderful locations we work in. You show me the way to set, help me arrange areas to change cast in and even hold umbrellas when I just don’t have enough hands to deal with everything going on.

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Cody Briggs, Devon Kuziw and Dan Moore. Some of the fabulous locations guys from my show WORDS AND PICTURES!

All the things you do for me have not gone unnoticed.

And if my name is on your call sheet, know this; there is always a place in our wardrobe trailer for you to get dry clothes when you’re soaked, hand warmers when you’re doing road side lock ups in the freezing cold or if you just need a helping hand. Come on in!

You welcome any time! Jody Petford and Dawn Climie

You’re welcome any time! Jody Petford and Dawn Climie

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5 thoughts on “Why did the Costumer Cross the Road?

  1. A nice shout out to one of the most abused departments on set!!! They work so hard! You should feature another hard working department in the future – craft service! Great blog Dawn – you are demystifying the film industry! If you’ve never been on a set, how would you know? And now readers get a glimpse!

  2. Yes… hurray for the locations department. I remember always trying to give them an extra hello, and thank you when arriving or leaving a set. Their job is tough! Great post on the team behind a film set, Dawn!

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