Thursday, December 9, 2010

2000's by Lucinda Bellm

Modern Mode: Film Costume Design in the Here and Now by John Calhoun
(Published 1st March 2000)

John Calhoun gives us an insight into costume design by quoting various famous costume designers. At the beginning of the essay he puts an emphasis of the difference between dressing contemporary and period film, and the difficulty and hard work put into both. He goes onto quote Betsy Heimann on costume in film today “The problem with contemporary film is that everyone has an opinion, and believes that their vision of the 1970’s or last year is the a period movie, everybody pretty much accepts that your right”.Throughout the article Calhoun regularly quotes Betsy Heimann and Jeffrey Kurkland and their different opinions on the subject of costume design. He goes onto quote Kurkland for a substantial part of the article on the subject of the costume in the film “Erin Brockovich”. He talks about he film being an interesting case for contemporary film as he had something real to research, real looks she once wore from pictures the real Erin Brockovich had to show him. But that resulted in 52 changes in clothing throughout the film and having 75% of all the costumes made, it was important for him to “achieve a unity in her look”. Calhoun goes onto focus on Mona May, a German costume designer who had previously had a fashion based career. She has does the costumes for many fashion esque-films such as “never been kissed”, “Romy and Michele's high school reunion” and clueless and says she pulls inspiration from European trends as they are often 6 month ahead of the states, she emphasis the fact that with films like these, you have to be innovative and fresh with your designs as it is usually a depiction of real life at the time, but then of course it will take a year for the film to come out. Calhoun goes onto to focus where different costumes designers buy costumes or where they have them made, this can include anywhere from studio wardrobe departments to resale shops, to K mart, it is all depended on the film. At the end of the article he discusses costume design in relation to the fashion industry. He quotes Kurland “fashion, you design for people; costume you design characters”, whereas Mona may states a different opinion that the “conjunction of fashion and costume design is an exciting thing.”

Interview Inglorious Basterds: Costume Lowdown by Anna Sheppard (Published 29th September 2009)

This is an interview with Anna B Sheppard who is a polish costume designer. She has worked on films such as Schindlers list, the pianist and this interview is on her most current film Inglorious Basterds, Tarantino’s latest film.

The interview is very informative with first hand answers from the costume designer herself. It gives the reader an exclusive insight into the unique period look of the film. Sheppard refers to her costume design in the film as a more flamboyant version of costume that is historically correct. The interview is really a focus on some of the characters main costumes that appear throughout the film, where they were either made, sourced or how she was inspired to design them. She states that all the jewellery in the film is from her own personal collection that she has collected since her work on Schindlers list in 1993.

Deborah Nadoolman Landis “Dressed, 2000” (Published in New York 2007)

This is an informative article on an overview of the past decade in Hollywood referring to it as the “digital revolution”. It was the beginning of the craze for DVD’s, which was quickly taken over by video games and

the Internet. Landis also discusses film undergoing a digital revolution with films such as Shrek being made. But she does go onto say that this technology can be a good and bad thing for costume designers. Digitally computerized models meant no need for these huge budgets for clothing, as well as animated productions and video games needing costume designers as well. However she does focus on the expanding role of the costume designer in unexpected ways with the new technology of the green screen sometimes being a problem for costume design. Landis discusses that costume designers have done what they needed to do, over the last few decades in films to get the job done encountering problems with a smaller budget, time and various other factors so with this new technology they will do the same to adapt and move with the various challenges and opportunities. Landis praises the role of a costume designer as “unique” and how they play a predominant role in helping the director to tell a story. The images at the end of the text go onto to show us a decade of great costume ranging from period costume such as “Troy” to contemporary costumes such as “Legally Blonde”

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