Costume for film and TV

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sally
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Costume for film and TV

Postby sally » Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:30 pm

Just came across a very inetresting comment from a costume designer who has been working on 'The Tudors' (this is apparently from the presskit):

Q. How did shooting in High Definition (HD) influence the costuming
process?

Shooting in HD is merciless for the costume designer. The camera picks
up everything, so the finish, the detail, the stitching and so on, has
to be exactly right. The big surprise to me was that I thought the old
costumes would look shabby and worn. But HD loves the old dyes and
fabrics. It almost makes them look truer. They look gorgeous. The
color-read is so clear on digital that it would pick up a synthetic
fabric right away, which would normally look cheap and too modern. On
film, you can fudge things like that much more.


I think this is fascinating, over the years I've done a lot of extra-ing, and often I've turned up with my 'most accurate for the dateline requested' outfit only to have the wardrobe girl add plastic jewellery, shiny fabrics and garish colours. Usually, you start out a bit mortified and are vaguely relieved when it doesnt look too bad in the final film or programme because of the way film records stuff. It sounds as if the new HD will lend itself far better to accurate costuming, and who knows, maybe, just maybe, turning up for a days filming with decent kit will be a good thing not an excuse to layer on the jellybaby crowns and sequins :D

Anyone know any more about how far the differences in technology may extend in this respect?



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Postby Tuppence » Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:42 am

aw, but that'll spoil the fun of laughing at all the matrix wnnabes (substitute whatever film it'll be in the future) who go around in long black leather coats, not realising that the coat was dark green but the colour didn't show up on film... :lol:


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Postby myladyswardrobe » Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:02 pm

Except the costumes for The Tudors are absolute sh*te!

Have a look here: http://www.jrmfansite.org/gallery/index.php?cat=61

From what I can see of the stills, the costumes are a mishmash of the rubbish that came out of "Elizabeth" (Cate Blanchet film) and the costumer's imagination!

And the storyline looks to be bad as well!


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Postby Zachos » Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:56 pm

myladyswardrobe wrote:Except the costumes for The Tudors are absolute sh*te!

Have a look here: http://www.jrmfansite.org/gallery/index.php?cat=61

From what I can see of the stills, the costumes are a mishmash of the rubbish that came out of "Elizabeth" (Cate Blanchet film) and the costumer's imagination!

And the storyline looks to be bad as well!



I don't know much about tudor clothes, but I know that this film is sacriligious tw*t. What is it with modern film-making that they think that period costumes are not "cool" or attractive? I actually find the new robin hoods costumes offensive because it seems that the costume designers are saying my costume is not "cool" enough. No doubt others feel the same about that stuff.


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Postby sally » Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:24 am

I wasnt making any comment on the actual production this came from, I've heard some very un complimentary things about t too but havent seen it so wouldnt like to draw any conclusions. What I thought was interesting was the suggestion that the newer technology could actually, in time, encourage an attention to detail that has been waved away recently as 'irrelevant' for many films



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Postby Zachos » Sat Mar 17, 2007 2:34 pm

Whether thats a good thing or not is a different matter however. As much as it sounds a good idea for the extra with their own clothes point of view, the fact that every period costume would need some amount of hand stitching would mean bigger production costs and a very real possibility of well made period films becoming much rarer than they already are.


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Postby frances » Sat Mar 17, 2007 11:28 pm

Gosh, the girls are bursting out a bit - and why are they in their undies in the dance? Mmm but the blokes are rather yummy!!



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Postby lidimy » Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:11 am

and why are they wearing stays with no smocks underneath?

Agreed about the guys though :wink:

lidi


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Postby MedicKitten » Sun Mar 18, 2007 7:06 pm

Except the costumes for The Tudors are absolute sh*te!


Good...lord... it looks like they took the theme of the masque about the Seige of the Castle Vert and made it into a burlesque!!!!
GAH!!!!

and since WHEN did men's shirts button up in the Tudor period? ::whimper::
though I must admit he does that costume credit... :twisted:


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Postby myladyswardrobe » Sun Mar 18, 2007 7:21 pm

Quote:
Except the costumes for The Tudors are absolute sh*te!



Good...lord... it looks like they took the theme of the masque about the Seige of the Castle Vert and made it into a burlesque!!!!
GAH!!!!

and since WHEN did men's shirts button up in the Tudor period? ::whimper::
though I must admit he does that costume credit...


Hi!

If you think thats bad - have a look at this link:
http://imdb.com/title/tt0758790/

If you dare!!!! :wink:

Bess.


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Postby MedicKitten » Sun Mar 18, 2007 7:32 pm

oh for the love of....
That "Dormer" person looks like she's wearing a dress purchased from one of our Goth-Clothes chains!!! That's just HORRIBLE!

and all of them need to purchase some smocks! Disgraceful! No wonder they called her nasty names!


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Postby Shadowcat » Sun Mar 18, 2007 7:53 pm

And what is it about putting men in leather in the 16th century. Yes I know it was worn, but by everyone?

S.



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Postby DeviantShrub » Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:08 pm

I wish I hadn't looked!



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Postby lidimy » Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:50 pm

One can only laugh :lol:

That's just so hideously awful!!!


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Postby craig1459 » Sun Mar 18, 2007 11:16 pm

Costumes by typing Tudor into ebay :lol:


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Postby kate/bob » Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:40 am

I think sadly that the advance in technology might just mean that we'll be even more upset by people's mistakes. I imagine that most of you, like me, can spot modern fabrics, machine finishing and plastic soles on shoes miles away.

On the other hand, it might mean that there are more programmes that I watch just for the costumes, not caring about the story line a jot!!



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Postby MedicKitten » Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:29 pm

you, like me, can spot modern fabrics, machine finishing and plastic soles on shoes miles away.

my best friend jokes that i can spot a poly/cotton blend at 30 paces...it would be funny if it werent so sad :D frankly, I think that if the wrong fabrics were the biggest problem with the costuming here, I'd be GREATLY relieved. Alas, they chose instead to NOT WEAR UNDERWEAR. Hussies.


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Postby myladyswardrobe » Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:47 pm

Alas, they chose instead to NOT WEAR UNDERWEAR. Hussies.


And in some scenes the "corsets" are practically see through apart from a few strategically placed bones!!!


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Postby MedicKitten » Mon Mar 19, 2007 9:06 pm

::GASP!!!::
Now that's a really poorly made bodice! Where's the interlining? :lol:
A little buckram would do nicely in this situation!


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Postby calicocloth » Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:41 am

I currently have the challenge of costuming a short film for a museum which will be shot in HD. We are filming scenes from the Luttrell Psalter - early 14th cntury. Whilst I always pay as much attention to accuracy as I can, it is not always possible to find the perfect textiles (at least on a tight budget). My biggest problem so far is with colours - I am stuggling to find textiles that are not deep dyed. However, we plan to do a test shoot simply with the fabrics to see how they work on camera - before I start cutting!
http://www.luttrellpsalter.org.uk/



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Postby myladyswardrobe » Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:34 pm

Hi Calicocloth,

I think the problem many of us re-enactors have with tv/film costuming is not 100% accurate fabrics or even construction techniques. Its where the costumer, for whatever reason, decides to not even get the "look" or silhouette right.

An example is this "The Tudors" series (I've been reading a discussion about the costuming for it on a mailing list which involves a publicist from the program!). the costumer deliberately didn't follow the styles because they were "odd to modern eyes".

Its the arrogance and patronising attitude that gets me. I doubt there is a single person who would turn OFF a program (lets assume the story is engaging) because the costumes were authentic. Lots of historians (who would be wanting to watch a program like this) would turn it off if the story/history is VERY wrong. Re-enactors will turn off for that reason AND because the costumes really are bad!

The great BBC series "Elizabeth R" certainly did not have authentic silks and velvets etc. Even the jewellery wasn't made of metals! But the silhouette and the fashions were right and it went part of the way to making the series very popular.

Just my thoughts.


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Postby calicocloth » Tue Mar 20, 2007 1:34 pm

Hi Bess

Yes, I agree. The work re-enactors put in, in terms of both research and labour, can be impressive.

In my experience faithfulness and accuracy of dress is utterly persuasive, even when the audience knows little of the era. Attention to the smallest details pays dividends, inconsistencies jar and distract. On the other hand, brilliant designers can play fast and loose with an era with great success, betraying a complete understanding of the dress of the time whilst playing with it, for example in the recent series of Casanova - the designs showed intellect and mischievous self-awareness.

Sadly the Tudors (and the recent Robin Hood series) have fallen between two stools, being neither accurate nor wittily stylish.



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Postby myladyswardrobe » Tue Mar 20, 2007 2:54 pm

In my experience faithfulness and accuracy of dress is utterly persuasive, even when the audience knows little of the era. Attention to the smallest details pays dividends, inconsistencies jar and distract.


Absolutely! Many film makers seem to think that their only responsibility is to entertain and yes that is a priority but when using a subject that is history it is then automatic that it will "educate" to a lesser or greater extent. And thats where costuming/locations/speech/manners and actions all play a part at making it believable.

Shakespeare in Love was nowhere NEAR 100% perfect in costuming. The costumes were supposed to be 1590s but they used 1560s -1580s elements. Re-enactors and costume historians would have noticed, but it still WORKED.

I admire you working on a film costuming project - I certainly couldn't do it at all.

Best of luck.

Bess.

PS - just looked at the Luttrell Psalter page - costumes are gorgeous.


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Postby Neibelungen » Tue Mar 20, 2007 5:07 pm

Having worked on several films (Starwars/Gladiator/Troy/Alexander/POTC 1&2/Sweeney Tod etc. ) I've learnt to bite my tounge regarding anything that has to do with accuracy, even if their trying to make a vaguely 'historical' film.

The designer is making (designing) the costume and props for what looks 'good' on the screen and will appear appealing and have the impact for that moment. Historical accuracy doesn't always make for the best visual effect.

The second part is that in a film designed to reach several million people worldwide, history buffs don't even rate a single percent of the audience. As one designer told me,
" even if it's trying to be historical, we're making a film not a documentary. It's entertainment not education"

There's also an aspect not often noticed, that lighting and film see many things differently to the naked eye and colours, tones and textures have to be altered not to appear garish or lost or completely altered.



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Postby MedicKitten » Tue Mar 20, 2007 5:26 pm

he costumes were supposed to be 1590s but they used 1560s -1580s elements. Re-enactors and costume historians would have noticed, but it still WORKED.
that's because THEY WERE WEARING UNDERWEAR! (sorry, just my pet peeve right now). Also, when I was watching the film I was impressed by the fact that she always had SOMETHING on her head, something that looked at least vaguely billament-like.
I think the one GOOD thing about the costuming in "The Tudors" is that it makes the HORRIFIC job of costuming in the forthcoming "The Other Boleyn Girl" look respectable! (at least it looks like THEY have partlets with their 1570s gowns).


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Postby lidimy » Tue Mar 20, 2007 5:46 pm

You are kidding me. The Other Boleyn girl is being made into a film?! Noooo! :cry: Leave poor Anne B alone :cry: :cry: She deserves more than this hopeless slandering :(

Lidi :|

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Postby MedicKitten » Tue Mar 20, 2007 6:43 pm

nope. sorry. its true. see www.imdb.com and search "the other boleyn girl". COULD give you a seizure though, so watch out. :twisted:


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Postby lidimy » Tue Mar 20, 2007 7:00 pm

OH MY GOODNESS! THE.... EVERYTHING!!!

and on top of that it's still not fair on Anne...

I'm going to hate this aren't I :(

*lower lip wobbles dangerously*


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Postby MedicKitten » Tue Mar 20, 2007 7:13 pm

its ok Lidi...at least they're fully clothed...and have SOMETHING on their heads! Look on the bright side!


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Postby lidimy » Tue Mar 20, 2007 7:14 pm

Gosh you're right :P

I really do need to stop being so self righteous on the issue of authenticity lol :D

Lids :)


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