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The Wrestler: Interview with Steffany Bernstein, costume supervisor

Some juicy “how-we-did-it” information from Steffany Bernstein, costume supervisor on The Wrestler!

1)    How much money did you have in your budget to do these costumes?

SB: 40K.

2)    How did you break out the M/O numbers from the rental or purchase numbers?  How much (how many costumes) did you have to make?

SB: It was about 60 % MO and 40% purchased for The Ram and other wrestlers’ costumes.  We made 6 multiples of the Ram’s wrestling outfit, and 2-4 multiples for the other wrestlers.

3)    Who did you get to make these wrestling garments, and what was the turnaround time like?  Who made the boots?

SB: We found a retired wrestler in Miami who makes wrestling outfits for wrestlers around the nation.  He was able to turnaround our multiples in a day or two.  The boots were purchased from a wrestling shoe distributor in Mexico.  We purchased the boots in white and took about an inch off the heel, hand painted them the lime green color (which Amy concocted herself), and had our Miami guy make additional appliqué ram heads which we had sewn on to the boot.  Paint touch ups were made at the end of every shoot day!!

4)    How many additional costumers did you have on the big wrestling finale day?  How long did it take to shoot that final sequence?  What were your hours like?

SB: On big days I had my 2 set costumers and 2 additional costumers.  The final sequence was shot over a span of 2-3 very long days.

5)    Who did your age/tech work – it’s beautiful!

SB: Thank you!  Our whole department age/teched all the garments.  It was group effort.

6)    How many of these costumes required multiples, and how did you work that into the budget?  What were some of your bigger budget challenges, and how did you solve them?

SB: The biggest budget challenge was that we had very little money to work with.  In order to stretch our dollar, I was able to strike a deal with the local Salvation Army to allow us to pull 4 racks of men’s stock clothing for free with the understanding that we would return everything and more.  This freed up funds for our much needed multiples and principal clothing.

7)     How much do you love the Hesher soundtrack?  I know you do.

SB: Of course, I’m a product of the 80’s baby!!!

Thank you, Steffany Bernstein, for your insight!  Great job on The Wrestler!!

-KMB

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