Welcome to FrockTalk, the web’s only costume-based movie review site. The goal of Frocktalk is to shed light on the magnificent artistry of costume design in motion pictures. Reviews on this site are written by working costume designers in the entertainment industry – people who know, better than anyone, what it takes to make it all happen. The focus of FrockTalk is not to comment on the big flashy costume dramas, but to call attention to the seemingly ordinary costume design work in film that silently and persuasively moves the audience toward understanding the characters. Costume design for motion pictures is an art form that deserves more recognition than it usually gets. Fancy, pretty costumes do not always equal effective, appropriate costumes. The art of the costume is in letting the audience know who the character is, before the actor even has a chance to open his mouth. Read on, and enjoy. ** CAUTION: ALL REVIEWS CONTAIN SPOILERS! **

Awardsapalooza 2009/10 – Nomination Ballots are Circulating!

OK, so it’s award season here in LA. And as I stated for the record last year, we should not put too much stock in awards. Art is not quantitative; it is subjective – how can you really say that one piece is “better” than another? It’s a quandary.

So it was with great interest, of course, that I opened my nominating ballots for this year’s CDG Awards. If you ask me, the CDG award is the one that means the most – this is an award given by our peers and only our peers. WE know how hard it is to do the job. WE know half/most/all of your crew and heard the war stories. We get it. Therefore, there is a more substantial appreciation for the effort.

We can nominate five films in each category. If the category has less than thirty candidates, the nomination number goes from five to three. It seems fair to me. But here’s how it breaks down. Submissions in the contemporary film category: 117. Submissions in the period film category: 42. Fantasy film category: 29.

As for TV, it’s like this: contemporary submissions – 100. Period/Fantasy: 20. TV Movie/Miniseries/Special: 25.

Looking at the titles, it’s interesting – there are some big names, some films I have never heard of, and then some films that are (shockingly) missing! As I recall, the only way films are put on the nominating ballot is through CDG member submission. SO, if you forget to turn in your submission paperwork, your film will not automatically be nominated, even if it was a huge commercial hit. The Guild has also opened up the nominations to include work done by non-members. Last year, for example, the winners of the contemporary and period awards were non-members. What this means is that someone had to submit those films (write them in) in their submission paperwork. So, it’s not exactly a science – the submissions have holes in them – but we all do the best we can.

What’s interesting as well is that in the TV categories, we now see reality television competing with scripted television. I think this might need to be re-thought. Designing garments for a reality TV series is not necessarily about “character”, unless of course you are talking about costumes worn within the context of interpreting art, music, a script, etc. It might be wise to have a separate category. I just think that Big Love and Entertainment Tonight (though brilliant in their own right) are apples and oranges, and probably belong in separate categories. Anyone else out there thinking what I’m thinking?

These nomination ballots are due back on January 21, so we will probably have a good idea of actual nominees by (probably) January 25 or so. It’s just a guess on my part, the January 25 date, so don’t hold me to it. I will post nominations as soon as they are made public, and I look forward to sharing the happy news with you!

Have a good week!

— KMB

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