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! **

Tag Archive for 'economic downturn'

Economic Downturn and the Film Biz: the W Effect

I published several articles last year about the economic downturn and how it has affected the film industry.  The LA Times has been vigilant about reporting on our situation, and today’s offering is a very good update.  Since the market crash in the summer of 2008, there has been talk that our recovery might be rocky – that is, we would crash, recover slightly, crash again, and then slowly recover for good.  On a graph, that looks like the shape of the letter W.  If you look at it through the lens the LA Times has crafted, we may have reached the second nadir now.  It is true – there are fewer films being made, people are working for half their rates (testify!) and jobs are scarce.  What I can tell you is that those of us lucky enough to be working are counting our blessings, no matter how difficult the show or how little we are paid.  These are tough times.  One day, we will look back on this time and tell stories about our hardships.  I just hope I do it from the deck of my own private ski lodge in Switzerland.  Have a great week, everyone!


Economic Downturn, Part 4: Lifting Our Collective Chin

Happy Labor Day, Frocktalkers. On this day of the celebration of labor, I thought it only fitting to post something today about our industry’s lack of it. With nationwide unemployment hovering at about 10% this week (and it’s higher in LA, 12%, believe me), I do have some good news, a ray of light in the mineshaft: I got a job.

Continue reading ‘Economic Downturn, Part 4: Lifting Our Collective Chin’

Economic Downturn, Part 3: Cash Break Zero

The LA Times is running another extraordinary story today about shrinking salaries in Hollywood.  Work trickles in slowly here these days – many people are unemployed – and the rates that studios will pay is attenuating down to scale for some department heads.  Scale!!  The audacity!  It’s not just about actors’ salaries, and points on the gross, either.  Every strata of film worker is affected.  Read on…



Economic Downturn: The Continuation

The LA Times published yet another depressing article about the decline in business in Hollywood, and its effects on the everyman.  This gives me a serious case of the sads.  Maybe I need to watch Brüno again.



Geez, Another One Bites The Dust.

Just heard about this tonight – 20th Century Props is closing its doors forever.  They are auctioning off their massive inventory at the end of July.  There will be things up for sale from Batman, Titanic, Terminator 3, The Aviator, and many more.  This is just sickening.  In the article (below), owner Harvey Schwartz talks about some of the hardships his business has endured.  It’s so sad that another of our stalwart businesses crumbles, one more victim of our ulcer-inducing economy and the long, drawn-out death of the SAG strike.  This prop house, like Odds Costumes in New York, shouldn’t be closing.  It’s shameful.



This Just In: SAG and AMPTP Make Nice!! Let the Kissing Begin!

You have probably already heard about this, but I have been working in the woodshop all day today.  What follows is the BEST NEWS I HAVE HEARD IN MONTHS:  SAG and the AMPTP have reached a tentative agreement!!  I feel like kissing a sailor in Times Square!!!  Hopefully, it will be signed in blood on Sunday, and we can all get back to work!!  This means NO SAG STRIKE!  Read it for yourselves –





And if you happen to be wearing a sailor suit, WATCH OUT!


Economic Downturn: Follow-up

Well, I hate to rub it in, but even the LA Times and the Hollywood Reporter are backing me up on my article (Economic Downturn and the Film Biz, posted Sunday 4-12-09) about the shocking lack of work in the film industry over the past ten months.  Our friends over at FilmLA have compiled data for the first quarter of 2009, and film production is down a whopping 56% from a year ago.  Here is yesterday’s article from the Hollywood Reporter (ARTICLE), and here is today’s article from the LA Times (ARTICLE).  Oy gevalt!  Let’s hope that things start to improve now, and that we are all working again very soon.


Economic Downturn and the Film Biz

Happy Passover and happy Easter, Frocktalk readers.  This week, in lieu of a review, I’d like to take some time to talk about the state of our economy as it relates to the film industry.  It has been painfully slow here in Hollywood for the past ten months.  In fact, this is the worst I have seen it in the eighteen years I’ve been working in this business.  Let’s take a look at what the recession means to the entertainment industry – what has caused it, what the possible outcomes are, and what protracted unemployment or under-employment means to all of us who work in this business.
Continue reading ‘Economic Downturn and the Film Biz’

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