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 'hours'

Nashville – a Letter from a Production Wife

Danger-Sign

This is a VERY interesting letter, written by the wife of one of the producers on TV’s NASHVILLE. Check it out – it’s an interesting perspective on the work and hours we perform, how we are treated, and what it all means.  I applaud its author, Micaela Bensko, and I kind of want to have her and family over for dinner.  Read on Frocktalkers.  Thanks for bearing with me – I have been flying by the seat of my pants these days.  Will have a juicy interview up for you very soon – ELLEN MIROJNICK, talking about her work on the upcoming Liberace movie for HBO, BEHIND THE CANDELABRA!  Have a great week, everyone!

-KMB

Exploitation, or Have You Hugged Your Union Today?

It’s Labor Day weekend – a time when most people frolic in the swimming pool, get drunk, barbeque and enjoy the last throes of summer before the rigors of school and work catch up with them. But did you know that without unions, we wouldn’t have this three-day-weekend to celebrate? I want to take time this weekend to talk about exploitation, and what led to the creation of these unions. Working in the film industry, you may encounter lots of different types of jobs – some union, and others, non-union. You need to be very, VERY aware of your rights if you work on non-union projects. Whereas the union has rules and regulations in place to protect you in the workplace, non-union work has practically nothing. You need to be forewarned about some of the shenanigans that people will try to pull – to know what is legal, and what is not! I will do my best to spell it out for you here.

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Dear Kristin: To Join, or Not Join, the Union?

Dear Kristin: I am an aspiring costume designer, having switched careers from fashion design. I haven’t looked back since, and it’s been tough, but great. One of my next goals is to join the Costume Designer’s Guild. I have been hard at work finding my way onto any indie feature I can, to learn as much as I can and just continue to gain experience. I was thinking of applying to the Guild (when I feel ready and have some funds saved up) as an assistant costume designer, so I can learn under more experienced costume designers. Is it difficult to then upgrade to costume designer, once I have some union experience under my belt? I’m in no rush to design a union feature as a costume designer; I’m just wondering if I should apply as a costume designer and then just look for assistant costume designer jobs instead, OR if I should apply as an assistant costume designer, and then upgrade.

Thanks,

Adriana

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Week’s End Wrap-up: Congrats to Keira & James, and I Heart You, Gavin Polone.

Working in this business is all-consuming, and often it takes weeks to get your life together after you’ve been out of town for a few months on a job.  As I sift through two trash bags’ worth of mail, unpack box after box, and do laundry for what seems like weeks, I am reminded that this is my privilege.  We can complain and carp about the crazy hours, lack of budget and bad food, or whatever makes you whine and moan, but at the end of the day, we should realize that it is a privilege to do this kind of artistic work for a living.  We make amazing friends, and we have the BEST STORIES EVER for cocktail parties and (eventually) for the nursing home and/or our salacious memoirs.

Continue reading ‘Week’s End Wrap-up: Congrats to Keira & James, and I Heart You, Gavin Polone.’

Costume House Rejection Letter

This rejection letter from a local costume house came across my desk and I had to share it with you.  Look, I know times are tough here, and costuming is a competitive business, but take a look at this letter.  I left the grammar and spelling alone, and all names are redacted so no one gets sued.  But man – it’s worth a look… after the jump!!!

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What’s in a Budget?

Hello Frocktalkers – it’s been crazy here. I am designing a very small movie for a friend of mine, and my days have been jammed – like 4:30 AM to 10:30 PM, every day. I have signed an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) for my work on this film, so I can’t talk about the project. However, working on this film reminds me of the stark contrast between low-budget, independent films and bigger-budget, studio films. I’d like to discuss the differences for those of you just getting started or heretofore unaware of the differences.

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PA stands for Production Assistant, or Potential Arbitration?

it has nothing to do with anything, but I like the image.
it has nothing to do with anything, but I like the image.

It has been a crazy week here. The film I am working on is moving forward at breakneck pace. We have five days until shooting, and only two actors cast. We are not pushing. Further, I taught my first class at UCLA yesterday and actually survived! I haven’t seen a film in a while, and I was fretting about writing this week’s Frocktalk installment. I stopped fretting when I opened my mailbox and out popped a delectable little hand grenade in an envelope. I will transcribe the contents verbatim for you:

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