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 'job'

Update From KB Land!

rainbow_unicorn

For the past few months, life here has been absolutely crazy lately.  I’ve moved house (twice!), and started a new job.  And then there was the TED talk (video will be posted in the next couple of weeks).  I’m about to move again (!) to North Carolina to begin shooting of the new job – a TV show – and I apologize for not being more present here because of it.  The reality of being a costume designer is that sometimes, we lose our lives to our work for long periods of time.

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Spotlight On: Background Artist Kimberly Ables Jindra!

Kimberly Ables Jindra

Kimberly Ables Jindra

As costume designers, supervisors and costumers, we often interact daily with background artists. How many of us have ever stopped to think about who these people are, what their lives are like, and how they view US? I talk here with background artist Kimberly Ables Jindra – we’ve worked together on a few films, and I am very fond of her. I thought it might be illuminating for you Frocktalkers to consider the other side of the coin when it comes to background players. We get so busy, so crazed, and we operate under such pressure that I think it’s worthwhile to remind ourselves that background artists are not just bodies; they are people, too.

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Dear Kristin: Internship?

Dear Kristin: I have just completed a foundation course in Art and Design. Before I start a degree course in performance costume in London next year I am planning to spend a year gaining some practical experience in a variety of areas related to theatre and design. I wonder if you know of any possibilities of an internship in this or a related area for some or all of the next twelve months. I have good organisational skills and thrive on working to deadlines. I would really appreciate any help that you could offer and, even if you are unable to help with internships, any advice you could give would be most welcome.

-Polly

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Tweeting My Face Off!!!

Find me @Frocktalk!

Hey Frocktalkers!!  Just letting you know that I am finally starting to get the hang of this Twitter thing and I have been tweeting my face off!  I am tweeting links to other interesting articles about costume design in film and television, as well as JOB OPENINGS that come across my desk.  If you have a costume-related job opening that you need to fill, send it on over and I will tweet it.  For those of you unfamiliar with the way Twitter works (Mom, I’m talking to you) you need to create a Twitter account in order to follow my tweets.  You don’t have to tweet anything yourself, and no one will steal your identity or track your movements.  In fact, no one has to know who you are!  Stay in touch and I’ll see you in the twittersphere!  @Frocktalk

- KMB

Dear Kristin: Need Work!

Dear Kristin,

I am an aspiring designer fresh out of grad school and getting started in the business. I’ve slowly had some work rolling in. I took a design job on a short film down in San Diego, and I booked a shopper job that pays a daily rate. I still have a bit of assistant work for the opera left, but that’s almost come to a close. I’m still looking for something to put me on set in LA though – even PA work for now would be okay. I’ve heard summer can be dry, but I can’t sit around that long; too much free time is never good right?! It’s just not my style to wait for work. Any advice?

- Sonia L

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What a Costume Designer Does!

Hello Frocktalkers, and happy weekend!!  The “This is what I do” meme has been making the rounds, and this gem came across my desk today.  Thought you all might appreciate it.  It’s good to laugh at ourselves, non?  Things are getting busy here with work – the crunch time is upon me!  But stay tuned for more news and info.  Have a great weekend!

- KMB

Dear Kristin: To Rep or Not To Rep?

Legendary talent agent Swifty Lazar

Legendary talent agent Swifty Lazar

Dear Kristin: I have been in the business for a few years, and started styling commercials recently. I am considering looking for an agent in order to be able to branch out with work, at least with commercials (though of course I’d rather do movies). What are your thoughts? Would it help me? I have heard from various people that their agents take anywhere from 10-30% (approx. 30% was from a makeup artist friend who also does a lot of print/fashion work). What do your agents take? Do you think it would be worth it for me?

Thanks, E.

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Is This the Sound of the Door Slamming Closed on Your Foot?

Painting by Poucher

Painting by Poucher

Frocktalkers, in this industry, the easiest way to meet people and to make connections while you’re in school is to INTERN.  This usually means working unpaid, for school credit, and doing all kinds of menial jobs while observing the way filmmaking works.  I interned.  Everyone I know interned.  You suck it up and pay your dues for a few weeks or months, and you leave with an address book full of potential job contacts.  Most people don’t complain about this, knowing that it is part of a long-standing system in our culture.  Well, a couple of interns from the acclaimed film Black Swan have now filed a lawsuit against Fox Searchlight claiming that they should have been paid for their time, and that the work they did should have been done by paid employees of Fox… and according to Nikki Finke, they are turning it into a class-action lawsuit, encompassing more than 100 former unpaid Fox Searchlight interns.

To say that this is a bad idea for their future entertainment careers is one thing.  What they might fail to realize is that by bringing this suit to court, they may well be thwarting the growth and development of hundreds of other students, eager for legitimate experience in the industry.  Do you honestly think Fox or any of its affiliates will ever again allow interns?  Not likely – and who could blame them?!  If other studios and production companies follow suit, it could be disastrous for college students wanting some summer experience.  Keep in mind that the people filing the suit took these intern jobs of their own volition – no one forced them to work for free.  They volunteered.  To punish Fox (and by extension, potentially hundreds or thousands of aspiring filmmakers) for a personal decision they now regret is completely convoluted.   They ought to be ashamed of themselves.

What do you think?

UPDATE: Fox Searchlight responds with, “And you are…???”

- KMB

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!

- KMB

Paradigm Shift Begins With Me… and You

courtesy Jonathan Moore

courtesy Jonathan Moore

I started this article so many times over the last year, and couldn’t get past the first sentence. The truth is, I don’t know how to gently or diplomatically broach the subject, so I’ll just put it out there. Costume design is a very competitive field. It’s difficult to get started, it’s difficult to build a career, and it’s difficult to hold on, once your career has gathered momentum. Competition occasionally (!) creates jealousy, backstabbing, trash talking, bitter rivalries and nastiness between peers. It doesn’t have to be this way.

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