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 'union'

Breaking News: Costume Designers Guild Election Results

cdg-award-sm

Breaking news: The Costume Designers Guild (IATSE, Local 892) announced today that film and television Costume Designer Salvador Perez has been elected president.  Long time Costume Designers Guild member Cate Adair of “Desperate Housewives” fame has been elected vice president and Assistant Costume Designer Brigitta Romanov has retained her position as Assistant Costume Designers representative.

The Guild also disclosed new board members, delegates and trustees that include: Executive Board Members Christopher Lawrence and Mary Vogt, with Alternate Board Members Kristin Burke and Jennifer Soulages; Trustees Jacqueline Saint Anne, Cliff Chally and Barbara Inglehart, with Dorothy Amos as the alternate. Delegates are Rachael Stanley, Sharon Day, Jacqueline Saint Anne, Cliff Chally, Betty Madden, Frank Helmer, Dana Woods and Monique Long.

New President Salvador Perez has served on the board of the Costume Designers Guild (IATSE, Local 892) for nine years. He previously served as the organization’s vice president, head of the member directory, and is currently in charge of the Guild’s website activities.  Perez has worked in both film and television and is currently the Costume Designer for “The Mindy Project.”

It’s a new day at the Guild, folks – it will be interesting to see what happens next.  Stay tuned, and congrats to all!

– KMB

 

Awardsapalooza 2013: the CDG Awards!

I need to use toothpicks to hold my eyes open today.  Last night was the big shindig at the Beverly Hilton – the 15th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards!  It was a lovely event, but man kinda brutal with an early-morning call time today across town!  Pumping lots of fluids here.  Without further ado, here are the results:

Television: Period/Fantasy – CAROLINE McCALL, DOWNTON ABBEY

Television: Movie/Miniseries – LOU EYRICH, AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM, SEASON 2

Television: Contemporary – MOLLY MAGINNIS, SMASH

Commercial: JUDIANNA MAKOVSKY, Captain Morgan Black

Film: Fantasy – EIKO ISHIOKA, MIRROR, MIRROR

Film: Period – JACQUELINE DURRAN, ANNA KARENINA

Film: Contemporary – JANY TEMIME, SKYFALL

Distinguished Service Award:  David Le Vey

Distinguished Collaborator Award:  Lorne Michaels

Lacoste Spotlight Award: Anne Hathaway

Career Achievement in Television: Eduardo Castro

Career Achievement in Film: Judianna Makovsky

Congratulations to all, especially to the party planners – it was a great time.  The food was delicious, and the company was grand.  A big huge shout out to JOEL McHALE, our MC for the night – he was hilarious, irreverent, and completely awesome.  Just what the doctor ordered – I hope we can have him back every year.  Thanks to everyone for putting on such a great show, and many congratulations to all the nominees, winners and their crew!!

– 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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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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Bitterness and the Costume Department

“Why did X get that job?!  X barely has any credits!  X is nothing more than a glorified shopper! Who did X have to **ck to get that job?!  Producers are all the same – they just want to bend you over a log and **ck you.  It’s all about money.  If someone else – less talented, naturally – will do it for less money, they will get the job!  And editors?  Don’t get me started.  They don’t give a sh*t about our work.  We get so screwed in the editing room! Ladder?!  I’m not climbing a ladder to pull costumes!!  When was the last time you saw Irene Sharaff on a ladder?!!  I’m too old for this sh*t.  I do all of this work, and for what?!” Ahhhh, the bitter costume designer.  Years ago, I used to think this was amusing, a bewildering bit of old-school, curmudgeonly charm.  It took me a while, but now I realize that this kind of bitterness is a true cancer in our midst.

** NB:  I am not singling out anyone in this article – these observations are based on twenty years of experience in the film industry, and are meant to be as generic and non-specific as they can possibly be **
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705 & 892 YARD SALE!!!

IATSE locals 705 (Motion Picture Costumers) and 892 (Costume Designers Guild) are having a yard sale coming up on Saturday, August 29th at Western Costume.  This sale is open to the public.  We had one of these yard sales last year, and the goods on sale were amazing.  I bought a hot-pink marabou capelet for my little cousin for about $5.  Where else in the world are you going to find cooler yard sale items than at a yard sale hosted by costume people??!?!  Nowhere!!

Here are the details:

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