In 2011, World War Z was being shot off the coast of Falmouth, UK, where we'd all just graduated from the Falmouth fashion design degree.
My best friends from the course were recruited for the costume team by a BIG costume coordinator and got swept up into the fold of Costume Standbys for cinema. It's not the usual transition; from fashion design into costume, although the skills are very applicable, yet this happened because of right skills, right place, right time!
My first day on set with them, my old pals, was in 2013 on The Kingsman - Secret Service. Dressing the crowd for the famous 'church fight scene' a seamless stunt scene that's made history. It really was a baptism of fire for me in film. And I was so freaked by the dummies (bodies for the people fake- killed in the scene) that I wasn't much use.
Shot over 7 days, the scene features 130 actors, including 30 stunt men, 30 special actors and 70-80 SAs (aka extras) and ofcourse the film's lead: Colin Firth.
Following that I really got the hang of it and loved the excitement and the dynamism of being on set. Then came some big films which I'm sharing below, most of which I was ‘Crowd Standby’ for, which essentially means...
On the busy crowd days of movies (the scenes when you see crowds of people in the background)...
500+ extras will arrive before dawn to be dressed in layers of cloth, gun belts, hats, hijabs, wigs, the works. I'm brought on board to get them dressed, and stand by on set for any costume mishap.
Anyone living in London as a free lancer knows that you have to be creative with how you earn money! I said yes to every opportunity with my skill of creating and making garments from scratch. I dived into the world of productions. Doing costume for commercials, music videos, bespoke celebrity red carpet, feature films and TV.
We have many stories up our sleeves from so many film sets! Luckily this experience only heightens film for me, when i watch a good movie I’m transported into the given world, im not looking for costume continuity anymore and I’m completely enthralled by the visuals and the story.
For me that’s a sign of an excellent film, but what about you? Are you totally involved in what you’re watching? Or would you love to jump in and brush off the dirt on a film stars costume?!