Visit to Props House

Today we went to a Costume Hire in Oval. We were given a tour of all the different types of clothing and the styles they had for different era’s. We were given a chance to have a look around freely and get used to hiring clothes out and learning the different procedures etc. It was a beautiful hire store because it had everything down to accessories which is hard to find in most costume hire places. This place was a good place for us to have a look around as it offered 10% off hire for all students which is a bonus for us!

We were set the task of choosing a characters outfit that we had discussed with the director down to detail and find a potential outfit. This not only helped us with learning how to pick out specific items and look for them but also tested our skills on how well we could seclude information we have been given by directors in order to deliver back an item that works and is what they wanted to initially use.

I worked with my Costume designer Reanne and we picked out a dark brown suit with a cream shirt to match and thought this would be perfect for our character as out Director was not specific with clothing. She wanted us to figure out something that looked smart yet stylish on a man of 60 years old. We then decided that this was far too simple and would cost more as the prices of suits were quite costly. We put the items back and picked out a bottom half for out character to wear. We agreed that we thought it fit the brief perfect and chose a beautiful shirt to match. We then decided to this outfit all we would need to add is a hat (which our Director insisted on) and some braces to style up the outfit a little.

After having a talk with Candida, we realised we were focusing too much on the look of the outfit and not enough on our research and analysis of the character and time that this is set in. We figured out that a 60 year old man may look very different in the outfit we chose as although it was very stylish and in the right time frame of the 80’s it was quite formal and young. We had a look through and had a talk with Candida which we then all came across a pair of Slacks that would have been perfect back then for a man of his age. The colour was exactly what we were looking for and all we had to do was find a really ‘funky’ designed shirt to match. We were thinking of looking for a medallion to add but we wanted to keep it smart. Slacks was perfect especially for this film as they are stay press Slacks which means they never get creased as it has man made seam in them

From this experience, I have learnt that there is more to picking an item than what you think ‘looks good’. It is essential that we are able to use our research skills and rehearse them when going out and picking for a production. Otherwise, it could result in a time consuming situation where you will be sent out to look again. It is also important to look through different places so you know where the cheapest and best places to buy stuff are. I have taken a few pictures from today of the final outfits we picked out on the rails, however these are for research purpose only and I will only be purchasing when we find out what our actors measurements are and when I have a look around some charity shops.

Today’s trip was helpful because I am now aware roughly of what is expected from me when visiting prop/costume hire places. I know I need to take a trip to ‘Angels’ in north west because they have some cheap offerings too. Also a few drama schools. I know that before dress rehearsals and fittings I need to do a shower check and make sure all my actors have showered before putting on the items I have hired as it is essential that I return all my items in the state I was given them and that they are looked after. Hygiene and maintenance is very important and it is my responsibility that I attain this.

I have learnt that it is also my responsibility that I list items that I have hired or taken out and bring it back otherwise, I will be billed. I will put these all into a hard copy book/ our ‘costume bible’ and make sure I take a picture of everything used. I know I will have to prep my clothes and make sure they are ready for fitting i.e iron etc as I need to take pride in them. When visiting a costume hire place, I should always carry with me a tape measure and something to take photos with. The last thing I learnt today is that when taking measurements, they always have to be bigger than body measurements when taken so the actor has space to move around in them.



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