Declaration of Principles
Film Festivals: Playing the odds
DIY Film Projects
Cinema vs. Home Theatre
For Those With Writer's Block
So You Wanna Go to Film School: 1
So You Wanna Go to Film School:2
Filmmakers love to talk about tools. The blog-o-sphere is rampant with posts about cameras, lights, and cinematography accessories, but despite all the attention on achieving great looking films from an equipment/technology standpoint, there is far less discussion about low-fi ways to make your film look like a million bucks via attention to wardrobe, hair, and make-up.
I’ve recently jumped on the Mad Men bandwagon, catching up on the last four seasons. Whether you love or hate this show (a quick look at the Mad Men Wikipedia page will give a sense of the heated debates this show has provoked among critics), it’s hard not to be in awe of its production values, in general, and art direction, in particular. While probably no one reading this post has the budget that Mad Men does, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t attend to art direction with the same care.
Both as a film festival programmer and as a university instructor, I have seen how, all too often, art direction (much like sound design!) is neglected in first films and student films. It’s easy to spot an amateur effort when gangsters are wearing Converse One-Stars (yep, I’ve actually seen this) or an MRI machine is made out of cardboard (After Last Season, anyone?).
A single post can’t address the complex and time-consuming process of art direction–how to do it, how to do it well, and how to do it on a budget–but assuming art direction is receiving at least some of the attention it needs in your production, here are fifteen of my favorite inexpensive tools–none of them should run you more than $25–to help get you through the inevitable wardrobe, hair, and make-up emergencies:
If you’ve got other art tools you can’t live without, please let me know in the comments!
Attending to wardrobe, hair, and make-up comes with less glory (and, perhaps, on the positive side, ego) than that of Cinematographer or Director, but it’s no less responsible for making the difference between a successful film and an unsuccessful one. It can make the story world credible or incredible, real or surreal. What’s more essential than that?
Friday, October 28th, 2011 at 2:03 pm | by Ashley Maynor
| Filed under Basics, DIY Filmmaking, For Students, Movie Making, Production, Tools/Equipment |
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[...] Essential Tools for Wardrobe, Hair and Makeup ⇒ [...]
Double sided sticky tape, holds sagging hems up when you have no time to sew, also a quick stick fix for almost any cloth if it isn’t draping right, including curtains. Need to get wrinkles out of clothes, if you have tea/coffee making facilities, fill the kettle, boil it, pop the lid and hold it under the clothes (the talent is going to not want to be wearing the wrinkly garments at the time) works as well as a steamer and costs far less. Drawers sticking, an artist’s BB pencil, lay down a thickish layer of graphite on the runners, drawers will glide. Curiously most of what you describe above I carry with me on a daily basis, with duplicates of same in the car, as well as maps, a spare bath plug, batteries, rubbish bags, and a whole host of other things you might need in a crisis. Inverter, assorted 12v power cables, and when I am going out anywhere an in-car fridge.
Yes, double-sided tape and power inverters are some of my fav tools as well! I keep a power inverter in the car to charge cell phones, laptops, or camera batteries in a pinch. These are also great tools for any producer to have on hand!