Dressing Up for the Movies

Dressing Up for the MoviesThere’s nothing quite like a planned evening out that includes going to the movies. Some movies come out with a lot of hype and advertising and hopefully, you want this film to be entertaining. I once had a class that I was teaching English and one of the topics was: Good Book! Terrible Movie! The lesson was about how some books that are great to read turn into very mediocre films. There have been plenty of them. On the other hand, there have been books written that have been taken by a film director and turned into a very entertaining movie. A good example is the Harry Potter movies, which, though not as detailed as the books, were great entertainment and didn’t deviate too much from the core of the story.

Then, you have movies that were very successful. They were SO successful that the movie companies just had to make a sequel…then another sequel…and another. You get the picture. Rocky movies are a good example, albeit the last movie “Creed” finally got back on the ‘good movie’ train. One of the best jobs in the world would be to be a movie critic. You get to see all the movies for free then you have to write about them. This is when you get the chance to be creative and use all the descriptive words in the English language to give your opinion on how good or how bad a movie is. An AWFUL movie – disgusting, dreadful, horrible, terrible. A WONDERFUL movie – fabulous, fantastic, marvellous outstanding. STUPID movie – absurd, dumb, silly, ridiculous. A STRANGE movie – bizarre, unusual, weird, odd.

One of the really amazing aspects of movies is when they are set in the past or the distant future. Add to that, movies that are fantasy or fairy tales. The directors spend a lot of time and money recreating cities, vehicles, fashion, and atmosphere for the period in time they are trying to portray. The actors have to pretend they are either in the future or the past. Clothing has changed a lot since the 30’s and 40’s and changed completely from the time of the Middle Ages or from historical eras thousands of years ago. In the case of costumes for the past, the designers have some historical pictures or ideas of what was worn. But what about the future? Who can guess what people will wear then?

I visited a costume design business located in Los Angeles some time ago and this was one aspect of manufacturing that will never be handed over to 3rd World countries. There were about 10 work areas and on every one there was a serger, which is a fancier sewing machine than your mother ever used. These machines have multiple cotton feeds and are highly computerized so that they can be programmed to stitch and sew some complicated costumes, quickly and accurately. The whole operation is overseen by the Costume Director whose job is to ensure the accuracy if the clothing is for the past, and if it’s in the future, to make sure the final product is as per the technical fashion drawings.