My first film as a Costume Designer in the mid 90's came out entirely by accident. I had become friends with a few of the kids at the Film School at Ryerson whom I met during a creative writing class. I knew one of my classmates was going to be shooting a 'little musical dance number' in the school cafeteria and I offered to drop by and help with the costumes as I was in the theatre program at the time.
Director Allison Beula's own words:
"On the day that I was scheduled to film my dance number, which was the key element of the entire film, I realized to my horror that the costumes provided for the number for the actors were truly horrid. Jo had promised to pop in during the filming to see if I needed anything. I needed costumes for ten dancers and the camera was ready to roll within the hour! Jo claimed she could costume this ragged group in 20 minutes. I was a director on the edge and even though I knew this was impossible I had nothing to lose so I told her to go for it. To my shock, and ultimate good fortune Jo, within the 20 minutes (umm a wee bit more time I think, more like 2 hours) had five women in matching dresses and five men in tuxedos. The film went on to win me the 'Norman Jewision Filmmaker of the Year' award, to which I owe much of it's success to Jo."
Well I was (and still am) a huge collector of costumes and my closets across from the school cafeteria did in fact hold several handfuls of cocktail dresses, tuxes, evening gloves and jewelry. Luckily it was in black and white! I also got to dance in the movie which was a terrific bit of fun.
Unfortunately these photos are not of that short film Recipe for Making Love. I have that on a vhs tape somewhere and maybe I'm a bit inspired to try and hook up the VCR again. These pics are for the next student film I did with the same wonderful director called Time Steps. I made all these dresses with my lovely assistant Chriss Fort out of the cheapest polyester lining we could find on Queen Street. The dresses just lasted the day before they fell apart.
Thank you Allison for some great memories of my first film.
I've always been a bit of a maximalist. No, 'less is more' for me. So as I'm between projects I get to sit with all my costume jewelry, shoes, vintage coats, books, research files and I realize I do not need anymore stuff.
I'm also helping prepare CAFTCAD's Canadian premiere of A Conversation with Edith Head, January 17th-19th 2014 at the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. This behind the scenes feast of great movie lore and delicious story-telling provides insight into Hollywood’s legendary costume designer, Edith Head. In her six decades of costume design, Miss Head worked on 1,131 motion pictures, dressed the greatest stars of Hollywood, received thirty-five Academy Award nominations and won an unprecedented eight Oscars. Wow, that's a lot of Oscars.
The only thing I really, really want for Christmas is for the Indiegogo campaign for this event to be successful. If I ever got you a job, or lent you a suit, or volunteered on your short film, or donated to your marathon or mustache, please consider donating the minimum contribution of $10 this holiday season. You don't even have to wrap it up. But also consider there are some terrific perks- shopping with a Costume Designer or Stylist, a walk on role on the new Global series The Remedy, a custom logo by the artist who did this poster, Dan Sadaba, or simply tickets to the show.
And hey, if you're in Toronto on January 17th-19th, perhaps you'll want to see it too. It's received marvelous reviews across the U.S. and we thought it was so great that we're bringing it to Canadian audiences.
Tickets at http://buddiesinbadtimes.com/event/a-conversation-with-edith-head/2014-01-17/.
The Indiegogo link is http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-conversation-with-edith-head/x/405535
For a great read about Edith, Susan Claassen who plays the title role, and the show check out
Drew Rowsome's terrific article. http://drewrowsome.blogspot.ca/2013/12/above-all-glamour-conversation-with.html
Btw, does anyone have Santa's direct email address?
Just love dressing up, dressing other people up and talking about it. A lot. And laughing too.