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I recently got a comment from Dawn Climie, who runs a blog called Don’t Shoot the Costumer. Naturally, I clicked her link, and found the blog an entertaining and engaging read. If you haven’t heard of her, you should check her out, too. It’s got great advice and fun stories, whether you’re interested in the wardrobe department or not.1

In other below-the-line bloggy goodness, Mike has written some good posts lately over on Blood, Sweat, and Tedium: one about wrapping up a season, and another about safety on set.

Plus, he recently linked to a Dollygrippery post that is a must-read for anyone starting out in the business, again, no matter what department you want to be in.

Going further down the linking rabbit hole, Mike has also been pushing a Kickstarter campaign for a book called 99 Jobs. It sounds like a great project. You should donate to that, instead of giving your money to rich people.

Footnotes    (↩ returns to text)

  1. Dawn, if you’re reading this, please do a post on why you guys can’t seem to decide whether you’re the “costume department” or the “wardrobe department.” I feel like it changes every other show I’m on.
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3 Responses

  1. Hello,

    Yes I am reading and loving it!

    The confusion over ‘costumes’ and ‘wardrobe’ is one that will go on forever. In the theatre they have a Wardrobe Mistress and in film there is the Costume Supervisor. I think that this is where the confusion is coming from. At one point, in some unions, you could cross over and do jobs either in film or theater… something I did in the beginning, although now it is not as common.

    I personally don’t have a problem with being called either title because I know that they are both respected in the same way. I would say to keep people happy on the film set just use Costumes.

    And Jessica is correct; costumes are what the cast are wearing when they are in front of camera, not what they wore to work that day. This is something that is difficult for our department. Some crew members are not able to understand what the Costume Department does solely because the costumes sometimes look like everyday clothing. I do promise you that even if the costume isn’t period or fantasy, there is a lot of thought and effort put into every piece to help the actor fill out their character.

    While working on TRON, one of the grips said to me that I must be exhausted because I had to work so hard on this show compared to everything else I have done…. Hummm. I offered to change positions with him the next day, and reminded him that the stands, flags and equipment that he uses have no personalities, no opinions, do not argue or have bad days… and yes, one blouse is rather light but trying clutching 6 winter warm-up coats while holding an umbrella at full arm length for the run of a rehearsal.

    Every department on a film set has their own challenges, one no less than the others. What we all need to do is work together and appreciate that it takes us all to make a really good movie!

    Dawn,
    Don’t Shoot the Costumer

  2. Edit: Okay. I went for the contract. For those on set (in NY in case it changes things) the Union is called, “Theatrical WARDROBE Union” (Looking at Local #764 IATSE and MPTAAC, right now).
    They refer to the workers that they represent, in the contract, as “costumers”.

    A google search tells me that designers are apart of the, “Costume Designer’s Guild”

    So, it just comes down to contract titles? And that’s where it gets blurry?

  3. Don’t quote me (since I’m not a costumer), but it was explained to me (In NY if the area changes things) that Wardrobe and Costumes are technically 2 different unions. Think of costumes as above the line. Designers ect. Wardrobe are on set, juggling the costumes and often the actor’s street clothes. We tend to just lump them all together as Costumes, whereas some shows tend to be more particular.

    Then again, I’ve been on some shows where they are very particular about being called only Costumes (in the Boston area) and as they explained it to me, because wardrobe refers to the street clothes before the actor’s change into costume (and they don’t want to be referred to that).

    I could walk the five feet to my closet to break out the union contracts (Yes, I have those…) but I just got out of work and am refusing to put in extra effort. I like going off hearsay, anyways. I’m interested though. Can anyone confirm or deny?

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