I was blessed with the opportunity to take on the biggest job of my short career as a Costume Supervisor for a film titled The Perfect Sacrifice. Last week we finished wrapping five days of filming that was broken up in two parts, June and August. Based on a true story, Director and Writer Tiffany Littlejohn tells the story of a mother Mamie Bradley Till decision to have an open casket after her 15 year old son Emmett Till is brutally murdered in Mississippi the summer of 1955. Boy! The film changed my life. I learned so much about history, my history, and also that I love Costume Design but this shit is hard work! Continue Reading to learn what I learned so you don’t make the same mistakes.
Research: Because it was a time period piece knowing the fashion in the mid 1950’s was crucial. From hats to suits and dresses down to the panty hoses. Make google, bookstores, old movies,and even your grandparents pictures your friends. It is all in the details.
Help: The moment it seems to much hire a intern, call or friend, or pout to your mom that you need help. You can not do it on your own.
Organize: When you are in charge of wardrobe of a cast of over 10 having everything in order before pulling is a must. A binder characterized by each actor with print-outs of sizes, reference outfits from head to toe and to make sure to have a check off list once the items are pulled for return purposes.
Pulling: Before leaving costume design studios, stores, or designers make sure every item you pulled is in the bag. I left a damn bow-tie and had to improvise. Speaking of Improvising…
Improvise: Always have a Plan B because shit does happen, but it is about not panicking. It’s about Praying, and making the next move. When I discovered the bow tie was not in the bag, with the help of the hairstylist and a piece of fabric in the Directors car I was able to replicate it, looked almost exact too!
Communicate: Introduce yourself to your cast through email just in case you need to reach out to them to confirm sizes or have them bring item the day of. Especially for films with small budgets.
Biggest Lesson: We filmed the movie is 2 parts June and August. If you ever have to or need to reshoot scenes make sure pictures are taken to be able to reference for the next time you film. (Never thought about this, until I arrived to set. Although it made it harder I learned that I am the best at figuring it out under pressure. (Two snaps)