Get READY....well we have all gotten that call for a job that's tommorow leaving you just a few hours of Pre-pro and that over whelming panic headache. But the best way to approach that is with a systematic attack! Have a list of questions mentally ready before you even get that phone call.
1. Schedule and how many days of work (most longer film shoots won't provide you with an outright schedule but get what you can and atleast what the first few days of shooting will require)
4. Labour (do u have help? and what other department positions are there)
5. Job description (always clarify this! I've been asked to do wardrobe when there has been a designer or when there hasn't and then the design falls on me. Also, this job could require pre-pro or just be an on-set job. Many producers on indie films that hire you do not know how the costume department breaksdown.)
6. Get a script!!!!
Get SET! After this first round of questions you can choose to take a job or turn it down. Yes, sometimes it's worth it to turn the job down. Now that you have a script, do your first read for pleasure to absorb the themes and style of the writing. Right down a list of questions for your director as well as for your production designer & make-up artist. Theseare the people you are going to want to get in touch with first. Therefore your next round of questions should read:
1. Contact information, director, production design, props, make-up & hair, and ACTORS!
2. Actor sizes
3. Locations (where, logistics...are there changing areas for both men and women? Can you leave things like garment racks and steamers at the location? Will it be lock-up & who has the key? Is there electricity and running water near by? These questions may seem silly but trust me they are not a given. Better safe than sorry)
4. Budget....not just what is it but how do you get it. In a short pre-pro you will need that money right away. This may mean cash! I much prefer the method of prepaid check card therefore I will give the production company a heads up before meeting with them so that they have the time to get one together. Be respectful but never shy when it comes to money. Do not plan on spending your own and getting reimbursed. This is not a good habit to start or to encourage a production company to count on. Even the most reputable places sometimes don't pay-up or pay-up in a timely fashion when you have bills waiting at home. Be SMART! This is a business.
Ok, now that you have all these logistics worked out you can talk to your director about character, theme, etc. and work out any costume tricks or blood formulas with props. A successful production is only as good as the collabortion of it's crew! NOW GO!
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Rita Squitiere, Designer/Stylist.