Wednesday, 29 June 2011

What to Wear On a Film Set


Here's a weird way in which a blogging network can impact on your "real life".  Some time ago I got an email from Dusk, who lives all the way on the other side of the globe in Australia, asking if I would be interested in an advertisement she had seen online for a flamenco dancer required for a short film to be shot in London.  I applied.  I met the director more than a month ago to discuss the project and never heard from him again.  Suddenly last week he rang and said he needed to shoot it within the week.  Always the way!

I'm not a movie star by any stretch of the imagination but in my time I have done the very occasional bit of film work as an extra with special powers - those powers being looking vaguely authentic as a flamenco dancer when done up in the costumes, and the ability to actually dance flamenco.  None of the work has ever been well paid and is never likely to have been seen by the general public at large as they are usually small, obscure, fringe projects and I'm usually playing such a small role, I just blend into the background.  But seeing how the whole filming process works and the creative process of directors is very eye opening.  And hey, I just love getting my hair and make up done!

This time however we were talking no budget. So it was just two guys, a camera and me - dancer with hair and makeup capabilities rolled into one.  I was not being offered anything in payment terms other than the possibility of some good footage for my own promotional purposes if I was lucky.  It's kind of how the fund starved fledgling arts industry is supposed to work - you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. But man cannot survive on back scratching alone. That's why some of us keep our day jobs.

What do you wear on a film set?  Well, when the film set was described to me as an industrial wasteland I decided on grunge, comfort and ease of getting changed quickly as my starting points.  And wasteland it certainly was.  The space was a warehouse occupied by squatters and had been converted into a makeshift nightclub the night before.  The floor was covered in beer bottles, rubbish and mud. I decided it best not to touch anything but grabbed a couple of snaps of the place before I left.

The photos of the set were taken after the guys cleaned up a bit. This is "gloriously gritty London" to coin a term by Grit and Glamour's Vahni at its grimiest.  Grit and glamour indeed - plenty of grit par excellence here with the only glamorous things on set being my flamenco costumes.  It's a myth doing this kind of thing is always glamorous - unless your idea of glamour is trying find space to attach false eyelashes on the only semi-clean surface in a dark and dingy corner with only just enough light to see what you are doing.

By coincidence the botanical print on my tee shirt kind of complimented the makeshift decor on the wall.  I should have taken a photo against it (except I was trying not to touch any surfaces!)

Harem trousers: Kaylee Tankus; Wrap cardigan: All Saints; Monochrome floral print tee shirt: Christopher Kane; Leather biker gilet: Oasis;  Boots: Gap

19 comments:

  1. Isn't Dusk an absolute darling for steering this opportunity your way? The world is an even smaller place in Blogland:)). I love what you're wearing - I'm coveting the jacket like crazy and I have ALWAYS loved those boots you wear! I actually really like the space they film makers used - the light is lovely. Hope you enjoyed the experience - I would love to see the film! xoxoxo

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  2. Love that tee! How exciting to be able to get a behind-the-scenes look like that! Does look a little grim though!

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  3. I thought the way your printed tee matched the walls was planned! That's an amazing coincidence and a brilliant opportunity despite the "gritty" surroundings.
    x

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  4. That is so cool!! First of all your outfit is feminine grunge at it's finest. And secondly, the opportunity to dance....well that's just COOL! I wish they had lessons around here. I'm enamored with the whole atmosphere around that dance. Let us know the name of the movie...would love to see you even if it's just for a second! ~Serene

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  5. You look great! I love this black and white outfit. You fit right in to the set. Hope the end result of the filming is ideal for self-promotion.
    No Guilt Fashion

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  6. Hi my dear-a fabulous outfit choice for the Film set and despite the budget, it sounds a fun and awesome experience!! xx

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  7. How cool!! That is one of the advantages of having a day job. You can go after opportunities like this and not worry about it paying your bills!

    Love the print on your shirt and the set does have a gritty glamourous charm to it:)

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  8. What an adventure! I'm excited for you : ).

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  9. @Pull Your Socks Up - oh despite being a pansy princess and not wanting to touch anything I did the project because I totally loved the idea of seeing something so traditional like flamenco juxtapositioned against an out of context surrounding like this. And what they did playing with the light exposure levels in the camera made the set look pretty amazing!

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  10. Well, the remote connection part of this is cool...even though the back scratching is not everything it might be. I'm curious to see the results.

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  11. SO COOL! I hope you post once they've finished editing.

    --Courtney

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  12. Ohhhhh I am so happy! And I love what you're wearing on its own and as part of the whole picture... the tough chic of your outfit then changing in to your Flamenco dress... in these surroundings.... oh wow...

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  13. There is something beautiful about a gritty location like this. Sometimes lower budget sets and productions are that much better, because overproduction and shiny surfaces just kill a concept. I'd love to see the final results! Great outfit by the way. I'm a sucker for Christopher Kane's prints.

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  14. Isn't it strange how the www opens opportunities for us? (I still think they should have paid you though. Next time!). The printed tee is absolutely beautiful. If it was mine I think I'd give it a little stroke every day.

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  15. Amazing, I most certainly love the blogosphere, I've worked with & learned of some pretty great talent through the internet. Your outfit is wonderful... that jacket - I love it, all of it actually. The print is my favourite.
    *Clever girl not touching anything, lol. I can't wait to see more, dear! -xo

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  16. Besides looking cool, the boots are practical for walking/standing around a lot on set, and the pants are easy to sit in without creasing.

    And layering for temp variation.

    Excellent choices!

    And congratulations.

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  17. Hey, that's so great! I hope it leads to more film work for you. Will you get to see the finished product? What you wore fit right into the space, you nailed it!

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  18. That's amazing - kudos to you! May we see the results at some point in the future...?

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  19. I love your honesty in this post. People often forget that to get the shot, sometimes the subject is subjected to some pretty uncomfortable situations. But I'm hoping the juxtaposition of your glamour to that grit is the money shot!

    Thanks for the mention, love!

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Thank you kindly for your comments! Please be aware that comment moderation is on to weed out the spammers and I can only check comments once a day, so please don't worry if you don't see your comment come up at first - it is probably there and will be up later xx

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