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In 2012 we’re using the blog to serve actors in a different way–getting feedback from producers, directors and casting directors on various topics. This way the people who make hiring decisions can tell you in their own words what they really think. We’re covering one topic each month and posting client comments/opinions. We hope you will use this insight to take control where you can.
WHAT DOES YOUR WARDROBE REALLY SAY…?
PART THREE IN THE 2012 SERIES, PRODUCER/DIRECTOR/CASTING FEEDBACK
FROM A PRODUCER:
- all the wardrobe choices are the same (3 black shirts)
- name brand logos – please bring clothes without logos. If I’m doing a video about fitness, I don’t want the close up shot to say “Nike” or “Sketchers”
FROM A PRODUCER:
Wardrobe spec for extras was business attire, dresses, skirts, pants, blouses, suits, One woman showed up and her only shoes were UGG boots. 🙂
FROM A PRODUCER:
Talent wardrobe is only a problem for me with low budget clients or on indie films. A wardrobe person shopping and purchasing clothing is never in the budget, but somehow I always have to send a PA out to buy stuff anyway. Would it kill the talent to check their clothing for stains, tears, and missing buttons before they show up? How does the girl who had the awesome pink angora sweater, perfect for the shot and her skin color, except for the giant stain on her breast, not notice it? It looked like she dipped that thing in her morning coffee. Then there are “the dudes” who show up with all their clothing crammed into an overnight bag. Wrinkles for days. And usually, those are the guys who bring everything from their closet except what you asked them to bring, or even better, they have shoes, but one black and one brown. This to me is actually worse than being late. It takes a lot longer for me to press your clothing or to shop for what you didn’t bring after you said you owned it. In the end, it seems to always cost me more money or time – of which I have neither to spare. So talent, check your clothing to make sure it will hold up under harsh lights – no stains on the front OR the back, make sure the edges of your clothing aren’t frayed, and please make sure you bring matching shoes and socks. Don’t tell the producer or client you have something when you don’t. And finally, make sure the clothing walks in the door ready to wear. Bringing your rumbled laundry is unprofessional.
FROM A CASTING DIRECTOR:
IN GENERAL: When auditioning for film and television do NOT dress in “full costume” unless specifically requested. Dressing to suggest a character is the way to go. For example, if you’re a business man, then come dressed in business attire. If you’re playing a ballerina, don’t come dressed in a tutu. Instead, choose a leotard or tank top and form fitting yoga pants and pull your hair back. Suggest the role. This isn’t Halloween.
However, with commercial auditions, there is more flexibility to go further with costuming but still dressing to suggest works just as well.
SIDE NOTE: Ladies, don’t dress too revealing . You don’t want casting (or directors) to refer to you as the ‘chick with the bazookas” or “Miss Cleavage 2012” – unless you are auditioning for the role of Miss Cleavage 2012. If that’s the case, let the girls do their thing,
TIP: Sometimes with last minute auditions, you don’t have time to change so always keep a neutral audition outfit in your car.
HORROR STORY: And finally when you are asked to bring wardrobe options for a shoot, make sure those clothes are clean and pressed and that you bring at least 3 options. If you don’t have 3 options, make sure to let them know ahead of time so they can pick up backups. I’ll always remember the time an actor was asked to bring a business suit for a print job he was booked on, He showed up in jeans and tee shirt. When asked where his wardrobe was, he grabbed his duffel bag and pulled out a wrinkled tan suit. It was the only option he brought. It was a nightmare for all involved. At the end of the job the client said, “Don’t ever send me that person ever again“.
FROM A PRODUCER
in general I have had good luck in asking talent for “suits” and dress-up stuff, the casual stuff is a little more difficult and I presume it’s because my tastes (or the client’s) may not be the same as theirs. So, I find if I’m really specific: “Dark Blue jeans, not faded out, no holes or frays” or “button-up-the-front open collar shirt, not western” etc. then the talent usually has what I need.
FROM A CASTING DIRECTOR:
True Story: I was casting a SAG commercial and the actors were reading for reporters. One talent (who knows who he is!) showed up in a T-shirt and ripped jeans. Not only did he not look like a professional reporter, but the casual clothes made him look younger.
The actor did a great read and the director and ad agency loved him, but they knew they couldn’t sell him to the client based on his appearance. They even tried putting his head on another talent’s body via photoshop (the other talent was wearing a shirt, tie and khakis) but it didn’t quite work and we couldn’t alter the video.
Ultimately, this talent lost the job based on his wardrobe and the talent wearing the shirt and tie booked.
Now I am not saying to come all decked out in a costume, but at least look the part somewhat. Remember – in commercial world – the client usually makes the end decision and they only see what is right in front of them (they don’t have the creative vision of the director).
FROM A PRODUCER:
My comment would be to actors to bring a lot of choices. This actor we just used showed up with only 4 shirts that were all the same type. They were all wrinkled too. I don’t mind ironing but every actor seems to show up with wrinkled clothes. If the producer says bring a bunch of options for a “customer” role, please bring all sorts of different types of clothes – casual, business, conservative, different colors. Many options to choose from. A group of “customers” we just hired all brought green. Everyone was in green! And it’s wasn’t St Patrick’s Day.
FROM A CASTING DIRECTOR
True story: Casting for hair product and asking for long flowing hair.
Girl shows up with hair all done up and sprayed. Said—you gonna need to take your hair down and brush it out so the client can see it better.
“My agent didn’t tell me to bring a brush”…….
FROM A PHOTOGRAPHER:
This drives photographers crazy! The worst thing in the world is trying to shoot some clothing photo shoot and when you start looking at the shots, you begin noticing the marks left on the skin from whatever tight, elastic garments the model was wearing on the way to the photo shoot. At times, this can take an hour or more to go away leaving the photographer with limited choices. 1. Cancel the shoot and reschedule or 2. Decide how many hours of retouching that will have to be done so the shoot can continue but you can’t charge the client for. I would remind the models to be aware of what they’re going to model, any wardrobe changes that may be needed, and come with a clean canvas (their body). One of the things they forget most are the sunglasses they wore while driving in… Yes, the nose counts and those little red marks left from the glasses can be very detrimental as well.