Working as a Wardrobe Assistant on a Film Set
Working as a wardrobe assistant on a film set can be an incredibly rewarding and exhilarating experience. As a wardrobe assistant, your primary duty is to ensure that every actor and actress looks their absolute best on camera. You will work to help costume designers to ensure that everyone’s costume looks perfect for each scene. This may involve coordinating fittings, sketching costumes, and shopping for materials.
As a wardrobe assistant, you are responsible for managing and organizing every aspect of wardrobe and styling for each actor or actress on set. This includes ensuring that every costume is in excellent condition, managing inventory needs, and communicating effectively with the rest of the crew. To be a successful assistant in this role, you must possess a range of skills and qualities, including attention to detail, excellent organizational abilities, knowledge of fashion trends, and the ability to work well under pressure.
So What Does a Wardrobe PA Do?
A wardrobe production assistant is an essential member of the crew and performs a variety of assistant roles related to wardrobe management and organization. The description of the role is included in the following:
- Working closely with the costume designer to ensure the actors are wearing the right outfits
- Keeping track of all costume design sketches, costumes and accessories
- Managing the wardrobe inventory
- Coordinating costume changes
- Maintaining costume continuity
- Keeping track of wardrobe expenses
The role of a wardrobe production assistant is crucial in ensuring that a film’s costume department operates smoothly and efficiently. Without the assistance of a skilled wardrobe production assistant, the production team may encounter a number of challenges.
In the role of a wardrobe production assistant, collaborating with the costume designer is a vital part of the pre-production process. They will assistant with anything needed for the director’s vision for the costumes. As the costume designer determines what is needed for each character, the wardrobe PA will provide. The wardrobe production assistant must help research and source the necessary costumes and accessories, which includes visiting rental houses, vintage shops, and even creating pieces from scratch.
As part of their tasks, the wardrobe production assistant must manage the wardrobes for the films by creating and maintaining an inventory list of all costumes and accessories. It is their responsibility to ensure that all items are in excellent condition and any necessary alterations are completed. Additionally, they must assist with costume fittings to ensure that every actor’s wardrobe fits perfectly and is comfortable to wear throughout filming.
Role On Set
When filming begins, the wardrobe production assistant’s focus shifts to preparing costumes and accessories for shooting. This includes ironing, steaming, and ensuring that all costumes are in perfect condition. During filming, it is the wardrobe production assistant’s responsibility to ensure that the correct costume is worn by each actor for every scene. They must maintain the continuity of the wardrobe across all scenes, making sure that each actor is wearing the same outfit and accessories as they were in the previous shot.
The wardrobe production assistant must also manage wardrobe changes and quick changes during shooting, making sure that actors have the right costumes and accessories for each shot and that wardrobe changes occur seamlessly. Wardrobe production assistants must keep costumes and accessories organized and in good condition, ensuring that all items are accounted for and ready to use when needed.
Once filming has ended, the wardrobe production assistant’s focus shifts to wrap-up duties. This includes sorting and returning costumes and accessories to vendors and designers, making sure that all items are accounted for and in good condition. The wardrobe production assistant must ensure that all costumes and accessories are returned in the same condition they were received to avoid any damage charges.
They must also maintain a record of all wardrobe expenses, including receipts for costume purchases, rentals, and any other wardrobe-related expenses. Finally, the wardrobe production assistant must assist with returning wardrobe department items and wrapping up the department as a whole. These are crucial in closing out the wardrobe department, and ensuring that all costumes and accessories are returned on time and in good condition.
Importance of Organization
Organization is key when it comes to working as a wardrobe assistant. You are responsible for ensuring that all costumes are in pristine condition and ready to be used before filming begins. This entails labeling all clothing items correctly, scheduling fittings in advance, ironing garments when necessary, and ensuring that last-minute alterations are executed perfectly. You are also responsible for keeping track of all costume changes throughout filming and making certain that each actor wears the right costume in each scene.
Managing Inventory Needs
In addition to your wardrobe responsibilities, you must keep a watchful eye on inventory needs for each day of shooting. This involves ensuring that there are sufficient quantities of sweatshirts or hats for specific scenes, purchasing fabrics or accessories if necessary, and ordering any unique pieces from shops or online stores. You must also communicate effectively with other crew members other than the costume designer, including other wardrobe assistants and script supervisors, regarding any wardrobe or styling issues or concerns for each actor or actress during filming days.
Essential Skills and Qualities
To succeed as a wardrobe assistant, you must possess a keen eye for detail, excellent organizational abilities, knowledge of current fashion trends, and the ability to think quickly under pressure. Most importantly, you must have a passion for creating stunning visuals on film! By fulfilling these responsibilities – and many others – wardrobe assistants help the costume designer in bringing a director’s creative vision to life.
The responsibilities of a wardrobe production assistant in the film industry are vast and require a keen eye for detail, organization, and a passion for creating stunning visuals on screen. From collaborating with the costume designer to managing a wardrobe inventory, preparing costumes for shooting, ensuring continuity, and wrapping up the wardrobe department, the wardrobe production assistant plays a crucial role in the success of a film production. The importance of their role cannot be overstated, as the costumes and accessories are often essential in bringing a character to life on screen. For those interested in pursuing a career as a wardrobe production assistant, this field offers a unique opportunity to work in a fast-paced, dynamic environment with creative professionals who share a passion for storytelling. With hard work and dedication, one can build a successful career in the wardrobe department of the film industry.