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Wardrobe department pre-production


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Assuming that you are able to coordinate with the wardrobe dept before major costume and outfits are created/selected, what is your standard operating procedure? What do you ask for, build in to costumes, etc?

I ask because I was approached to do sound for an indie period piece / western feature, and I'd like to coordinate with wardrobe before they start making outfits exclusively out of starched silk, fresh leather and chainmail. The only other time I've been able to coordinate with wardrobe in past projects I was only able to say, COTTON COTTON COTTON.

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Be respectful of their art and the wishes of the director and DP, but be "present" in that you want them to take your concerns into account if they want avoid a whole lot of ADR.  As a soundie, I of course believe that the great wardrobe folks take other departments (incl us) into account in what they make and buy, but I've also run into very talented people in those positions who basically didn't want to talk to me at all.  A charm offensive can be a good idea.   You've hit many of the nightmare-materials for sound (and not just for lav mics), you left out plastic: both synthetic fabrics and period/fantasy etc wardrobe pieces cast from plastic to look like something else (metal etc).   Requesting cotton is a great idea, but so is showing up early or during prep and actually going over the wardrobe in advance if they will help you with this--not only for material choice but for mic and TX placement.  I still believe that real pros like to take care of every issue they can in advance--I hope your wardrobistas are like that.

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  • 4 months later...

Yes a delicate issue but essential to approach it early, see what happens and

hopefully avoid an " I told you so".

Some years ago I was booked on a drama that involved 2 weeks initially in snow on a mountain.

Had a meeting with the producer and the director and advised that outdoor clothing is usually noisy!

A month later here we are with noisy outdoor clothing and big ski googles too!

"oh we can see the reflection of the boom"

I cannot post my reactions!


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I've had good luck just establishing a rapport. The more you can chat with wardrobe between takes, the more you can get advance info about changes, extra layers being added (I do a lot of exteriors in Oregon, with ever-changing conditions), and the like.

Being friendly with wardrobe can also help with minors. I recently wrapped a feature whose lead was a minor. Wardrobe and I met early and worked out a system where sound would deliver a prepped lav to the wardrobe trailer, and they would wire talent as they got dressed. After a couple of suggested adjustments, we had it down in the first week, and it carried us through the whole shoot.

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