Sunday, September 7, 2014

Gladiator to Prometheus

Profession: Costume Designer.  Master Class series of Genty Yates Film Craft
master class Genty Yates, who worked with Ridley Scott on "Gladiator" and "Prometheus."

"Working on the design of the film, it is necessary to feel his story and allow it to penetrate the soul. To create believable costumes, the artist must know the history and evolution of each character. History of each is necessary to live and pass through itself."
Costume Genty Yates was born in the English town of Hertfordshire and studied at a private college in the course of cutting and sewing.She came to the cinema in 1981, becoming an assistant Penny Rose on the set of paintings by Jean-Jacques Annaud's "The Struggle for the fire" (1981). But the costumes for his first independent film Genty made only ten years later, in 1993 - it was the film "Bad Behavior." It was followed by the romantic comedy "The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain" (1995), the film "Jude" (1996) with Kate Winslet in the title role, and "Plunkett & Macleane" (1999) Jake Scott - the son of the famous director Ridley Scott.
Yates work in the film "Plunkett and MacLaine" impressed by Ridley, who invited her costume in his epic of ancient Roman history "Gladiator" (2000). For him, she received the "Oscar" and a nomination for the award of the British Academy of Motion Picture Arts telei, and Scott was referring to it constantly, making Yates one of the main participants of the creative process. Together they worked in different genres and the films belonging to different historical periods: from the picture of the crusaders XII century "Kingdom of Heaven" (2005) and "American Gangster", whose heroes wore jackets with wide lapels, New York 1970, prequel to "Alien" (1979) "Prometheus" (2012), which takes place in 2080. Yates had to work and on the big picture - 25 thousand of her costumes worn by the characters "Robin Hood" of the same Scott (2010).
In addition to ongoing collaboration with Ridley Scott, Yates found time to do design the costumes for the drama of the Second World War, "Charlotte Gray" (2001) with Cate Blanchett in the title role and gloomy Anno tape of the siege of Stalingrad "Enemy at the Gates" (2001) with Jude Law and Joseph Fiennes. And her sumptuous costumes in the style of the era of "old Hollywood", created for the musical biopic about the composer Cole Porter's "Pet" (2004), impeccably stylish.
I grew up in London, and in his youth have been popular fashion magazine Nova - I'm on it went crazy. He had a slogan: "A new magazine for new women." I still left about ten. Perhaps you remember the 1960s, the era of swing: Mary Kuont, Barbara Hulaniki and store Biba. Fashion of those years was gorgeous; I lived and breathed this world. My mother was a typical suburban resident and wore tweed suits and hats; me, she dressed up in frilly dresses nightmarish and bows. She dressed me as a little girl, and I no longer wanted to be a little girl, because it was humiliating. My interest in fashion has emerged as a kind of rebellion against the parent taste in clothes. For one season I sewed at least two-three dozen mini-skirts for yourself and friends. But I'm not all the free time in the studio, where enthusiastically scribbled on the machine, yet I loved to ride horses and competed in equestrian sport. Also, I did not get out of the theater - he we had one, not that multiplexes, which are now at every step. Cinema has had huge influence on me; I remember went to "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962) three or four times, just to admire this painting.
At age 18, I went to the school of fashion design "Katinka" in South Kensington, and studied design, sewing and dressmaking. Then she worked in the wholesale department of the fashion house in the East End, in Vogue magazine and the company's manufacturing patterns Butterick Patterns. Once, when I was more than twenty years, very much engaged in advertising - was first assistant assistant, then just as an assistant, then the designer commercials. I worked as an assistant on duty Pip Newbury paired her films. As often happens, she recommended me to the director of one short film, as she was too busy and could not take the job. I made the costumes for the pair of shorts, and it inspired me wanted to do more. Pip introduced me to Penny Rose, and she took me to the assistants to the shooting of "Fight for Fire" (1981), because the most was allergic to fur. My job in this film mainly consisted in cutting bear skins - now, of course, no one would have allowed us to use real fur. "The struggle for the fire" was my first film, was filmed on location.
Starting work on the film, I turn into a dog scented bone - can not think of anything else. I buy the book stacks, sit up in libraries, go to museums, and this training is delayed until the middle of filming. I try to fill the information as much as possible folders and often share their experience with the masters of makeup and hairstyles. Of course, now many can be found on the Internet, but to really delve into the topic, it is necessary to keep the thing in hand, to see her, to feel the fabric, weigh in the hand, for example a helmet. When I worked on "Gladiator" (2000) and was in Rome, all the training was that I went around the city and looked at the statue. All the necessary information I have found on Trajan's Column, on all sides covered with bas-reliefs depicting thousands of soldiers in uniforms and marching armies.
The process of searching for me pushes the first meeting with the director. Ridley Scott always knows what to advise as a source of inspiration, and is particularly well versed in the art. For example, when we were working on "Gladiator", he said: "For the extras you can see the paintings of Alma-Tadema." Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema was a painter of the late XIX - early XX century, who painted scenes of Roman life. He used pastel colors, that I took for mass pistachio, pink, almond and sky blue. As for the main characters, the Ridley advised to look at the paintings of the French Renaissance painter Georges de la Tour. He used to dress saturated colors and elements of gold. Ridley favorite word in this film was "shabby"; and it refers to the tissues, and the armor and the skin. He wanted everyone in this movie was very textured and aged. In "Robin Hood" (2010) he was inspired by Bruegel paintings, and I immediately knew how to look this film. Painters - an excellent source of inspiration; when I looked at his long art albums, I feel that I am filled with creative energy, and I want to get to work soon. I used to prepare for a movie like this.
After training is absolutely necessary to make sketches. I work with a staff illustrator who is always with me - every single day. In the last five or six years I've been working with Laura Revitt. We are working very closely together for a few weeks before filming, during filming, as well as in those cases where it is necessary to illustrate any changes in the script.
Getting to work on a film, I always try to meet with the operator, set designer and director, to decide upon the colors of the film and make sure that our ideas are the same. We work closely together - no one needs beige suit on a background of beige wall or actress in green dress in the middle of the green room.
Casting - the most important stage of any film. If the director at least hints at who he will take or who is going to invite a casting agent, I have a three-dimensional image of the character in the performance of this particular actor. It often happens that in the future the role of the claim someone else and I have to give up the idea at the last minute. In our time, the casting is carried out the day before the shooting, and it's a common thing. On the other hand, a good actor can "get used" to the suit, which was created not even for him.
Harsh realism in Michael Winterbottom film "Jude"
In the 1990s I worked on several films of Michael Winterbottom. Michael - a wonderful, interesting, complex director. He has a very minimalist, linear and stern look. In the movie "Jude" (1996) he sought simplicity and plausibility; he did not need ruches and frills, and it was difficult, because the clothes of the era, especially for women, is very richly decorated. As a result, I managed to find some antique costumes that we grow old and additionally "spoiled."
"It is difficult and can be called the film" Welcome to Sarajevo "(1997) was shot in Sarajevo, just six days after the Dayton Agreement. I went to explore and was on the street where a couple of months ago a bomb exploded. I was struck by the strength and spirit locals. Men were in suits, women dressed elegantly, all had beautiful hair and makeup. Their spirit is like refusing to submit to violence. During filming on location we are constantly warned that we did not go on the grass, as everywhere lay unexploded mines.
One of the best compliments for the costume are the words: "And on the costumes I did not even pay attention." If I made a very beautiful dress for the royal personages or court lady, I would be very unfortunate that it did not pay attention; however, in the contemporary drama for film or television can not be allowed to dress "instead of playing the actor." Working on the design of the film, it is necessary to feel his story and allow it to penetrate the soul. To create believable costumes, the artist must know history and evolution of each character. The history of each one should live and pass through.
As a result, the costume designer is always adapted to the vision of the director. Of course, we often spend directors meeting - even if at the first meeting to discuss the plot in detail, during the creation of the design always emerge some important details. I was lucky that I worked with Ridley Scott on several occasions - it is one of the most visually sensitive, "scenic" directors. Ridley graduated from the Royal College of Art and began hudozhnikompostanovschikom. He understands the importance of visual range, and it always motivates and inspires my creative process. Now Ridley "paints with light" in the movie.
Presentation of the Second World War ZhanZhaka Annaud ("Enemy at the Gates", 2001) is very different from the interpretation of the same theme, Gillian Armstrong ("Charlotte Gray", 2001), although the effect of both films takes place in the same time period. "Enemy at the Gates" was devoted to the siege of Stalingrad, and Anno wanted all the costumes in the film were very dirty and shabby - actually rags. The heroes of this movie lived under siege and shooting form for several years in a row; they have not had a chance to wash it. In "Charlotte Gray" - the film about the German occupation of France - directed by Gillian Armstrong depicts soldiers invaders immaculately clean suits; marching army she looks like a smooth gray cube.
In my career I had to make costumes, dating from 180 BC, XII century, in 1860, 1940, 1970 years of modernity. I love all your movies for different reasons, but I do not know that it is a defining characteristic of my design. The most difficult film in my career was probably the "Gladiator", because I've never dealt with a picture in which there were so many armies, armor and battle scenes. But during the shooting of this I came across an awesome supervisor, assistant stunning and a great team. Within three months, every day we have put 3,500 extras. During the filming of the Maltese Coliseum had to get up half past two in the night to the morning in time to dress and equip them all. It was awful! Of course, I never dreamed that in "Gladiator" have been nominated for "Oscar", and certainly not wanted to win.
Jude Law in the movie "Enemy at the Gates"
But if I were forced to choose one favorite movie, I probably would have stopped at the "kingdom of heaven" - another film by Ridley. Opening the script, I saw that there Saracen 5000 and 1,000 Christians. We traveled to Spain - it was very hard - Morocco, and traveled far and popered. But I had a great team, including a special staff of experts on military uniforms (for the first time in my career). It would be ideal to work all the time with the same people, but work schedules rarely coincide. I always try to keep to yourself two or three supervisors, but since all movies are shot in different schedule, there is no guarantee that they will be free.
In our case it is very important to get along with people. But mostly, an essential quality of a costume designer is still keen eye: I believe that this ability is most important. The artist, who is able to "see", can feel the hero, and it will help him to understand the director's vision, and understanding the director's intention, it is possible to catch the atmosphere of the film. It is not taught in school; everything is intuitive, it is or it is not - it is given by nature. Actors play well, if they like, and if the suit costume designer manages to make a special fitting and find common language with them.

"This is a very colorful era, and Cate Blanchett (who played Charlotte Gray) wore suits with all its inherent aristocratic elegance. Almost all of the things in this movie were antiques, and models in my design stitched from antique fabrics. Knitted clothes tied by hand from vintage wool. All accessories are original, only with new gloves - they are made by hand by my sketches. This jacket made of soft but strong plum-colored wool and woolen takes a simple rust color palette chosen, taking into account that we have defined for scenes with Charlotte in France - shades of autumn the forest. "

"Russell Crowe in this movie was ten suits of armor, which corresponded to the chronology. Each set consisted of about 20 pieces and was manufactured in eight copies (replicas). Maximus (Russell Crowe) loved his breastplate and for each victory adds a new pectoral of silver. So when he finally fought with the emperor (played by Joaquin Phoenix), armor it was more, and his armor, armlets and breastplate adorned with detailed carvings. All tunics in the film, we have extended, as I wanted to create a very courageous images reminiscent of the Scots in kilts. All the costumes, woven and leather, hand-sewn stitch by stitch. The film in my staff consisted of five very different groups of experts in special effects, armor and costume props. "

My last film was "Prometheus", I worked on in 2011. The action of this story takes place in 2080; it again Ridley prequel "Alien", which we shot in the studio Pinewood. In "Prometheus" a lot of special effects, and many scenes were shot on green screen. The design of the costumes for this film, I was guided by the principles of minimalism. From "chubby" NASA spacesuits, we came to a narrow fitting costume with armor. With the design of the helmet any practical problems: Ridley said that on the set of "Alien" used a custom helmet, and the actors arose claustrophobia when wearing a helmet was not air guide holes.

"King John (his role was executed Oscar Isaac) inherited the helmet from his brother King Richard. This helmet - helmet replica of the statue of Richard the Lionheart at the entrance to the building of the British Parliament in London. Chainmail Gold King John was made in costume studio Weta Studios in New Zealand . embroidery and fringe on the arms of his cloak is made in India used the golden thread. This is probably the only costume in this movie, which we did not were aged: King John was not involved in the battle and was very vain. Historical chronicles says that he always wore set of gold bracelets, rings on all fingers, earrings and medallions with precious stones. Recreate this look was very interesting, but unfortunately, decorations in this picture can not be seen. "
(02): Illustration of a "palace suit" King John, made Laura Revitt.
Russell Crowe in Ridley Scott's "American Gangster"
Futuristic armor constructed my master props and special effects Iwo Kovno and his team and one of my assistants, Michael Mooney, who nurtures a special love for small details. They worked together with my first assistant Andrea Cripps and produced the whole armor of rubber for automobile bumpers and the like. Armor emperor in "Gladiator" made by another company for the production of costume props - FBFX SFX; armor of Russell Crowe - the work of Robert Allsopp. Who costume props become big business, experts props - the unsung heroes of our costume department. When I was working on "Prometheus", it is assumed that all the costumes will be ordinary people. This was my starting point; I developed the design, improved it, and my team has prepared all in four months. In "Prometheus" I had a lot to learn on the go, but it was fun and very interesting. I am very proud that we were able to do. "

How to create realistic armor
"In the" kingdom of heaven "we were able to make a breakthrough in the technology of chain mail. Previously chainmail in movies always knit of cotton yarn and dyed silver. These steel chainmail be impossible - they are very heavy, chain mail made of aluminum and weighs a lot and is very uncomfortable. Then New Zealand Weta Workshop and began to produce light chain mail for "Lord of the Rings." One chainmail rings carefully collected from two people. Helmets are made to order for each character, as for close-ups is very important that the helmet was sitting perfectly. most beautiful hats - with a beautiful fancy engraving - were from the Saracens, and their shape and armor we created in collaboration with my partner David Krossmanom. "
(06): Illustration of Laura Revitt: costume of Richard the Lionheart, who in the film played by Ian Glen. ( a )

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