My Interview with the Costumes Designers of Amazon Prime’s The Boys

Posted on May 14, 2020 at 11:19 am

Many thanks to The Credits, the website of the Motion Picture Association, for publishing my interviews with Carrie Grace and Laura Jean Shannon, costume designers for the Amazon Prime superhero series The Boys.

In part one, they talk about constructing the look for the only member of the Seven who actually qualifies as wholesome—Starlight, played by Erin Moriarty, and how her look was shaped both behind-the-scenes and in the show itself.

When this project happened, it was right on the cusp of MeToo, when we were getting greenlit. What we’ve done with the series is we’ve taken some of the aspects of the original story and brought them to light in a way that really does show the woman’s struggle in the workplace. A lot of times as a costume designer, you are promoting a fantasy, as well as a reality. I think it’s really interesting, watching that scene, it’s the two men sitting on the couch who are selling the story, selling the pitch to Starlight. Telling her how this is the development of her character, and how she’s owning her sexuality and stepping out, showing any skin that she wants and everything. It is a costume that the character wears in the comic book. It’s a variation because what the comic book character wore when she wore the sexy outfit was kind of impossible to actually create.

In part two, they explain all of the different techniques that go into creating a superhero costume:

I always say: They play superhero suits on TV. But in real life, they’re actually unconventional materials and custom fabrics fused together in interesting ways, in innovative ways. We start by creating a design that not only takes into account making it look like a badass superhero suit but knowing that this is not a massive film where we have a giant CGI budget, where you can basically paint everything in we need to. This is a TV project that has a limited amount of time and money and resources to get each episode, and each episode is chock full of fighting and violence. So, we really need to make these suits wearable, and the actors and the stunt people really need to be able to wear these suits comfortably enough that they can facilitate all of this action.

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Behind the Scenes

Our Costume Designer Daughter — Profiled in The Credits

Posted on April 1, 2020 at 6:44 am

Copyright Rachel Apatoff 2020
We are so proud of our daughter, Rachel Apatoff, profiled on the Motion Picture Association’s website about the industry, The Credits. She talks about her first job as a costume designer on a low-budget upcoming feature film, and about how all production has stopped due to COVID-19.

It wasn’t just the flow of costumer jobs that stopped. It was a halt in momentum for her dream agenda: to be a fully dedicated costume designer. Last fall, that momentum had begun when she was hired for her first feature film as a designer. Operating with “a quarter of the money it should have had,” it was a challenging shoot. But for Apatoff, the experience was “was astonishing, exhilarating, thrilling, even in the most frustrating and hair-tearing moments. You’re working 100 hours a week, you’re not getting paid anything, and your project is impossible and it’s still the most fun to be able to say, ‘Okay, this character feels sad and lonely in this scene and we’re going to show that by having her wear her dead dad’s old sweatshirt because, you know, she wants to feel more loved and safe.” You get to dive so deep into the little nitty-gritty details of how people feel about their situation and about themselves, and how they present themselves as a result.”

We are very, very proud of our brilliant, beautiful, accomplished, and kind-hearted daughter.

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Behind the Scenes Not specified Understanding Media and Pop Culture

Comparing the American Movie Versions of Little Women

Posted on January 2, 2020 at 8:00 am

For more, see the BBC miniseries, the modern-day remake, the graphic novel and the terrific Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters.

And listen to the dream team of Dana Stevens and Rachel Syme talk about the film on Slate’s Spoiler Special.
Greta Gerwig’s Little Women: Come for the classic; stay for the costumes

Dana Stevens’ cool new word: Poioumenon

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Behind the Scenes Books Original Version Remake

Download the Director Commentary for Knives Out and then Go See it Again!

Posted on December 31, 2019 at 11:35 am

Writer/director Rian Johnson has made his commentary on “Knives Out” available for free download. Take it with you on your phone and listen (quietly) when you see it again.

Copyright 2019 Lionsgate
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Behind the Scenes Directors

Trailer: The Movies That Made Us on Netflix

Posted on December 3, 2019 at 6:03 pm

The only think I love to watch as much as a great movie is some behind the scenes looks at great movies. The films in “The Movies That Made Us,” a new Netflix series that is a spin-off of their popular “The Toys That Made Us,” may not be “great,” but they are deliciously watchable and deeply beloved, including “Home Alone,” “Die Hard,” and “Dirty Dancing.”

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