My name is Dana Olinsky. I'm a freelance Costumer and Costume Designer here in Los Angeles. I'm absolutely thrilled to be writing a blog post about a very special project called Killed in Action. Bea (Producer Beatriz Chahin) approached me about the project and I could not have been more excited to work on a short film.
From the minute I met with Chrissie, Matt & Bea, I knew I had to be involved in some aspect. Luckily, just a few short days later I was immersing myself in the world of KIA. As a Costume Designer, the majority of my job is making sure the actor's have clothes to wear on set. Most simply, as long as they are dressed, I've done my job. But, it's so much more than that. As a Costume Designer, it's my job to make the actor feel like they are becoming the character. Usually my process starts with research and questions. I look into the period, where the film is taking place, what time of year, etc. I also grilled Chrissie with questions like: How much money do the characters have? Where did they grow up? Even though this seems like a lot of detail, all of these aspects are related to the way a person dresses. When I'm designing I have a lot of things to consider, some of those include time and money. As much as you want everything to be your perfect design, any realistic designer will take those factors into consideration first. After compiling my research, looking at my budget and meeting with the producers about the specifics of what we were filming, I was ready to actually start pulling clothes. With the actor's sizes in hand, I usually pull a lot of options and narrow it from there. For me, pulling clothes for a character starts with fabric and fit. I really have to connect with the fabric and feel like it would make sense in the world of the film. I came from a theater background, and the main difference is that in a film, every detail is so important. You can see everything so closely, that you need to be on top of color, pattern and fit. Chrissie and I were discussing these small things up until the very last moment. For example, we had to make sure any character who was married would have a wedding ring, and we had to decide what scenes she would be wearing her apron or not. A lot of these decisions happen on set, so it's very important to be paying attention and working with all of the departments to create a cohesive look.
KIA was such a joy to work on! I loved working with all of the actors and doing research about the period. In addition to learning a lot about the time period, I learned so much on how to make a film with a limited budget. I absolutely loved working with the entire cast and crew, can't wait for the next one!
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