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!
Bea, here -- one of the Producers of K.I.A. -- writing a guest blog entry! You might recognize me as "the girl with the curly hair" from all of the photos you've seen so far.
Some of you might be wondering what exactly my role is on this great project. I'm the Line Producer -- in layman's terms, I'm the Producer that breaks down the script to determine how much it will cost to make the project, as well as being the person who is primarily in charge of the logistics and the minutia that happens behind the scenes. Some people might think it's all of the "boring" aspects of filmmaking (I BEG TO DIFFER!), but there's something that really exciting about putting a puzzle together, especially when that puzzle is a short film! Like any job, it's going to vary from person to person and experience to experience, but here's a glimpse into what it's been like Line Producing K.I.A. so far.
It's a job that starts long before the camera starts rolling and the director calls "action!" On our particular project, it started last May, when Chrissie & Matt approached me about "K.I.A." I'd worked with Matt & Chrissie on "Squaresville," and various other projects in between, and we've always had a great time working together. After I read Chrissie's script for "K.I.A.," I knew I wanted to Line Produce it.
After a few passes a schedule, and many passes at a budget, it's time for us to start checking crew member availability. As a producing team, we put together the crew. Because we'd all worked together with many of our crew members, many people were obvious choices for us but there are still a few positions that have to be filled. This is the part where we start reaching out to other people - friends of friends, friends of co-workers - anyone who might be a good fit for the project, and we interview them. If they're a good fit, we get their availability for the next few months to make sure it lines up with our project calendar.
Between meetings regarding the logistics of getting the film made, we're also working on the most challenging part of getting any movie made: FINANCING. We've been extremely active in reaching out to various people, organizations and grants (a BIG thank-you to The Puffin Foundation for their contribution to the film). We're partially there, yet we're constantly thinking of new ways and ideas to get the film financed.
So as you can see, it's all pretty exciting (AND VERY NECESSARY) stuff that Line Producer does. Since Matt, Chrissie & I have worked together before, stay-tuned for an in-depth entry of what it's like to be on set with our team for a day of shooting!
Have any questions? Shoot them to us below in the comments section!
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