Set Etiquette as Regards to the Costume Department
This list came out about a month ago from Costume Designer Diana Eden, who was a recent guest on one of our Filmmakers Notebook podcasts, is sharing her expertise in an online training program and has an amazing blog of her own. I hope she won’t mind my sharing this document because I think filmmakers can learn a lot from her pointers.
- When arriving on set, and after checking in with the AD, check in with wardrobe right away.
- If you are bringing your own wardrobe, wait your turn to have it looked through, and then ask for a good spot to hang you bag.
- Don’t take it personally if the designer or costumer doesn’t like your first choice. He or she may have other things to take into consideration, like the color the principle actors are wearing.
- Don’t bring dirty or unpressed wardrobe, or ask the department if they will iron or mend your clothes. If something get torn in the process of filming, then it is entirely appropriate to ask them to mend it.
- SETS ARE OFTEN COLD. DO NOT, REPEAT NOT, ask the wardrobe department to borrow a coat or sweater. They do not have enough, and they have to account for every item in their inventory. BRING a sweater or jacket.
- You have every right to be made comfortable (for instance, shoes that fit properly) but not to be outfitted according ot your personal taste.
- If you are being outfitted by the wardrobe department, please wear clean underewear. Gentlemen, don’t wear jeans with no underwear. (This actuslly happens more often than you think!!). Ladies, preferably wear basic neutral underwear. Brightly colored or patterns bras can show through a sheer blouse.
- If you are on a formalwear call, I advise ladies to also pack a strapless bra, and bring an evening purse, stole, and jewelry.
- In general, women should always have on hand black and neutral shoes, both in pumps and flats. Men should bring basic black shoes and brown shoes. Unless you KNOW it is a very casual outfit, don’t wear sneakers.
- Return everything at the end of the day to the wardrobe department. Don’t make them go hunting for the jacket you left on the back of a chair in extras holding or on set.
- Also in general: KNOW YOUR CORRECT SIZES. Don’t guess. If you are not sure, have a friendly costumer measure you (when they are not busy) and keep the paper with you for future calls. Other costumers will thank you.
- Don’t go to lunch in a costume without removing at least the top half, or covering yourself with an over sized shirt or robe.
Generally, most costume designers and costumers like actors and want to make them happy. Good set etiquette and a touch of appreciation goes a long way in making them happy, and in your getting a good costume.