Productions give the costume designer/wardrobe department a budget. For everyday clothing bought from stores, but not selected by the director for the performers, will be returned to the various stores for refund. Wardrobe warehouses boast rows and rows ceiling high of costumes ready to be rented for specific period pieces. Costume stock are pulled from their racks and shelves ready to clothe the actors. These warehouses also have boxes and boxes and boxes of accessories as well. From all the different types and sizes of footwear, hats, gloves, jewellery to masks, head-gear, underwear or other uncommon specialty items such as army fatigues, peasant rags or zombie duds, etc.
For those in the film industry, wardrobe refers to the costume or outfit an actor, performer or extra wears while on a TV or movie set. These outfits can be everyday clothing to stock costumes to those costumes made from scratch. When an actor auditions for a role they will fill out and complete a casting form with their personal information, body sizes and measurements. Upon the actor booking the role, this information is then sent to the wardrobe office/department and/or a phone call is made immediately to the actor to review or collect his/her particulars including measurements. The actor must have this information readily available even if it has been submitted at the audition/callback. A measurement sheet is needed by all actors or those going out for principal auditions.
Movie pre-production for wardrobe can start about six weeks ahead of shooting. The director and/or producers are shown drawn artist conceptions, coloured and swatched with small pieces of costume for each character. These samplings offer an idea of what the proposed costumes/wardrobe will be worn by the actors. Instructions are given about the cut and fit of the costumes, alterations to existing stock, etc. Costumes built or made from scratch usually involve a costume designer. The designer researches the era or time period, shops for the materials, designs the ideas/concepts and puts together the pieces for the costumes. Costumes designed by designers are primarily Historical or period pieces, fantasy pieces and/or modern/futuristic.
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