CDG - The Costume Designer

Fall 2015

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Fall 2015 The Costume Designer 25 The Answer Is Yes I think of myself as a traditional Costume Designer, but I have to bring in my love of technology and look for new ways to create things. I started sewing when I was 10, but I was also this little tech kid who would take apart radios. Basically, I've been trying to figure out how to marry the whole art department and costume world for years, and 3D printing has completely changed the game. Originally, I came from fashion. First, I began assisting a stylist. At 19, the Celestine Agency took me on. With every celebrity I have ever worked with, I didn't just use clothes off the rack, I often built them. In a way I was trapped, because the job was so glamorous, and the money was good. My world was Rodeo Drive, but Face Off changed my life and, 10 seasons later, we are still here. When 3D printing first started, I was designing Linkin Park's wardrobe. Joe Hahn from Linkin Park was into little figurines which were 3D printed. I thought, "This is amaz- ing!" All my friends are from SCI-Arc (Southern California Institute of Architecture) and we geek out YouTubing tech- nology, then asking, "What can we do with this?" I was walking through Comic-Con one year and found the answer. I met the people behind 3D systems. They loved my show and, eventually, I bought one of their 3D printers. It was a game changer. When a contestant asked for a finch skull, it took two hours to print. The ability to create forms instantaneously is like being a genie. In my shop, we don't just offer to tailor a suit, we will make anything. We will make a hundred pieces overnight. We specialize in merging costumes with special effects. We just never say no. We will make a yeti or two, then build you that gown, with anima- tronics. I have a group of amazing people that have worked together on Face Off, but we also make other Costume Designers' projects as well. Budgets have been cut, casting is late, everything's last minute, and so 3D printing is the perfect solution. Where you used to have a couple weeks to make something, now you have two to three days to prep huge things or just over- night. Thankfully, I'm completely ADD—I want everything immediately. So I understand when you say, "I need 18 track suits by four o'clock in the morning because we're shooting them at five." I get that. A recent event for Lions Gate involved 96 jumpsuits with branding for Samsung and The Hunger Games. Everything was made from scratch. Then we bought the boots and sprayed them white, but we had to spray them a certain way so they wouldn't chip when they were bending. Three days later, I flew it all to New York and did the event. I love that. I live for the times when there are four projects going on simultaneously. When 12 people are in the shop and everyone is running over each other, it's like a ballet, and oh, it's so incredible! It's all I want in life. I am so inspired by all the people that are working here. I could never do Face Off alone. I am thrilled to announce that in the next few months I am hoping to take the shop union. Charlie Altuna Profile Face Off photos: Syfy Network/©Brett-Patrick Jenkins

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