When looking to hire a wardrobe stylist/costume designer for Pride Jewel, our team had a few challenges to overcome. Working with a tight budget and on a short timeline, we also needed to be mindful of keeping our crew as small as possible due to Covid-19 safety purposes. It was Aya Hoja, one of our main cast members and a wonderful actress and model, stepped up to the task of wardrobing the cast!
Brand promotions and sponsorships are often traditional and affordable methods of sourcing characters’ outfits. Aya tried this approach initially, but unfortunately, she didn’t have much luck given the financial burden businesses were facing at that time.
After relentlessly reaching out, she connected with one of her favorite local stores, Ruti Boutique, who generously offered to fit Aya and supply all her character’s (Sophia) outfits!
In return, 4D Legacy Studios featured Ruti Boutique in several scenes of Pride Jewel with specific moments of product placement. We were also lucky enough to use their store for filming--keep an eye out for those scenes when the movie premieres in the near future!
Now it was time to style the rest of the 20 cast members. Aya began by creating style boards with inspiration she got from Pinterest, Instagram, and by watching other similar crime/drama films. She then drew on that to develop a personal style for each character and shared that with respective cast members.
To simplify the process, stay within budget, and limit in-person fittings, our team also asked the cast to pull outfits from their own closets whenever possible. This was particularly important for our Producer to ensure the exposure to COVID-19 was at a minimum plus most retail and costume houses were closed during the pandemic and the production team needed a creative way to resolve the wardrobe issues.
To keep everything organized and collaborative, Aya made use of several Google Suite applications. Each character had their own folder with their respective style board and photographs of each of their outfits for every scene. Once complete, Producer and Screenwriter Armen Dilanchian and Director Doug Thomsen reviewed and approved each and every outfit.
Once we began filming, our team relied on our actors to self-manage and be responsible for bringing the costumes required for each day’s shootings. On site, Armen teamed up with our Associate Producer Megan Thill and Production Assistants Ryan Thurston and Bryce Myrah to keep each day’s worth of costumes organized and freshly steamed in the trailer.
After hours of collecting digital inspiration, many emails and video calls with all the cast, Aya had successfully styled every character, in spite of having no prior experience in costume design!
Fun fact- Aya’s character, Sophia in Pride Jewel, is studying to become a fashion designer. Aya’s hands-on experience managing costume design for this film allowed her to hone in on her character’s love and passion for fashion and connect even deeper with her cast role!
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