Sunday 17 June 2012

Willy Wonka's Costume Notes

There's an article published on The International Design Times website which contains a copy of a letter Gene Wilder sent to director Mel Stuart during the prep of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The letter contains Gene Wilder's feedback and further ideas in response to having seen the initial costume designs.

The collaborative aspect of film making is clear. Wilder's comments are generous to the Costume Designer but he is still pushing on with further investigation into the details of the character they are building together.

What I find most surprising about the article, from a contemporary perspective, is the simple fact that there was enough time for Wilder to write a letter. Instant communication coupled with shorter prep periods, attached to tight-as-possible shooting schedules means we often feel there is not enough time to digest ideas for long enough to be able to move them forward beyond the first concept.

It's a shame that having enough time to consider, double check and step back from our work, to try to take an objective view of it, feels like a rare luxury.

Thanks to Natalie Ward for sending me the link.

Stills found here.