Alison Pierce has been designing costumes and makeup for almost ten years. saturday night livebefore transitioning to film in Chadwick Boseman’s thriller 21 bridgeShe followed it up with Adam Sandler’s Hustlebefore taking on costume design for the critically acclaimed Aubrey Plaza film. black bear.
Tasked with realizing Kevin Smith’s vision Clerk Ⅲ, with Randall and Dante brought to life by Jeff Anderson and Brian O’Halloran, Pierce soon faced a whole new set of challenges. Alison recently spoke to We Got This Covered about why the project was so compelling and her responsibility to honor these characters.
When and how were you asked to work on Clerks III?
was told to do Clerk Ⅲ Through one of our producers, Amy Giavella.Coincidentally, her next project is Clerk Ⅲ She approached me, sent me the script, and asked if I would be interested in meeting Kevin. We clicked right away and started running from there.
As a costume designer at the start of a project, where is your creative starting point?
I think this is different from almost every other project I’ve done. As soon as I read the script, I realized that every scene in the movie’s convenience store is a callback to the original. ClerkSo I had to pour into the original and basically find the movie stills from the VHS footage.
Doing research at this level required deciphering grainy black-and-white footage to determine all sorts of details, such as the type of sneakers Jason Mews wore in the original film. I knew they happened to be Asics Gel Saga. saturday night live, I treated this process like studying the next sketch.
when I worked SNL We did the parody and part of the art of parody is getting it exactly right so it feels seamless to the audience. Clerk Ⅲfiguring out how to perfect those scenes in the store so no one questions them.
Kevin Smith has clearly lived with these characters for a long time.How much did his opinion influence your choices on a supportive level?
I think Kevin is such a great collaborator, especially with Elias (Trevor Furman), who really encouraged me to work with him. He recently recalled that the script said, “Elias is wearing her t-shirt made of metal.” It was like this tiny little starting point for me.
I remember Kevin calling me after my first fitting with Trevor and giving me a license to really show my creativity and range with this character. In that moment, I felt free to try a lot of different things and really explore what works.Elias said that in this movie he has over 20 costume changes. That’s a lot for a Kevin Smith movie. While Randall and Dante mostly stick to his T-shirts and Quick Stop smocks and his hockey jerseys, this is the formula Kevin wanted to follow. But Elias was different. It was a very different character.
With Jeff Anderson and the character Randall, I think you hit double digits in terms of changes throughout this movie. Did you
I mean, all the t-shirts, they’re all callbacks and easter eggs from View Askewniverse, which Kevin specifically started working on at least a year before I joined. He had his two graphic designers, Nate Gonzalez and John Spreckelmeyer, and these graphics were all ready. When I joined the project, it was my job to find homes for them. ranger danger.
We have a lot of comics translated into t-shirts, and we’ve come up with colors, fits, and brands that make sense to Randall. We know there are millions of t-shirt options.Whether you used a heat press or screen printed, there were many options. I think our goal was to get every t-shirt in the movie.
What is the significance of Elias and Blockchain Coltrane’s constant costume changes?
For these looks in particular, I needed a starting point for each costume for each beat where Elias and Blockchain Coltrane could be seen together. In order to create a cohesive look, it had to be a visual image that the three of us could put our heads together.
of mad max Aviator’s goth look with goggles on his head, blade runner I thinkThat’s how we were referring to them – we were like, is this a Frank and Furter look or this is Crimson Peak look. There was also the sort of goth murder baby doll he wears with this big Victorian bonnet.
His looks were kind of a joke on the scene, they had a very fast beat and had to be read very quickly, so each look needed a strong element to make it iconic to the audience. I think they had a great influence on me, but the strongest was the adams family.
For Elias and Blockchain’s two characters as well, I think Elias needed to feel like he was leading the pack in terms of his style seen in each scene. Blockchain then stayed one step behind him throughout the character’s arc. not.
To what extent do you think costume designers influence a film’s identity beyond the characters?
As a costume designer, if the costume choices support the characters and make sense to them, I know I’ve done my job. No, but I think Trevor[Furman]really did it with his acting.
There’s even a scene I remember… where we gave him these long chainmail rings and he could rock out and play devil horns with his fingers. It became an essential prop that helped bring his characters to life on camera. It wasn’t just what he wore, it was part of the process of creating that persona.
Having worked in the industry for over 10 years in film and television, what are the key things to focus on before signing up?
I think that story is very important to me. When you read a script, the story has to make sense, and you have to be inspired by it. She doesn’t want to read what she’s seen 20 times in the past, but that’s a bit limiting for the outfit. Because all these creative walls must come down. I also think the environment is very important in the design process.
one of the things that fascinated me black bear Specifically, it was the environment and the place where the story takes place.
of Clerk Ⅲ The setting was a quick stop, with so many textures and colors and interesting things in the background that the whole space made sense with the costume. , I think it’s about reading the script and solving the problem. You will be asked to try something completely new that has never been done anywhere else. Hmm. This is the really fun part of my job. Often we have to figure out how to do new things and create solutions.
Tell us about your perfect Sunday afternoon.
Oh, maybe I’ll go hiking with my partner, Ian, and our dog, Sydney, and then jump in the stream and go out to dinner.
Clerks III is in theaters now before going digital on October 14th. You can check the movie reviews here.
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