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DUNE: 7 Questions & 7 Minutes

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IMAX In Frame ‌ ‌ ‌ Welcome to the story behind the story. This is IMAX In F

IMAX In Frame  ‌ ‌ ‌ Welcome to the story behind the story. This is IMAX In Frame   Designing DUNE In conversation with costumer Jacqueline West plus a [7-minute exclusive extended sneak preview]( of the new Filmed for IMAX adventure   Existing in a space somewhere between exotic and familiar, fantastical and practical, the costuming of DUNE reflects a melting pot that transcends both culture and time. Executed by a team of hundreds, costumer Jacqueline West is the general of this aesthetic army, breathing life into looks that build a story of their own. Sketching, concepting, sourcing, fabricating, fitting— like the spine of a well-worn book, West has a special comfort and familiarity with her process. Having worked on films such as THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON, and THE REVENANT, she's no stranger to bringing the vision of literary characters into reality via clothes. It's hard to ignore her costuming work in director Denis Villeneuve's DUNE films. From the made-for-the-elements utilitarian wardrobe of the Fremen, to the dramatic and feminine flows of Lady Jessica's looks, how these characters dress is essential to how they are perceived and their station in the universe they inhabit. We sat down with West to chat about Dune author Frank Herbert, her influences, and a window into what her typical, (or rather, atypical) day looks like. 1. While audiences may have a general sense of what a costume department might entail, they might not fully grasp what a big undertaking it is. Both DUNE (2021) and DUNE: PART TWO were Filmed for IMAX. For a project on a scale this massive, how big is your team? The wonderful thing about a project like DUNE: PART TWO is that it brings together crews from all over the world. I had crew from New Zealand, Australia, The U.K, U.S, Spain, Hungary, Jordan, UAE. We had a core team of about 80 in Budapest which was our primary location and when we travelled to Jordan and UAE, our crew reduced, and we brought on new local crew in these places. Alongside these core crew, I had teams of external vendors making various costume pieces. These teams were in the hundreds. Concepts for costumes start months before pre-production and continue well into production. It’s an involved process with sketch artists who I work very closely alongside. It’s often a process of using pre-pre-production time to work out shapes for costumes and then once we have production base and workshop, it’s often about finding the right materials for the look and then sometimes working back into the illustrations with these materials. So, it really is many months from the moment the first line is sketched to being seen in front of camera. 2. Speaking of process, how long does it take to go from first sketch to final look? What does a typical day look like for you? Often working across different time zones, a day begins and ends at various times. [Starting from] calls with sketch artists who are often not on the ground with the core team and buyers and suppliers who are [in] various parts of the world sourcing various materials. Once I get into the workshop, I initially meet with my Assistant Costume Designer, and we go through how the day is shaping up; no two days are really ever the same. Generally, we’d go through various samples the team may have been working on the previous day. We’d look over various fabric swatches, material samples that would have been gathered by our buyers and look over new or revised artwork. I’d then go around the various teams: cutters, seamstresses, textile artists, costume props manufacturers, milliners, jewelers, and give feedback and direction to get their days underway. We’d be building costumes concurrently for lead cast and background performers across the various worlds. During pre-production I’d have meetings with [director] Denis [Villeneuve] every other day, so I’d work with design assistants to put together various displays and presentations, often this involved dressing mannequins in various shapes and fabrics to give Denis an idea of what I was thinking. Once the day is up and running for everyone, I’d often head out to source fabrics and other materials. This really helps with the design process. I’d meet with external vendors at their workshops to go over the various items they might be bulk manufacturing for us. Often there would be daily meetings with other HOD’s [Heads of Departments] such as hair and makeup, stunts, props, lighting in order to make sure we’re all on the same page and everything is going to work together. Other days there would be script meetings, methodology meetings etc. Once we have our cast in house, the fitting process begins. We fit cast numerous times, and these fittings sometimes go for several hours, especially the first fitting as this is a time to work with the actors to refine their characters through their costumes. It’s a process of fit, refine, fit, refine. Alongside cast fittings there are background [performer] fittings also. There is a dedicated background team who run these fittings but I’m always in and out of these, giving feedback and [to] refine the looks throughout the day. When we get closer to shooting camera tests happen. This is a time where we put the actors in some of their looks and get them in front of the camera. It is an opportunity for us to see if any fabrics, materials, finishes etc. aren’t behaving as we’d like them to when in front of camera. Once shooting starts it becomes a whole other level of juggling. Alongside most of these earlier mentioned tasks I now have a shooting set to be involved with also. These days would start often very early, especially on days when we are establishing a character’s costume for the first time. I’d be at ‘trailer park’ where all the cast have their campers and our costume trucks are and be involved in that initial dressing process with our set costume team. There are generally ‘on the day’ refinements that happen. After the cast are dressed, I travel to set with them to meet Denis and have the final approval. I would be there for at least the first take incase anything isn’t quite as it should be once they get in front of camera. And then back to the workshop to get started with the offset teams that are manufacturing for the upcoming days, weeks, months of shooting. 3. Some fans may not be aware of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel that inspired the film. Did you consult the book when trying to formulate the sartorial language of the movie? How much of the literary made its way to the movie? I had a great comprehension on the book having read it long before Denis’ DUNE. I always had a copy on hand which was marked up, ‘dog eared’, post-it flagged. References from the book certainly helped to drive the creative process as did the many personal encounters I had in my life within the life and circles of Herbert. 4. This month, IMAX audiences will have a chance to see DUNE (2021) return to theaters before the second film. You’re credited on both the first & second films — Did you treat the costuming as one large project, or did you want Part Two to feel visually distinct from Part One? What can fans expect to see in the latest film?  Staying true to the language established in film 1, but in film 2 we meet a lot of new characters from various worlds, so naturally the look of two is different to that of film 1. The two films are cohesive, this also comes down to the fact that we had so many of the same amazing crew back from film 1. The hands that made film 1 were also the hands that made film 2 – it’s such a wonderful thing to have that continuity when working on a project like Dune. It was wonderful to be able to develop these new worlds and characters in 2 and play with how they contrast yet compliment what we established in film 1, which was so wonderfully powerful. 5. Speaking of Hebert’s novel, the author was influenced by Middle Eastern & Bedouin cultures for his work. Did you and your team do much research into styles of the region? How much did that pool of influence inspire and inform the fashion of the universe? I didn’t want to directly associate the look of DUNE with the Middle Eastern and Bedouin cultures, but rather develop a DUNE culture that drew on some of the wonder and richness from [the] Middle East and Bedouin. These cultures provide such a rich foundation: the way cloth is used and manipulated, the colors, the textiles, the prints, the shapes – these are what helped to build elements of the costumes in DUNE, specifically for the people of Arrakis. Developing the Harkonnen I looked at the work of [visual designer of ALIEN (1979) H.R.] Giger and for The Emperor’s world I drew on the clean, linear geometry of Japanese references. DUNE 2 really is a wonderful melting pot. 6. On the topic of influences, on a personal level, who are some of your own design inspirations? What are some films that you find to be absolutely legendary in terms of their costume work?  I come from an art history background, so many of the references I draw on are from scenes depicted by many of the old masters, particularly Giotto and Goya. It’s hard to talk directly to films I find ‘absolutely legendary’ in terms of their costume works, but some of my absolute favorite films are: GODFATHER II, THE SUN ALSO RISES, LAST YEAR IN MARIENBAD, THE CONFORMIST, CONTEMPT by Godard, DEATH IN VENICE, THE LEOPARD. 7. While the stillsuit is perhaps the most famous look from the first film, DUNE features so many different looking cultures clashing up against each other. Can you speak a little to how you approached dressing the different communities and classes of people? As mentioned above, referencing different cultures and their aesthetics helped to define different communities and classes in DUNE 2. Alongside this it came down to textiles, cuts, accessories to help define these. Unexpectedly The Emperor's world was much more reduced than some may have envisioned. It was the power of this simplicity that gave him and his world the supremacy overall. Harkonnen more rigid and conveyed a sadistic language. Heavier textiles, leathers, armor etc Fremen were more practical and in touch with the earth, this influenced the way they dressed – they knew how to dress for the elements. Experience [DUNE: PART TWO]( in IMAX. Watch the [7-minute exclusive extended sneak preview](.   Each month, we’ll deliver a new exclusive piece of editorial to your inbox. Send us a line about future questions or topics you’d like to see at [fandom@imax.com](mailto:feedback@imax.com?a=11533&campaign_id=132&campaign_name=%5BFINAL%5D%3A+Feb+%2724+In+Frame+%28DUNE+Costume%29&campaign_type=newsletter&message_id=261&utm_campaign=%5BFINAL%5D%3A+Feb+%2724+In+Frame+%28DUNE+Costume%29&utm_content=Feb+%2724+IF&utm_medium=owned&utm_source=email).    IMAX® is a registered trademark of IMAX Corporation [Twitter]( [Facebook]( [Instagram]( [TikTok]( [Letterboxd]( [unsubscribe]()

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