Are you thinking about a career as a fashion stylist? Can you imagine yourself working as part of the costume department in film? Why not consider a career as a costume supervisor? This article provides an overview of what a costume supervisor is and how you can start your career as a costume supervisor.
What is a costume supervisor?
A costume supervisor is the individual responsible for the overall care and preservation of the costume that characters wear in film. As a costume supervisor you will work as part of a production crew in the costume department on a movie set. costume supervisors manage the costume stylists who care for the production’s costume as well as administrative tasks such as reports, forms, costume pulls and budgeting.
What does a costume supervisor do?
Costume supervisors oversee the costume crew to ensure that duties such as cleaning, packing and organizing clothing and accessories gets done properly. Costume supervisors also manage the tracking of costume and accessories as well as confirm that talent are wearing their assigned costumes.
Where do costume supervisors work?
Costume supervisors work on the sets of film productions. Being a costume supervisor requires time spent in the field pulling and returning appropriate costume at prop houses, costume houses, thrift stores, fashion designer showrooms, department stores etc. As a costume supervisor you may also spend time in an office environment performing administrative duties.
How much do costume supervisors make?
costume supervisors can make anywhere from $20,000 up to $70,000+ annually depending upon the number of projects, union status, experience. Most entry-level costume supervisors start their careers working without pay until they gain experience.
What qualities and skills do I need to become a costume supervisor?
As a costume supervisor you will juggle many tasks, responsibilities, personalities and work long hours. To become a costume supervisor you must be self motivated, have great communication skills, and possess an ability to work well under pressure.
Costume supervisors need to have excellent organizational skills, be extremely detail oriented, patient and have leadership ability. As a costume supervisor you must also possess good research and problem solving skills.
How do I become a costume supervisor?
It is recommended that any aspiring costume supervisor obtain some level of education in fashion design or costume design, even if you are a “natural”. There are many options for fashion and costume design education through on-line fashion design programs, community colleges, fashion schools and universities.
In addition to learning the general aspects of costume via fashion or costume design training, you must get practical, hands on work experience. The best way to acquire this experience is to intern or apprentice with local film and television companies, theater companies, local costume supervisors and student films.
Tips and Considerations
Educate yourself. Get to know everything you can about TV, film, theater and stage production as it relates to costuming. Also, stay abreast of industry trends, technology and information.
Network. Get to know other aspiring or working costume supervisors, shop owners, directors, producers etc. You never know where your next job lead may come from.