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netribution > features > interview with ralph hole > page two


How far into pre-production did you get involved on this?
I only had four weeks on this which would normally have been easy, but a lot of the cast weren’t in place, so we just had a week where cast was involved.

How big was your team at that stage?
It was just myself. Amanda came on in the last week as a supervisor, and then Dee took over.

Do you have a specialist period or genre?
I’m kind of a bit the younger generation, whom people view as 'you can’t do period unless you’ve done it before'. So I tend to get mainly contemporary pics. Things that are sort of darker, or high quality comedy side, or the edgy stuff.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to be a costume designer?
The most important is don’t ever, ever give up. Don’t listen to anyone who stops you doing anything. From my point of view costumes can be funky and over the top but it’s important for me to base it in reality and get some sense of character in them. I’m not a stylist really, I like to give someone a bit of personality. I like to think, to some degree, that the clothes smell of the person wearing them. You can get into it in all sorts of ways... you can get in as an assistant stylist and go through commercials which is one way, and it seems to be very much the way it is going, because there are younger directors and producers out there who don’t want to spend the money. That’s one way; then of course there’s BBC training.

Does that route still really exist, with everything that’s happened to the BBC?
I think it’s a real shame. And yeah, the cliches do exist - it’s filled with ‘The Queens at the BBC’ and lots of middle aged women who’ve got nothing else in their life. But there’s nowhere else like it. Where you can work in London on a bout of heavy drama or a serial or light entertainment in a very short space of time. This is really a fantastic training ground.


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