Episode Seventy-Four: Costume Designing for Film

June 1, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

Susan Nininger started out in the field of fine art creating sculpted ceramic pieces and then realized that she liked “sculpting costumes”. Her big break was in the 90′s when she was given the job costuming Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard. Susan talks to us about working on that film and she also shares with us exactly what her union says she’s allowed to do as a costume designer. We also learn about some other tasks of the costume department and about what it takes to organize the clothes for a film.

Susan Nininger- Costume Designer

Susan Nininger was raised in the Northeast ‐ Connecticut, Boston, and New York. She began her studies as a Fine Art Student at Rhode Island School of Design. By the time she received her Masters Degree in Seattle in 1976, her work was incorporating a variety of materials ‐sculpted ceramic pieces, found objects and fabrics‐and she, and others, were wearing her ‘Costume Sculpture’. The body of sculptural work that Susan produced during the late 70′s in Seattle displayed a unique and imaginative use of mixed materials, as well as a strong sense of storytelling. Some of the pieces she produced during this time were not wearable, however, they were always about Costume ‐ evoking her deep rooted interest in not only the physicality of garments chosen as costume, but also in the Storytelling Ideas that go into the development of character through Costume Design. She received Scholarship Awards and Grants during this time from the National Endowment for the Arts and other prestigious organizations. Her work was exhibited in both galleries and museums, nationally.

Susan made the transition from working as a Studio Artist to designing Costumes for Stage and Moving Pictures in the late 70′s.  Collaborations with Performance Artists and Choreographers in Seattle, lead to being invited to design costumes for several Stage Productions. Finding that designing costumes fit perfectly with her passion for storytelling, she made the choice to pursue a career as a Costume Designer, and moved to Los Angeles in 1981. Susan’s range of work as a Costume Designer, to date, includes Costume Design for Feature Films, Television, Theatre, and Music Videos. She is perhaps most well known for her Costume Design for The Bodyguard with Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. She has designed for, and collaborated with, award winning Commercial Directors, and continues to maintain a high profile as an imaginative and prolific Costume Designer. With a continued  interest in Education within the field of Costume Design, Susan is a member of the faculty at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in  downtown Los Angeles, where she teaches in the Film & TV Costume Design Program.  She is a member of the Costume Designers Guild, and served on the CDG Board of Directors from 2005‐2010.

Susan is based in Los Angeles, where she lives with her son.

If you’re looking for a costume designer for your film, please contact Maril Delly at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Maril’s email address is mdelly@fidm.edu.

Lynda Lopez- Producer

Lynda Lopez started her career in film as a Production Designer working on student films with friends from art school where she was a Graphic Design major. She then went on to assist some very talented Production Designers on studio films while still working in various capacities on short films and indie films. Due to her fascination for all aspects of filmmaking, she has become more involved with the Production side of things working as a Director’s Assistant and Producer.

Lynda is currently working on a charity project for All Hands Volunteers, a non-profit organization that provides hands-on assistance to survivors of natural disasters around the world. For more information about Lynda’s project to help this organization please visit Film Method’s Facebook page.

For more information on All Hands Volunteers visit their website at http://hands.org/

Jenna Edwards- Producer, Film Method Co-Host

For more information about Jenna Edwards please visit the About page.

Producing Sunflowers Website
Burbank International Film Fest

Episode Seventy-Three: Script Supervisor Veda Semarne from The Office

May 25, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

The script supervisor has one of the most important and difficult jobs on set: making sure what’s in the script ends up in the can (or in the case of The Office, the plastic tape case). The script supervisor, also known as the scripty, rarely has a free moment on set as she or he is constantly taking notes for each take, timing each take, and supervising the continuity of the script including actor’s lines, props, wardrobe and much more! Join us as we discuss the duties and responsibilities of this valuable position with Veda Semarne of The Office.

Veda Semarne- Script Supervisor

Veda Semarne received a Ph.D. in Art History from Yale, writing her dissertation on the Lumière brothers and the first films in France.  She taught film history, theory, and screenwriting at Yale University, Trinity College, and Long Island University until 1996, when she moved to L.A. to explore the world of film production first hand.  In 1997, she took a script supervising course at the American Film Institute and has been working as a script supervisor ever since, on feature films and television series.  She has worked in many genres, but comedy is her favorite.  She just completed her seventh season on the NBC’s The Office.  Her feature projects include Cedar Rapids and License to Wed.  She has had the honor of working with many fine directors, among them Ken Kwapis, Paul Feig, Miguel Arteta and Harold Ramis.

Veda’s Facebook Page

Lynda Lopez- Producer

Lynda Lopez started her career in film as a Production Designer working on student films with friends from art school where she was a Graphic Design major. She then went on to assist some very talented Production Designers on studio films while still working in various capacities on short films and indie films. Due to her fascination for all aspects of filmmaking, she has become more involved with the Production side of things working as a Director’s Assistant and Producer.

Lynda is currently working on a charity project for All Hands Volunteers, a non-profit organization that provides hands-on assistance to survivors of natural disasters around the world. For more information about Lynda’s project to help this organization please visit Film Method’s Facebook page.

For more information on All Hands Volunteers visit their website at http://hands.org/

Jenna Edwards- Producer, Film Method Co-Host

For more information about Jenna Edwards please visit the About page.

Producing Sunflowers Website
Burbank International Film Fest

Episode Seventy-One: Lighting a Set

May 11, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

For obvious reasons, lights are some of the most important elements on a film set. Without light, you wouldn’t see what’s in the picture and without the picture, you wouldn’t have a movie! The lighting department is filled with many peculiar sounding crew member titles like best boy, grip and even a griptrician (what you get when you cross a grip with an electrician). Chris Lewis joins us to talk about motivating his department on set and the proper etiquette for running a well-oiled G&E team.

Chris T. Lewis- Lighting Designer, Chief Lighting Technician


Chris started his career in the entertainment industry in 1982 while living in Phoenix, Arizona. He got his basic training by working with a Phoenix corporate and trades production company and learned all the basics of production from the beginning of design concept stages to the end of deep storage wrap. They had a small staff and everyone was cross trained with a hands on approach. Chris then moved to Page, Arizona where he worked on commercials and videos being shot at Lake Powell including the Sports Illustrated 25th Anniversary Swimsuit Video and his first feature film Highway to Hell.

In 1992 he was offered a position on Babylon 5 and he made the decision to move to Los Angeles, California, to work full time in the electrical department. Since then Chris has moved up through the electrical ranks and is now a successful Lighting Designer and Chief Lighting Tech. He owns his own business, Corsair Lighting, which rents electrical equipment.

Chris also stays up to date with his US Passport, is Padi Certified, and Dan Insured. He’s worked all over the world including Africa, Costa Rica, and Prague. He is local to Los Angeles, CA and Kaneohe, Oahu. Currently (2011), Chris is still employed as a Lighting Designer and Chief Lighting Technician.

He has just finished Season 14 on The Ultimate Fighter television series and has upcoming underwater projects being shot at Fantasy II Film Effects in Los Angeles.

Written by: Christina Christensen Lewis

Corsair Website
Chris’ Facebook page

Lynda Lopez- Producer

Lynda Lopez started her career in film as a Production Designer working on student films with friends from art school where she was a Graphic Design major. She then went on to assist some very talented Production Designers on studio films while still working in various capacities on short films and indie films. Due to her fascination for all aspects of filmmaking, she has become more involved with the Production side of things working as a Director’s Assistant and Producer.

Lynda is currently working on a charity project for All Hands Volunteers, a non-profit organization that provides hands-on assistance to survivors of natural disasters around the world. For more information about Lynda’s project to help this organization please visit Film Method’s Facebook page.

For more information on All Hands Volunteers visit their website at http://hands.org/

Jenna Edwards- Producer

Jenna Edwards began her film career in Minnesota where she was signed on as talent with Easter Hailey. Quickly after being signed Edwards was hired by the agency as a full time employee giving her a head-start on her Hollywood education. After two years of rising through the Minnesota film community Edwards made the move to Los Angeles.

Soon after Edwards moved to Los Angeles she was hired by agent Jamie Ferrar. It was while Edwards was working for Ferrar that she developed an interest in the casting process. Before long she had moved from talent agencies to working in casting with such industry leaders as; Sally Steiner (Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Boy Meets World), Barbie Block (Jonas, Pepper Dennis) and Allison Jones (Superbad, The Office).

During this time Edwards was also able to gain valuable production experience working with studios like Disney, MTV, FOX and CBS.

After several years of successfully navigating her career through the Hollywood studio system Edwards made the leap to independent film with her first feature April Showers and has since successfully produced 4 feature films as well as co-hosting the Film Method podcast and teaching producing classes at New York Film Academy.

After her success with April Showers Edwards formed Mattoid Entertainment with partners Jeremy McGovern and Andrew Robinson where they produced the first ever made-for-internet movie, In the Darkness, which premiered on Hulu.com. Mattoid has recently made the leap to distribution, where they have acquired three feature documentaries to be released in 2011.  The first, Adopting Haiti premiered as the #1 documentary on Hulu.com.

Aside from continuing to work at Mattoid, Jenna is busy working on budgets for several independent films, producing 2 feature films and developing projects for television as well as teaching producing at New York Film Academy.

Producing Sunflowers Website

Burbank International Film Festival

Episode Seventy: The Hierarchy on Set

May 4, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

When you’re on a film set, like in any business, there is a certain structure that should be followed in order to finish your day and ultimately to finish your film. Of course on a film set, just like in any business, things don’t always go according to plan, and this is when the members of the crew need to get creative. The 1st A.D. is the eyes and ears of what goes on during principle photography and most of the decisions that are made on set go through him or her. Frank Caridi joins us to talk about the hierarchy on set, set etiquette, and who can fire who.

Frank Caridi- Film Worker

Frank started his film career in Chicago in the mid 90′s, first in industrial videos, then in the fast paced, insanely challenging indie film scene.  In Chicago in the 1990′s, being an indie film worker means you are comfortable wearing several hats on set, and possibly a bartender’s apron off set.  He became an integral part of a film production team headed by Christina Varotsis, and known for its resourcefulness and stretching budgets to the breaking point. That reputation landed that crew the first season of HBO’s Project Greenlight.

After a the minor notoriety and Hollywood Awakening of Project Greenlight, Frank decided to move to Los Angeles.  Although he left the bartender’s apron behind, he did manage to bring both his love of rough and tumble low budget film making as well as his solid, Midwestern work ethic.  The rush of overcoming the challenges of making a film happen without the comforts and resources of an ample budget became addictive, and a niche as a low budget 1st AD was found…then abandoned for the paycheck of commercial production.

After years of working in commercials in Los Angeles, Frank returned to independent production to make music videos as head of production for both Propeller Productions and then for Highway 114.  Producing music videos employed the creative problem solving of indie film production, but also introduced the creative freedom that is unique to short format videos.  Everything about music video production is short, including the business model of a music video production company.  When Josh Tickell of the Veggie Van Organization approached Frank to build and promote a sustainable vehicle to promote the theatrical release of his film, FUEL, Frank became a builder and green engineer.

Frank’s Email Address: madcap1314@gmail.com

Lynda Lopez- Producer

Lynda Lopez started her career in film as a Production Designer working on student films with friends from art school where she was a Graphic Design major. She then went on to assist some very talented Production Designers on studio films while still working in various capacities on short films and indie films. Due to her fascination for all aspects of filmmaking, she has become more involved with the Production side of things working as a Director’s Assistant and Producer.

Jenna Edwards- Producer

Jenna Edwards began her film career in Minnesota where she was signed on as talent with Easter Hailey. Quickly after being signed Edwards was hired by the agency as a full time employee giving her a head-start on her Hollywood education. After two years of rising through the Minnesota film community Edwards made the move to Los Angeles.

Soon after Edwards moved to Los Angeles she was hired by agent Jamie Ferrar. It was while Edwards was working for Ferrar that she developed an interest in the casting process. Before long she had moved from talent agencies to working in casting with such industry leaders as; Sally Steiner (Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Boy Meets World), Barbie Block (Jonas, Pepper Dennis) and Allison Jones (Superbad, The Office).

During this time Edwards was also able to gain valuable production experience working with studios like Disney, MTV, FOX and CBS.

After several years of successfully navigating her career through the Hollywood studio system Edwards made the leap to independent film with her first feature April Showers and has since successfully produced 4 feature films as well as co-hosting the Film Method podcast and teaching producing classes at New York Film Academy.

After her success with April Showers Edwards formed Mattoid Entertainment with partners Jeremy McGovern and Andrew Robinson where they produced the first ever made-for-internet movie, In the Darkness, which premiered on Hulu.com. Mattoid has recently made the leap to distribution, where they have acquired three feature documentaries to be released in 2011.  The first, Adopting Haiti premiered as the #1 documentary on Hulu.com.

Aside from continuing to work at Mattoid, Jenna is busy working on budgets for several independent films, producing 2 feature films and developing projects for television as well as teaching producing at New York Film Academy.

Producing Sunflowers Website

Burbank International Film Festival

« Previous Page

Soonami Productions