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Quick Change

Discussion in 'Costumes and Makeup' started by csilvia9, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. csilvia9

    csilvia9 Member

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    Hi I am currently in pre production of Aladdin Jr. and need some fast costume changes. I know a lot of quick change techniques are highly guarded magic secrets. Can anyone tell me if there are any books or sites that describe the making of quick change costumes? My biggest change will that of Aladdin into Prince Ali. I really want this to be a wow moment in the production. Since he goes from not many clothes to a lot I'm having a hard time figuring this one out.
    Any help is greatly appreciated.
    Csilvia9
     
  2. DuckJordan

    DuckJordan Well-Known Member

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    Velcro lots of velcro

    Sent from my XT1060 using Tapatalk
     
  3. MarshallPope

    MarshallPope Well-Known Member

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    Magnets can also be your best friends in some situations. Also, longer clothes can fairly easily be underdressed under shorter clothes. Take, for example, the Legally Blonde omigod quick-change (It's on Youtube somewhere). Elle goes from a fairly short dress into a longer cocktail dress onstage. IIRC, they used magnets to rig the first dress and to fold up the hem of the second dress into the first.
    Also, never underestimate the importance of a good dresser. Just having someone waiting with their arms up the sleeves of the next costume ready for the actor to dive into it works wonders. Practice, practice, practice.
     
    ColdFusion13 likes this.
  4. Amiers

    Amiers Well-Known Member

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    All quick change starts with planning ahead. If you can put him in at least half of what he is already needed to wear then you are a head of the game. If that isn't possible then you need a stage hand or a wardrobe mistress there to strip and dress you actor. After doing it a dozen times or so and getting past the awkward stage you should be fine.
     
  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I don't think there really are any closely guarded secrets. Velcro, maybe magnets, and costumes that are created by someone really smart who knows how to layer them together. Design the costume to easily be changed without changing shoes (this is a big challenge). I've seen way too many quick changes slowed by shoes caught inside pants or worse a change that requires shoes to be tied. Find a way to use the same shoes or make them easy to slip in and out of. A set that provides quick access for the actor to get off and back on stage (or perhaps somewhere to hide on stage and do the costume change without leaving) and most of all a really well practiced dresser. Do not be fooled into thinking you need 4 people waiting to help with the change. That many people doesn't work. A team of 1 or 2 at most will be much more efficient given time to practice.
     
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  6. TheaterEd

    TheaterEd Renaissance Man Fight Leukemia

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    The way I picture this change, is that everything goes on over his street rat costume. Build the top so that it is velcro in the back and he can just walk arms in front of him to get it on. Then he jumps into some loose fitting pants and someone puts his hat on him. As long as this doesn't have to happen on stage, this should be no problem and under 10 seconds. Also, If you are doing the JR version with middle school kids, they will love the challenge.

    If you don't mind, can you keep track of any interesting challenges and post them on this thread. I'm working on that in the spring ;)
     
    csilvia9 likes this.
  7. Psycho Seamstress

    Psycho Seamstress Member

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    Costume Rigging is definitely a secret society. I am a Costume Rigging Expert, A List Concert Tour Wardrobe Seamstress, Designer and Costume Fabrications Specialist at Universal Theme Parks. I have also worked for many years on Theater Costumes, rigging them for Quick Change. I am in the process of writing a book on the subject of Costume Rigging because you are right, there are none that I can find! It is something you learn working behind the scenes and isn't taught in any school or course that I can find but I plan on changing that by writing the curriculum complete with an illustrated guide and videos. Costume Rigging REVEALED!!! LOL

    Here is a list of some basic supplies you will need:
    1. Velcro - DO NOT use the stick on kind if you are planning on sewing over it, it will gunk up your machine!! Use velcro to close shirts and other garments converting them to quick change, then resew the buttons to the surface for show. You can also use it in many other places for super hero quick changes!!
    2. "Wopper Poppers" ie: Giant Quarter size snaps can be used to make quick change a breeze when velcro isn't practical, sew these on with Silamide thread or use 4 strands for best results.
    3. Elastic - which can be used to take in necklines, waistbands and other areas of a costume that are too loose or need to be temp fitted to one actor without permanently altering the costume.
    4. Wide Tooth Zippers - Don't ever try to use a fashion zipper on a quick change costume, you will blow it out most immediately!! replace them with wide tooth zippers that color match your costume, try online at www.wawak.com for a good variety.
    5. Wardrobe Tape - A MILLION Problems can be fixed and wardrobe malfunctions avoided by using double stick wardrobe tape, you can buy it from wardrobe supply companies, on ebay or even use toupe or wig tape in a pinch. If an actor gets a blow out on stage, keep a good supply of tape, giant safety pins and a needle and thread for emergencies.
    6. I write about costume rigging all the time on my blog at www.psychoseamstress.wordpress.com or you can email me at [email protected] for more help, tips and info!
     
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  8. Timothy A. Samuelson

    Timothy A. Samuelson Active Member

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    I cannot tell you how happy that makes me! I'm in the middle of putting together the lesson plans and curriculum for a brand new technical theatre department at a private school. I will definitely be buying a copy of your book the minute it's available. Please keep us updated here on the booth as I am sure plenty of others feel the exact same way.
     
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  9. Psycho Seamstress

    Psycho Seamstress Member

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    Email me if you'd like and we can work on expediting this, I may also be able to give you some leads on people who'd be willing to teach a class on costume rigging. I actually used to live in Hot Springs.
     
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  10. TheaterEd

    TheaterEd Renaissance Man Fight Leukemia

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    Tim, I'm just finishing my costume unit. I focus mostly on design since we don't have the facilities to really build costumes. Let me know if you want a list of my lessons.
     
  11. BlueSparkz

    BlueSparkz Member

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    I don't know about Tim, but I could DEFIANTLY use some lesson planning help for a costuming unit.
     
  12. Timothy A. Samuelson

    Timothy A. Samuelson Active Member

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    YES! Sorry, tech week for a show is kicking my butt. I will PM you!
     
  13. TheaterEd

    TheaterEd Renaissance Man Fight Leukemia

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    Just as a heads up, My classes are 90 minutes long and meet every other day so you will need to adjust accordingly. Also, I am not a costumer so this the best I have been able to come up with based on the one day long costume unit I had in college.

    Day 1: This year I started my unit by discussing the difference between a costume and a regular outfit. We talked about the different considerations that a designer needs to keep in mind when building a costume (how long is the run of the show, will the actor over heat, is this going to be a quick change, does the costume have to hid under another costume, etc) Then I show them a bonus feature from the Hunger Games 2: Catching Fire blu-ray which shows what goes into costuming and make-up on the Hollywood level. After wards I assign them each a district and they design costumes for their 'tributes' to wear during the chariot ride sequence.

    Day 2: I have them upload their designs to a Google presentation and then we go through and discuss how effective their choices were at conveying their tributes district.
    Here are the Designs from this year. As you can see, some are much better than others, so the discussion that occurs while viewing the presentation is the important part here. This took the first half of class. After wards I had them brain storm a large list of fairy tales or fables. Stories that everyone in the class knew. Examples from this year: Snow White, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Romeo and Juliet, Shrek, Beauty and the Beast, ETC. Once we have a list of around 20 or so I split the kids into four groups and they select their show. They then have to come up with a 'concept' for their piece (modern day, in a high school, 15th century germany, gotham city, the future, the pokemon universe, gender swapped, etc.) and design 5 costumes from the show to fit the concept. I need to approve their concept paragraph and their five costumes before they can proceed.

    Day 3: Students come to class with their concept paragraphs. Once their concept is approved, they are given class time to work on The Official Assignment.

    Day 4: Present projects. Students explain their concept to the class and I question the students decisions and open up for questions from the class. At this point I will collect completed projects and grade them based on a Simple Rubric, and I will send incomplete, or hastily completed projects back with the students to Re-Do.

    Let me know if I left anything out or if you have any suggestions.
     

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