COSMOS MOVIE PRODUCTION BLOG 14:
CREATING THE ‘ASTRO-NUTS’ BASEBALL CAPS
Due to budgetary limitations the filmmaking Art Departments, such as Costume Design, are often overlooked by independent filmmakers — when money is tight the camera becomes top priority and every other department seems to cascade beneath in a perceived order of importance.
But dressing your characters in a costume that reflects their personality and profession will not only dramatically increase the production value of your movie, but more importantly help your audience believe in your story.
As filmmakers we MUST strive for a high level of production value across ALL creative departments — there’s no point shooting our films in stunning 4k resolution if the costumes look like an after thought! We may get a few excited comments on the ‘dynamic range’ and ‘digital noise’, but no one will believe in our characters.
For proof if proof were needed, here’s Baz Luhrmann‘s excellent podcast on Costume Design for his epic AUSTRALIA.
Costume Design is fundamentally the expression of character through clothes, but it can be much more than that. Everything we learn from costume, we find out about the life of the character and the world that they lived in.
Now obviously COSMOS is on a miniature scale compared to AUSTRALIA, but when it comes to Costume Design the principles are the same, just on a microscopic scale.
COSMOS follows Roy Kennedy, Harry Knight and Mike Webster — three men who by day, work as highly skilled aviation engineers and space scientists, but by night pursue their passion for amateur astronomy. Roy and Harry are the two founding members of the amateur astronomy group ‘The Astro-Nuts’, and we thought it would be cool if this group wore branded baseball caps.
Harry relaxes. On the car dashboard sits his loyal faded RED BASEBALL CAP; an embroidered badge on the front reads: “THE ASTRO-NUTS – Astronomy Society”.
Not only could these caps serve as a plot device during the story, but as massive fans of baseball caps in general we thought it’d be super cool to create our own ‘movie-brand’ cap.
So what started off as a cool idea during a brain storming session had to soon become a real world object, and one afternoon we tasked ourselves with pinning down the final design for the ‘The Astro-Nuts’ caps.
Once we’d settled on a concept we both liked, Zander went about creating the final design in Photoshop. We tried to lean towards a 1960’s-esque Space Race feel; a timeless and classy era that marks a golden age for any true Space enthusiast.
Our final challenge was to find an embroidery company that could supply the cap style we preferred, as well as deliver the intricacy of design we had created in the dimensions that we wanted. Many companies couldn’t produce the logo at the 130mm width which we’d set to ensure the text would read on camera as well as for aesthetic reasons.
We briefly considered having the design printed rather than embroidered, but we really wanted to maintain that classic stitched logo texture. Finally we found RSF Embroidery based in Birmingham, UK and were very impressed with their customer service and dedication to deliver to our requirements.
Last week we received our first batch of caps and are extremely excited and pleased with the finished results. We now have to break down and distress the ‘hero’ caps to age them for the film and will post a small blog on our process, but for now here’s a pic of the final ‘The Astro-Nuts’ caps in all their glory.
We’re intending to open an online shop for ‘The Astro-Nuts’ caps and t-shirts once the film is released, so if any of you fancy becoming honorary members of ‘The Astro-Nuts’ group then please stay tuned!