Day 4- It’s a WRAP!!!


Aaaaaand it’s a WRAP! So that’s it- our last bit of filming done and dusted! So this morning we all had to get up early and pack, load the cars etc. We then said bye-bye to the house (this made me very sad), and headded off. We were filming the last scene en route in Glen Coe, which was absolutely stunning. The weather was incredibly harsh though, and even Jimmy had to put an extra coat on top of his costume coat (he was always pretty tough when I offered blankets etc!!!). I struggle particularly badly with the cold, and have problems with my circulation, which I think became obvious when I started shaking. We then had a role-reversal when Jimmy generously gave me his ear-warmer to wear!

The landscape was pretty majestic, and we got some really good footage of Allaster walking through the glen. It was great to watch, and I actually felt really proud of what I had put together.

And then Andy decided he was happy and we were finished! It was a bittersweet moment really, I was sad for it to be over but also excited to see the final film. We then travelled back to Bishop briggs, calling at a view-stop on the way for lunch, and got some team photo’s which was good fun- it doesn’t show just how cold it was though!

We stopped off at Andy’s house, and his mum had made fresh pancakes which was fab. Then travelled back here to Edinburgh, said our goodbyes and here I am back home. Absolutely exhausted but so buzzing about the past few days. I was so anxious about going at the beginning, but I’m so glad I threw myself into it- I know I did the right thing for picking the film I was drawn to, rather than working on something I didn’t care for just for the sake of working with friends- I’ve come out of it making more friends, and having something to show that I am actually pretty proud of. Overall, It was a wonderful experience, I’ve learn’t so much about how a film works, how important teamwork is, and how rewarding costuming can be (even if you have to be the first one up at the crack of dawn to brush dirt off a pair of trousers)! So yep- that’s it for ‘Brae’- I cannot WAIT so see the finished film!!!

celtic cross


Day 3- Allaster & Eilidh

Today has been the best day so far for me. I had a slight crisis this morning when putting Stella into costume. Her under-top wouldn’t go over her head with the lace collar attached, so I had to unpick it which started to eat into everybody’s time. I was kicking myself for not realizing, but there was no time yesterday to try it on Stella, as we were very late getting back from filming. The tights I had gotten her were only left in an age 13 and she was 9, but it worked for the best because she could fit her thermals underneath, and I was very scared of her being cold. We all headed back to the cave, and spent the morning shooting the dialogue between Stella and Jimmy. The wind was bitterly cold, and Stella was only tiny! I became such a mother hen, and was constantly swaddling her in layers; I ended up wrapping her in two coats a hat and a huge blanket in between each shot- we became best buddies at the end of it, and I was sad when her parts were done and she had to leave 😦

I was happy with how her costume looked next to Jimmy’s; it fitted her exactly as I had hoped, and they complemented each other quite well. She was an absolute gem to watch, and it was a real pleasure to see her and Jimmy perform each take.

We were late finishing the scene, and had to eat lunch in the car as the weather was awful. We then filmed some more footage by the river, and again by the cave, in which we see Allaster approaching the cave bare-footed. His feet had to be muckied up, and by the end of the day, his trousers were absolutely caked in mud-to my dismay! We arrived back at the house, and I set to cleaning the trousers. I didn’t want them to be too clean so I didn’t fully wash them. I hand scrubbed the bottom of each leg to rinse out most of the mud and dirt, and hung them up to dry. I also gave everything a very light steam just to tidy them up slightly, as tomorrow’s scene is before the ones we filmed today, but it’s one in which he is battling the elements walking through the wilderness, so is still pretty disheveled.

After this, there was time for everyone to chill a little. After dinner, we all sat in the living room and played games which was really fun- It was good to get to know everyone more, outside of being on set.


Day 2- The Church, The River & The Cave

So yesterday was a great day to ‘officially’ start filming. To begin the day, we all had breakfast before heading up to Cille Choiril- the 15th century church I had mentioned at the beginning of the project. It was an absolutely beautiful morning, and the scenery was breathtaking! The church and graveyard was exactly like the photographs, and everyone was in good spirits. Jimmy traveled partly in costume as there was nowhere to get him changed where we were going. He wore the trousers and shirt with his own layers over the top, and I kept the rest hung flat in a costume bag until we got there. Props were used again in this scene, so I had to make sure I had everything with me. Andy had bought a vintage cross necklace that he wanted to use but it had a little 4 leaf clover where the hole was for the jump ring, which he didn’t like. I had taken a couple of my jewellery making bits and bobs with me, so I carefully took this out with small pliers and put a very simple jump ring in its place. I also used some cord for one of the wedding rings which jimmy had to wear around his neck and then remove. I left the cord quite long so it would be easy to take off, and looped it so that he could pull the ring free without fiddling if that is what he wanted to do. In this scene, Allaster is without his coat in this scene, and so he is wearing his shirt,waistcoat and woolen blazer/jacket. I liked how he looked smart for church, but still very earthy, I think the woolen brown jacket was the right decision to make.

When the crew were doing close up’s by the alter in which everyone was squashed into one space, or they were setting up for a new shot, I managed to get some sunshine outside and do a bit of hand sewing which was really nice. I sewed the vintage collar onto Stella’s long sleeved top around the neckline.

We did some shots of Jimmy walking through the graveyard which was good to see, I was happy with how his coat looked from a distance. He fitted in but also stood out quite well as a silhouette. I actually think green wouldn’t have matched the landscape as nicely.

After lunch, we travelled to the next location which was a beautiful river, with a small rocky beach. The weather started changing at this point; one minute it was sunny and the next glorious sunshine which was quite frustrating in terms of continuity, the lighting was changing all the time, and the wax jacket meant that all the rain spots showed up quite dark. We tried to keep jimmy covered when possible, but it was difficult when trying to do shot after shot. In this scene, he also has to take his shoes and socks off, and stands in the river. I had made sure that Jimmy brought some plain, dark socks to wear, so that we would have no crazy patterned bright socks showing! I had a momentary panic about the trousers getting wet all around the bottom, as I was unable to dry them between shots because of the outdoor location and had no spares. Luckily however, Andy directed Jimmy to roll his trousers up before stepping in the river, so all I had to do was stretch them out between shots to make sure they didn’t look like they had already been rolled once. I was also on towel duty for when Jimmy had to dry his feet and put his shoes back on.

After filming at the river, we travelled to a church which had a beautiful cafe space overlooking the water, and a kitchen. They had previosuly agreed to let us use the kitchen to heat up our food. Here we met Stella- Jimmy’s daughter playing Eilidh and her mum Julie. It was a good chance to get to know Stella a little before today.

After dinner, we travelled to our last location of the day- the cave. This was actually a huge boulder which had an overhang. We were shooting the start of another scene here, in which Allaster arrives at a cave, lights a fire and lays down for the night.

It became harder and more challenging as it got darker, and we were all ready for bed by the time we had finished. Yesterday was the longest day we will be doing. It was tough going in the crazy weather conditions, but was worth it getting back as it was Jimmy’s birthday, so we suprised him with a cake and candles before everyone went to bed.



Day 1: Off we go!!!


So here I am in the Highlands! Yesterday morning a group of us met at ECA and Andy’s mum drove us through to Bishopbriggs in Glasgow to their house, where we met up with the rest of the crew and had lunch. Some of the crew I recognized, however I didn’t know anybody very well which was quite nerve wracking, -especially when you are the odd one out doing costume. Everyone is really lovely though, and there is only 7 of us; 10 if you include Jimmy (the actor) and Mick, Andy’s dad who is helping out with transport etc, so it’s nice to have a small group. We then packed the cars and set off for the highlands, picking up Jimmy on the way, and arrived late afternoon at Andy’s family friends house in Fort William, in the lovely sunshine! The house is absolutely beautiful, and big enough for us all to share easily, overlooking the loch and the back of the Glencoe mountains.


(The view from my bedroom window!!!)

The first thing I did was unpack my costumes and hunted round for an iron. Lucky for me, Heather (the owner of the house), has a little utility room with a work surface, wash basin, washing machine etc, so I managed to set up a little work station and got to work ironing or steaming the garments so that they didn’t look like they had been folded in a suitcase, but also didn’t look perfectly pressed.

I then checked my props list, and made sure they were all ready to go. The old tattered Bible cover was almost about to come off, so I did a quick repair by laying a strip of masking tape down the seam and using a sharpie to make it match the pages by colouring it in.

After dinner, it was time to us to start shooting our first scene! The scene involves Allaster throwing his possessions into a bonfire on a highland beach at night/dusk. I had previously tried what I thought worked best in terms of Allasters costume on Jimmy whilst I was prepping the garments, and had Andy approve it, so that we could be ready to put the outfit straight on after dinner. Thankfully I really liked it on him, and everything fit perfectly!

The team headed to the beach which was 5 minutes away from the house, whilst I got Jimmy into costume, and called me when it was time to bring him down. We walked down together to join everyone else and begun shooting. As there was only a small amount of us it was all hands on deck, so we would take it in turns to collect bracken for the fire, and feed it just before each take. I was happy to get involved, even if it wasn’t my job, as I like to be kept busy. Me and Andy dressed the bonfire area with the props and the handkerchief idea worked really well, we used most of them up- I was handkerchief standby! It was a really lovely evening to shoot on, and everything went according to plan. Once we were done, Jimmy and I headed back up to the house and I hung up the costume (which STUNK of bonfire!!!) for today. So far so good- lets see what today brings!!!



Sewing Time!!!

So now I’m at that point where it’s time to prep the clothes I have, in the last little bit of time I have! I am sewing the floral overlay around the neckline and armholes of the original dress, matching them up and creating little inverted box pleats at the center front & back, and under the arms. I am also going to leave the collar for now as I haven’t decided what to do with it yet. I am also cutting out/unpicking labels and badges from all the garments that we are definitely using and that I won’t be returning.

The big labels left stitch marks, so I am going to have to see if I can scuff/scrub/steam them out. Other than that, things seem to be going well. I know there is an iron at the house we are staying at, so I can fold/roll most things in my case for now.


Outfit combinations

I put together various combinations of what I thought could work for both costumes when I arrived home, and tried them next to each other. (Ignore the female mannequin). I had also picked up a brown vintage cardigan for Eilidh, it was a small woman’s cardigan but I thought it would look cute and over sized on the actress Stella as she is only little. The cardigan is obviously vintage in shape and with the buttons, which I think will help to establish the loosely 1950’s setting. I also got her various pairs of cable knitted tights in different shades to see what will look best on the day, a long sleeved cream top to put underneath for warmth, an Ivory satin ribbon for her waist, some green wellies, and I am going to borrow some big grey socks from a friend to fold down over the top of them in order to hide the ‘dunlop’ logo. I tried various combinations of her dress both original or with the floaty top over, and with a vintage crocheted peter pan collar in various positions. As for Allaster, I still have Jimmy’s brown cords, but also found some navy blue ones which I thought might help to reduce the amount of brown I am putting him in.

I have decided that I am definitely getting there and am starting to feel much happier with what I’m coming up with. I asked Andy of his opinion by sending him some photo’s, and he likes the brown woolen jacket over the tweedy one, and I agree. I am glad I have a few spares of things to take with me in-case anything doesn’t look right on the day, as we are leaving tomorrow and I can’t even guarantee if they will fit. I have contacted Julie, Stella’s mum, and she is going to bring thermals and some dresses and things for Stella as a last minute resort if I need them, but I am quite confident that she will fit what I have found for her. Fingers crossed!!!


Allaster’s outift: Take 2!

So after the fitting with Jimmy, it was time for intense hunting down of clothes! I decided to start with the coat, as it was the most important item- not only is it used as a prop, but it also was going to be worn throughout most of the film and on top of everything else. I found an XL brown one which had a little cape on the back and was really lovely. I knew Andy really liked the green colour, but all the other green ones were too expensive or the typical ‘Barbour’ jackets which neither of us liked. I sent Andy the images and we decided to go for it.

12987927_10209753161132620_1333538084_n13020300_10209753161892639_708280261_nI know Andy must have been thinking about the fitting  a fair bit afterwards, and decided that he thought a tweed waistcoat and shirt combination might be nice. We swapped some images of the kind of thing that would work, and came up with something like this:

Andy’s image on the left and mine on the right. They were surprisingly similar, which gave me a clear direction of what I was looking for. I looked all day yesterday after getting the coat and had no luck whatsoever. I did however manage to get a couple of shirts; a white one, as I knew Andy was quite keen on this idea, and then a beige/sandy coloured one which I preferred, as it was more natural looking and less pristine. I got these from the charity shop as they were cheap and pre-worn which saved me time on breaking down as I don’t have long left before packing! In a last minute attempt to find some tweed,  I got in touch with the costume supervisor of bedlam last night and managed to arrange to go at lunchtime to have a look in their costume store. Prior to this, I tried Armstrongs again, but a different store. Luckily I managed to find a tweed-like waistcoat in Jimmy’s size. It was tweed but had a weave that looked quite tweed-like. I went to bedlam anyway, as I was aware that I could still do with a cardigan or jacket or something to go with the shirt and waistcoat, as it might be quite strange not having a layer in-between this and an overcoat considering the remote location that the character supposedly lives. I grabbed a couple of jackets- they didn’t have sizes but as it was only hire I thought it was worth the risk.