DATE : 8TH OF DECEMBER 2020
To add to the guests we have had the opportunity to interview, we introduce Justine Seymour who in fact is a Costume Designer who works for Films and TV.
The Movie Culture Interview with her is set around Justine Seymour’s Emmy Nominated Work in Unorthodox.
Costume Design is a field which is Underrated and has the ability of being in the background but even though we don’t realize it’s an integral part of a film.
Greetings Ms. Seymour, we at The Movie Culture are thrilled to have you. We certainly hope that during times like these you and your family are doing well.
Justine Seymour: Hello, thank you so much for having me here on The Movie Culture.
Q. First of all Congratulations on your Emmy Nomination for Unorthodox, could you tell us how it all came to be?
Justine Seymour: I was lucky enough to have been recommended to Anna Winger, I then had a Skype meeting with Hemming Kamm and another with Maria Schrader as I was shooting in Jordan at the time. After those interviews, I was invited to a meeting in Berlin with Henning the producer, and Anna Winger the Showrunner. Finally, I was offered the job after meeting them all in person.
Q. Unorthodox is a stellar piece ranging from its Cinematography, Production Value, and addition to your Costumer. What was the research behind the costume for the characters?
Justine Seymour: Research is such an important aspect of my job, for this community I did as much reading and documentary watching as I could and then I actually spent 2 weeks within the community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I went to the local shops and walked the streets, took public transport, observing the subtle nuances of character and I took tons of notes. We also had an adviser, Eli Rosen, who I bombarded with questions about the dress codes and how far the individual could bend the rules.
Q. Costume Design is a very underrated piece in a movie, in all the tension which could be lost. Do you think whether that’s the point of it all? Do you prefer Disney like Costume Designs or Subtle?
Justine Seymour: It is true, costume design is one of the departments that is overlooked often. But to me, it is such a powerful tool within the story. I treat the design as a form of language and try to have the clothing speak to the audience on an emotional level, conveying the character and how they would like the world to see them.
Q. What drove you to Costume Design not just that but Costume Design for Film?
Justine Seymour: I have always loved clothing, fabrics, and texture, I started designing for my toys and dolls at a very early age. I was a model for years in the 1980s and loved the crazy fashions but I wanted to do more individual designs. So, I made all my friends’ clothing for his performances as a DJ, designed some theatre in London and then I applied for Film School in Sydney Australia and it just grew from there.
Q. You also contributed to a show called Messiah, which is very ambitious, to say the least. In a situation like that, one must guess the creator must have his inputs on the character look for Messiah, so how much collaboration is involved with a project such as that?
Justine Seymour: In every project there is total collaboration, all departments work hand in hand. Just as on Unorthodox, I would send all fitting photos to the Showrunner and Director, I did the same on Messiah. Many design presentations are done and lots of meetings and brainstorming.
Q. Short Films, TV Series, and Movies everything is reflected on your resume. Which format do you like working on the most?
Justine Seymour: For me it is about the story, I love all storytelling but feature films are lovely as you can work at a slower rate and really dig into the design. TV is fast and furious, and you have to juggle all the time. TV is like sprinting a marathon, so very exhausting.
Q. Hollywood has a great many films with iconic Costume Design. Is there a film that inspired you to achieve Costume Design as a profession?
Justine Seymour: There are so many amazing films and TV shows with wonderful design, I always admire Colleen Atwood’s design, starting all the way back in the 1980s with Tim Burton directing all of The Cure’s music videos.
Q. The Movie Culture is situated in India and I know you have spent some time here. Given Bollywood films are filled with colorful costumes. Do you plan to use some in your works? And how do you feel about the difference in costume Design? Any key differences or any similar aspects?
Justine Seymour: I have spent time in India, and I adore your country, I even made a film in Kolkata in 2008 called “The Waiting City”. From what I understand in Bollywood is that Actors have their own designer “stylist” and there can be more than one per film, where I work there is one designer in charge of the entire look of the production. The Indian films are beautiful and vibrant just like your country. I just recently enjoyed “A Suitable Boy” by Mira Nair, the design was stylized and a feast for the eyes and imagination. I really enjoyed it.
Q. Do you have any future projects lined up which you’d like to share with us and your fans?
Justine Seymour: I have just finished shooting a show in Mexico called “Mosquito Coast” with Justin Theroux and Melissa George and now I have just started a new production based in the South called “Women of the Movement”.
Q. Since even I’m new to Costume Design and have little knowledge of how it functions, what advice would you give to a person who wants to become a Costume Designer for Film and TV?
Justine Seymour: For all you lovely people that want to become costume designers, I would say, really start watching the world around you. Take note of the ambitious person and how they present themselves, the shy person, the overt person, the introvert. Notice the character traits and see if you can spot the secrets revealed within their wardrobe. Observe life and take notes.
With this, I would like to wrap up with the interview questions.
The Movie Culture would indeed like to thank Ms. Seymour for agreeing to this wonderful interview.
The Movie Culture Synopsis
This interview was a blast and we have to agree having little knowledge about Costume Design, Seymour’s words did open us up to this untouched world of Cinema.
We talk about Aspiring Filmmakers and Actors on this space but Costume Designing is as important as any of the above parts. We can’t Thank Ms. Justine Seymour enough for being this insightful and we hope the same insights will be helpful to those who seek Costume Designing.
Unorthodox, Seymour’s latest work is available on Netflix.