Monday, 26 May 2014


"You never stop learning"- Chrissie Pegg (owner of Script to Screen) 2014.

Bafta award winning costume designer Chrissie Pegg came to Cardiff for the night to discuss her recent BAFTA winning work in 'The Machine'. She was given just two weeks to make 100 costumes with only £40 for each and one assistant. Chrissie Pegg could be called the superwomen of the costume industry completing the task and go on to win awards for this incredible achievment. She is a woman who has worked hard her whole life to give the film industry's budget films a chance to compete with the "top dogs" of the film world.

Upon arriving at the Atrium, St. David's, the hosts for the night provided each guest with a glass of wine, nibbles and a pack which disclosed more information about what the night would hold. Chrissie Pegg then began to happily float around the room and build up the excitement for the talk that would come, me and Reen were lucky enough to have a long conversation with her about the film and gained a bit of background information before the talk commenced. It then began and Chrissie talked us through the process, ideas and costumes from the film that won her the BAFTA....

Chrissie worked closely with director Caradog W. James, who had a very strong idea of what he wanted for everything from the main character Vincent to the protesting mother extras. They worked together to create the looks for the film and the small budget and time frame did not come without it's problems, but despite this Pegg still has a passion for her industry and actually prefers a low budget film as "they are more of a challenge."

My personal favourite character was Ava who was played by American actress Caity Lotz. She starts the film off as a scientist before her body is used as the home for the military robot (it's all very complicated). The naturally skinny actress turned model was required to look a bit more "normal" in her office attire so Chrissie came up with the idea of using padding on the breast and bum area to increase her voluptuousness. By the end of shooting it was lovingly referred to as the "tranny pack" and despite Lotz's initial reservations she actually took it back to America to use in certain dresses to create a behind, a cheeky little gym cheat for those who find the squat challenge a little too challenging! 

The next look Pegg had to create for Ava was the moment she ripped off the skin. When she originally saw it in the script she presumed that task would be left for another department, but there was no special effects it was instead left to Pegg to come up with an idea with just 10 days to go. She eventually decided on using lycra to create this "second skin" that the director talked about it. She began to search fetish sites but discovered many were based in Germany and the USA, with a little help from her son (eeek!) she discovered one based in the UK. It was a man named Simon who has actually worked with Lady Gaga and Kylie in the past. After using her charm she secured the suit free of charge with a promise that he would be included in the credits.

Overall it was a great night with a woman who has achieved mass amounts in her field. Her advice to anyone who wants to be successful in the creative industries was to "just go for it" and "never give up!", but also warned that times are sometimes tough and "you have to really love it to be in it". She was an insightful woman with a vast amount of interesting tales about her life as a costume designer and I felt she massively deserved a bigger audience.

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