Key Costumer

If you can sew and want to meet celebrities, this may be the place for you. Key costumers are the backbone of the costume department. They are responsible for the day-to-day work on the set. The costume designer may be there the day the costume is established, but the keys have to maintain the piece once it has been seen. If the film is shooting for several weeks, and the actors are wearing the same things in every shot, this kind of maintenance can be extremely important.

The reason the keys repair and service the costumes as needed is that another part of the job is continuity. Costumes have to look the same from shot to shot, even if they're damaged. If they don't look the same, the audience will spend time watching for costume mistakes rather than enjoying the film.

But the real fun of being a key costumer is that you get to work with the stars on a daily basis. You make sure that the stars' costumes for the day are neatly pressed and hanging in their trailers when they arrive. You tell them which costume to put on for the next scene and teach them how to wear their period outfits. You may get to help them dress. Whenever an actor calls for someone to zip them up, there you are.

The keys are not designers, but they need to know how things are put together so they can repair anything that breaks. Buttons that fly off need to be reattached, and pant legs constantly need to be hemmed. And wherever these things are being done, you can usually find a costumer, holding a needle loosely in his or her lips, ready to take care of it.

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