White Zombie: on set

Being on set for White Zombie was fascinating.  I have tons of theatre experience: I’ve costume and dressing for ballets and operas and plays and other live performances, but this was the first film I’ve worked on.

It was pretty much what I expected in most cases, but fabulous.

Elizabeth is fabulously beautiful

I expected that there would be moments of rushed panic (“can you just take in the lapels 3/4″ before the next shot?”) and lots of time sitting around waiting to be needed.

I make an on-set adjustment to Emile's pants

I gathered that unlike a stage play, there wouldn’t be an absolute schedule – the order in which scenes were shot got rearranged a little to suit makeup and hair, and if we ran ahead or behind schedule we just did the next thing, or tried to prep for the next.  With a play you have to start at a certain time!

Clair touches up Elisabeth's makeup

What I didn’t really realise was how much time lighting would take.  That was really the most time consuming thing of the whole day – more time was spent on it than actually shooting.  We would shoot one scene and then sit around for 30 minutes while the lighting people worked frantically to get everything just right for the next one.  My hats go off to them – they were really on call all day!

E & E practice a scene while crew check camera angles and mark choreography points

The interesting thing about the music video is that it was shot entirely against a green screen – no sets except for a staircase for Elisabeth/Madge to run down.

Elizabeth runs down the stairs for the 37th time

The fabulous thing was camaraderie of everyone on set, and how enthusiastic they were about the project.  I’ve worked with some great teams, but this one was something special.  You could tell everyone was there for the sake of the idea, and for PorcelainToy.  I was so privileged to be part of the team, to work with Andrew Armitage, the director, and with Elisabeth and Emile de la Ray of PorcelainToy, with Claire of The Vanity Case who did hair and makeup, and with the dozen and a half other people who made technical magic happen.

Technical fabulosity surrounding Elizabeth

The other fabulous thing is that we were allowed to take photos on set – very rare, and super lovely, because it means I get to show you just a little bit of what we did.  My photos don’t even begin to convey how amazing it was, and how amazing the finished product is going to be though!

Emile moves to rescue Elizabeth from the 'cliff' edge

And the final fabulous thing was the amazing caterer who fed us gorgeous food and even baked fresh bread and bagels on site.  Mmmmm….bagels….!

Yummy lunch in the sunshine - in costume!

Tomorrow: glamorous photoshoots!



  1. Wow! This seems like such an amazing experience! The gown looks fabulous (of course!) and I can’t wait to see how it ends up looking in the video.

  2. Wow! That gown is beautiful, and isn’t filming fascinating? I had a tiny minor part in a student-made film a couple years ago and it was so interesting to me… most of my acting experience is in theatre or opera, so the whole stopping and starting, shooting out of order, and shooting every scene from three or four angles was strange to me. But it’s made me look at films in a different way! I can’t wait to see the finished video 🙂

  3. I love the etheral feel of the dress. The way that it floats around her gives an otherworldly feel that is perfect for a video involving the supernatural. I also like the man’s outfit though I’m a sucker for riding boots and breeches. However his could be better tailored to fit.

    • Oh thank you for the compliment!

      The untailored look of his outfit is purposeful, and based on the original film. It’s a hard thing for a seamstress to do I tell you: make something intentionally badly fitted!

Comments are closed.