Adam Savage Visits the Hollywood Costume Exhibition

We spend the day at the incredible Hollywood Costume exhibition currently on display at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles! Adam Savage explores the gallery with his friend and exhibit curator Deborah Nadoolman Landis–the designer of Indiana Jones’ iconic costume. They discuss the role of the costume design in cinematic storytelling and the wonderful stories behind some of the 150 costumes on display.

Shot and edited by Joey Fameli

Comments (50)

50 thoughts on “Adam Savage Visits the Hollywood Costume Exhibition

  1. I agree this was a great video. But I have got to admit the music and voice overs of the exhibition playing in the background gets really annoying after 10 minutes. Overall great video.

  2. Fantastic work guys; I have zero interest in costuming, but, listening to two people who are so passionate about something have a discussion like this… just fantastic. Great work.

  3. Aw that was awesome!!!!!

    I grok, too… It’s all in the shoes.

    Weren’t Indy’s boots, Harrison Ford’s actual boots?

  4. That was absolutely fascinating.

    And Deborah is so cool! I wonder if she knows the RPF and if she realizes how much we love this sort of thing.

    Thank you, guys. That was really, really great.

  5. The video is Adam talking to the lady. Why should I care what she is saying?? I wanted to watch this because I thought I was going to see costumes, and you guys barely glanced over them- Argghh!!

    Yes she is interesting, but where are the costumes, the details of the costumes – the craft that went into it ?

    Most of the video was Adam and her jawing. Yes Adam has a lot to say, but my gosh- where is your focus ??

    Your interview style is generally like that – no matter what is being filmed, what I see is people jawing and little about what the video is actually about. It becomes two people yapping.

    If I visit a museum I do not read a book or text while I am there, I look and see. To much chin wagging guys- your losing your focus and my interest.

  6. absolutely stunning video, loved the casual style from people clearly passionate. Then to top it all was beautifully filmed and edited. Thanks guys!

  7. Videos might not be your thing, there are stationary images that might be more to your liking… in fact, I’d be surprised if there wasn’t a gallery of photos to accompany this video in the near future. Or hell, go visit the exhibition.

    For the rest of us, the “jawing” is the main feature, as it contains stories and information not found anywhere else.

  8. This is awesome.

    Not an interview at all, but simply two passionate people having a fairly intimate conversation about something they very obviously care deeply about. The video supports that by providing a background and context, while not intruding on the conversation. It makes me feel like a fly on the wall, and I’d absolutely love to see more stuff like this.

  9. great video and what a piece of work that exhibition is!

    think about it for a second: you take something that, when done right, imperceptibly melts into the character and make it the centrepiece. that by itself requires finesse. and especially so with items like costume, that themselves are nothing, that only start becoming a visible “something” when worn and inhabited by a person, to display those as alive things, but without them being overpowered by who’s wearing them, that is a really hard job.

    the way she tiptoed the line with black, gestured mannequins and ever-so-slightly animated faces projected onto a flat surface is looking marvellous on video already. i’d love to see the effect in person, but curses be to the atlantic ocean.

    all through the video, i was thinking “get deborah in the talking room, right now” but you know what? screw that. get deborah in the shop, give her a nondescript, cheap, run of the mill jacket, and let her do magic. that would be awesome.

  10. But that jacket would be meaningless as its not interpreting someones vision, just a lesson in weathering, which was her point about what people misunderstand!

  11. true, a strict technique demonstration would indeed have that flaw. i just got really excited by the vividness of her indiana jones story, and i’d be super interested in seeing a skilled craftsperson apply and talk about the how and why of these techniques.

    how about not a strict shop talk thing – more like her making it an adam jacket? kind of like replacing the script with her perspective on adam, so that, in the end, the jacket looks like something he had owned for quite some time. “testing” the final product could be interesting, too: not only comparing photos of adam in the new vs treated jacket, but there’d be that facet of being able to ask adam what having the look/feel vs not having the implied history with the jacket feels like. (and what he feels about deborah’s adam vs adam’s adam)

    that would still forego the part of interpreting from a text what kind of item a character would wear, and focus more on bringing out the character potential of said item via craft, but i feel it wouldn’t forego all the why for a little how.

    a practical demonstration of the process of close reading, researching, collecting/designing & commissioning also sounds like an interesting thing, but might be a bit too close to what she’s trying to show through her exhibition. i feel it wouldn’t be fair to ask her to participate in something that competes with her big project so directly.

  12. Indeed that would be cool I would welcome any costuming videos done on here, I just thought you comment was ironic 🙂 . I would love to see more from her.

  13. This was great, seeing behind the scenes with these anecdotes and how much Adam and Deborah love the costumes and the story. As Deborah explains a few details of how the exhibit was put together, it gives us insight into the work and energy that goes into such and tremendous project. This is a great video.

  14. Superb video people, it gave the feel of the exhibits without showing too much, just little snippets here and there.

    There is already a big chunky ass book full of gorgeous photos from this exhibition, and I’m kind of glad they didn’t show off the costumes, in most movies you’re not staring at the costume they are just there as a part of the atmosphere.

    http://www.amazon.com/Hollywood-Costume-Deborah-Nadoolman-Landis/dp/1419709828/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422570173&sr=8-1&keywords=hollywood+costume+landis

    p.s. you can see the sole of The Bride’s shoe as she walks over the glass floor in the Japanese restaurant. it’s got a naughty word on it 😀

  15. I am sorry but i think you miss the point this is not about the costume detail which i would love to also see in another video

    This interview lay’s out one woman’s passion and i found myself carried along with her and Adam. I studied costume while i was training and it was so dry compared to the passion of this lady.

    I believe this is one of the best things i have seen on this site.

    It was a privilege to be let into her world even if it was just for a short while.

    Great work Joey and Adam

  16. The video is Adam talking to the lady. Why should I care what she is saying?? I wanted to watch this because I thought I was going to see costumes, and you guys barely glanced over them- Argghh!!

    Yes she is interesting, but where are the costumes, the details of the costumes – the craft that went into it ?

    Most of the video was Adam and her jawing. Yes Adam has a lot to say, but my gosh- where is your focus ??

    Your interview style is generally like that – no matter what is being filmed, what I see is people jawing and little about what the video is actually about. It becomes two people yapping.

    If I visit a museum I do not read a book or text while I am there, I look and see. To much chin wagging guys- your losing your focus and my interest.

    I agree that the video is oddly focused. It seems to be not about the costumes and display, but more sort of Deborah’s general sentiment about costuming. Which is dissatisfying when you’re looking for the video to get more in to specifics along the lines of this costume here is from such and such and i made these choices because of reasons etc.

  17. Such a great video and you can really see the passion behind it all as they chat about the costumes and the way the exhibit was put together. I loved it!

  18. Really love this. There is something really cool about thinking about how the character story is linked with a costume design. Almost reminiscent of archaeology or history… every button has a story behind it…

    Then at 21:45 it’s like Patton Oswalt’s Filibuster came to life. . . i’m fantasizing about Darth Vader, Abraham Lincoln, and Neytiri teaming up with the Avengers and the Justice League… but all I’m really doing is looking at clothes…. it reminds me of how kids can take an bedsheet cape and a stick and let their imagination run…

  19. Definitely one of my favorite videos from you guys. I love watching/hearing people passionate about their craft talk about what they do, and give stories behind each piece.

    Thank you

  20. Only seen the first few minutes so far, but one thing I noted with interest that I figured you guys would clarify: When she was telling Adam about the backwards GAP shirt and filming in the mirror I got an uncomfortable sense of my personal space being invaded – I think it is a mix of the ‘breathy’ microphone and the visuals where she looks like she’s leaning in towards Adam and he’s standing quite upright.

    Did anyone else get this sensation? Is it just my good old-fashioned british repression? Seriously – not saying anyone was doing anything wrong or weird, just genuinely interested to see if there’s a cultural difference here?

  21. The reason why I love HD home content (Blu-ray movies mainly) is so that I can pay attention to the details a lot better than just SD or in a theatre at a distance. Each and every item is in the scene for a reason… it’s really nice to be able to see them.

  22. Wow!!!!!!! Incredible video!!! I disagree with bellybones completely. This video is so much more then the exhibition! I suppose you could also go thru and just shoot it all but the stories she tells are much more rare and interesting then just shots of everything.

  23. This is a great video. She reminds me so much of all the professors I dearly loved back in Art School. I would take her class just to sit and listen to her be that enthusiastic about her chosen subject matter. Lovely video.

  24. wow!

    That exhibition needs recording in the virtual boat that Deborah was talking about so it can be viewed in VR forever.

  25. Wow, what a beautiful and passionately presented must watch piece. Watched twice and just made my daughters sit down with me and watch it again, great inspiration for their school work in media and design.

  26. I dig this in a big way, loved to hear her perspective and you can tell she has a huge passion for what she does. Wish I was able to explore the event. WIshed the camera went in for more close up on the costumes, but probably hard to do since everything is behind ropes and what not.

  27. Amazing video! I can’t wait to go visit this exhibition. So disappointed I live in L.A. and only now just found out about it. I would’ve gone 10 times already!

  28. It’s funny because when Deborah was talking about her making the Indy costume for the DVD Behind the Scenes of Raiders, she comes off as rather annoying. But the truth is that there wasn’t enough time for you to get to know her, which I feel is what this video does so well. You get to know her and discover her passion for costume design, and I’m all the better for it.

  29. The best piece of documentary video I have seen in a long time…. Any chance a longer cut could be made? I’d love to see more footage from this interview.

    Adam must have her in for an interview in his library.

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