By Gary Foss | December 9, 2020
Designing Hollywood Podcast
Costume design sits at a nexus in any production. Costume designers interact directly with the actors to create characters, and engage with the script to show time, place, class, culture, and theme. This makes them uniquely positioned to see how the entertainment industry works, and gain insight into the paths others take in their careers. Martika Ibarra first considered starting a podcast last May. She approached Marilyn Vance, who embraced the idea wholeheartedly. “I knew with Marilyn’s background, we could create great podcasts with other related professionals sharing how they came to be in the industry, their struggles, and behind-the-scenes stories.” In a whirlwind of activity, the Designing Hollywood Podcast was up and running by the end of July. Ibarra explains, “Our goal is to keep it growing and deliver educational, informative, and entertaining episodes to movie professionals and college students looking to pursue a career in the film industry.”
By the tenth episode, the focus expanded to discussing “all things movie,” which opened up the conversation to include producers, directors, cinematographers, actors, writers, movie critics, and others in the industry, so as to cover all aspects of working in entertainment. As the project quickly grew in scope and began to take on a life of its own, they asked costume illustrator Phillip Boutté Jr., and costume designers Allyson Fanger and Mona May to join them as hosts. With 28 episodes to date, the show continues to get attention.
Boutté finds the opportunity to meet so many creative people one of the most intriguing parts of hosting the show, and he’s gained some fascinating perspective on the role of creativity itself. “I found that the answers to a lot of the basic questions, ‘What did you want to do?’ or ‘How did you come to this?’ may be dressed up differently, but ultimately, have a common thread,” he explains. “There’s a passion, a drive. The individual stories for specific projects and their creative thought processes have been the things that pop out and shine. It also makes them more relatable. It seems like people really enjoy getting a chance to see how these people are as people. I try to bring that out.”
“ The individual stories for specific projects and their creative thought processes have been the things that pop out and shine.”
–Phillip Boutté Jr.
CDG Communications Director Anna Wyckoff sees the project as part of a trend toward more engagement that has filled a void caused by the events of the past year. She points to costume designer Mandi Line and others who have launched their own podcasts, noting that there’s an ongoing interest in such conversations. “I think the strength for the costume design community is that so many conversations have been initiated by the space quarantine has created—each unique and valuable.”