You and Jacqueline had artists working all over the world on the movie. Where exactly?
We started in Los Angeles and we knew that we were going to go to Budapest and to Jordan. Obviously, you start at home, but you have three worlds you’re creating. A lot of things are having to happen simultaneously, and at the time we started in 2018, it was in November. Again, like it is now, the world of film was a very busy place, which meant a lot of the artisans that we wanted to use were busy.
Luckily, I was able to secure a lot of artists that I’ve worked with on previous films and have a lot of them come to Budapest. But a lot of them work independently from us, in different locations. I took off for Budapest knowing we were going to build everything there. Logistically, it made sense to go there. Once we got there we realized we had three, four full-time shops. An armory die shop, a textile shop, an aging department, a sewing department, a prop department, all in Budapest studios.
We started making costumes in Spain. We made costumes in London. So I was going back and forth to London with our vendor. FDSS was incredible. We were kind of a traveling circus mostly across Europe. Not to mention, we had crew members coming from everywhere. From New Zealand, Australia, United States, Spain, Budapest, and England. We were a giant global family, just sailing upon Budapest.
What were some of your earliest ideas for “Dune”?
Early on, Denis was incredibly collaborative and so clear in his vision. He gave us a beautiful frame of what it was and what it wasn’t. And then, we got this tremendous window for us to create within and explore everything between those two things. And so, as we set out, obviously the book was our starting point.
For the future, we had to kind of step back a thousand years to go 10,000 years ahead, knowing that these were human beings. This was an epic adventure of these three worlds, of these three families that were battling each other, and that’s kind of how it started. Knowing that Caladan was very deep and rich and lush, knowing that Arrakis was very dry, knowing Harkonnens were oppressive and incredibly dire and dark, that was the first triangle of these three opposing worlds that were going to intersect.
How did medieval times and Greek tragedies influence you and Jacqueline?
I’m a painter and an artist, I still have a gallery that represents me in LA, and I love art history. I tend to look at what has been, because it does kind of dictate what is, and what will be in some way. My take on design is to always think about the function of the costume. Not only where it is geographically, but what are the demands geographically and the demands aesthetically? What is the situation that you find yourself in? Much like if you’re going to fly to Alaska, you know you’re going to buy a Columbia jacket.
It’s knowing that the function of the garment is going to also dictate the form of the garment and the style of the garment, that’s work. It all had to make sense, if you think about what is appropriate. I think if you start with the function, you make it believable and then you can put the beauty and creativity into that. And so, that’s how I approach costumes.