Efficient Paper Work

You will not have much time to spend on paperwork, so it is essential to use forms that translate quickly from one use to another.  For instance, a correct Piece List will generate pulling lists, shopping lists, work load lists and finally actor dressing lists and wardrobe check in lists.

As designers, I will require you to use a version of paperwork widely used in the industry, based on the Fitting Piece List.  The fitting is the center of your work as a designer, where you determine the next steps for each costume.  An important aspect of successful organization is creating a “snapshot” of the show that is updated in every fitting.

To create a budget and organize your show, the first item of organization will be to create a Piece List for each actor.  You may insert a digital copy of your rendering to remind yourself- and others- what the costume looks like.

Fitting Photographs

Designers take digital photos in their fittings to record the actual items chosen for wear.  Professional actors expect this, and will automatically pose correctly with their hands showing any accessories such as rings or watches.  This practice derives from film continuity photos and has crossed over to live performance.   You must take digital photos of your fittings when you reach the final phases, or anytime a costume is ready enough to record.

Add these photos to your piece lists.   When you convert this form to an actor dressing list, the photo will remind the actor not only what to wear, but how to wear it.  This will save you hours of needless rushing about at dress rehearsal to answer questions like “Which shirt do I wear first?”

Download a blank Blank Fitting Sheet Example form here.

Download a  Fitting Sheet Example filled out during the pre-production phase of Measure for Measure.  This example shows the most common and useful terms designers and shops use in each column.

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