I was honoured to be asked to join the creative team as Costume Designer for the feature film Monkey Beach. I knew it was the start of something magical. Immediately I went into creative mode. Aug 23rd I started, sketching, building, creating. It was more than anything I have done as a designer, an artist, a film maker, an Indigenous Woman…and it is something I hold with absolute and complete pride with and for Monkey Beach.
Many hours went in over weeks of painting, cutting, building, consulting, for weeks before we even went to camera. And that’s JUST the costume builds, not even talking about the costumes for over 20 cast, top 5 cast had over 10 changes and lets not even talk about the major stunts and multiples of wardrobe for 4 main cast and their stunt doubles.
I was blessed to be able to work with a plethora of Indigenous Actors! Was fun finally working with Adam Beach, Nathanial Arcand, Grace Dove, Glen Gould, Stefany Mathias, Tina Lameman, Joel Oulette, Nick Dangeli, Ta’Kaiya Blaney, Zoey Snow, Sera-Lys McArthur, Miika Whiskeyjack & Mike Dangeli (again) and the Indigenous Crew!! Whatwhat!! It was a major effort of love for our craft, honouring the story and our Indigenous People and Culture.
I read the book Monkey Beach twice, took notes upon notes and sketches and back and forth for days with the director Ls Todd, ensuring that I created something she envisioned. I read the script 4 times, I needed to be on point. It was tiring, it was exhausting, it was exhilarating and absolutely fulfilling to stand back from creating the multiple costumes and almost crying with pride and happiness. Seeing Dad’s jewellery, placing Great Gran’s bracelet, handing over an eagle feather that has joined me on many a film set, high fiving the actor when we both looked and KNEW we nailed it….was why I put in 14 hour days, work 6 days a week for over 7 weeks.
Tleko Tleko to Ls Todd for trusting me with such major costumes and bringing the characters to life. I raise my hands to Eden Robinson for creating such beautiful characters, we had such a beautiful time bringing them to life. Stay tuned to the Monkey Beach website,