Red Snow

I have the honour to be part of the creative team on RED SNOW as Costume Designer.  When Marie asked me to work on her upcoming feature film, I was honoured that she asked, and had trust in me to bring her vision to life.  The script is beautiful.  Stunning moments.

We went to Yellowknife and filmed in Dettah.  Daily drives across the Great Slave Lake was humbling.  Working with Tantoo Cardinal was as epic as I had imagined, and I was honoured when she was relieved that an Indigenous Costume Designer was part of the team, she commented, “Oh good, I won’t have to worry” with a smile.  I take pride in that I take that level of responsibility away from the actor and let them do their job.

We made it through the -35 weather, lots of hot water bottles, hot shots, thermals and wool!!  That in of itself was a task, to make sure my cast AND crew were handling the weather, and we made it out unscathed, no one lost a digit!

This is what filming on the Great Slave Lake looks like. We are currently on at least 4 feet of thick ice.

I learnt a few things in how to care for a human in such weather.  I myself was out in costume walking in this weather as Asana’s body double.  Going out in such extreme weather, figuring out how to make sure my core temperature was maintained, how to make sure I was giving the director, camera & monitor what it needed, and ensuring I was ok was intense.  It was -40 wind chill at least, the costume was a nightgown and mukluks.   A few lessons learnt on this excursion, from Elders and fellow crew and cast.

Beautiful Humans! Tleko ladies for having fun and always smiling.

Then we moved to warmer weather in Kamloops.  For me this was when the wardrobe went into full work, blood and wear and tear of the script kept me on my toes and thankfully I had a really good Truck Super who kept me in line.

Stunting, can you tell which one is fake?

We had so many multiples on this one, for actors, for stunts, for body doubles!  Had fun tho, I love the match game.

Breakdown begins on the many multiples!!

Red Snow was a challenge in representing our Indigenous culture and wrap it Canadian Army.  I’ve hung out with a few of these humans who have dedicated a part of their life to fighting for our(a) country and all of these amazing individuals have all made comment to when they see mistakes in costume in the Uniform.  I always take that to heart and knew that I had to ensure that I didn’t bring an audience member out of the movie watching experience by making a mistake in any of the uniforms.  I pay homage to all those who have served military, my Mother included.

Asivak Koostachin in army training onset of Red Snow

I enjoyed making this movie, there were many times, watching the monitor, you knew we were making a stunning film.  I am humbled to say I was a part of the creative team making this happen.


RED SNOW has won numerous awards including Best Screenplay, Best Feature and Best Director at VIWFF, Most Popular Canadian Dramatic Feature at VIFF, Winner Best Canadian Feature Drama at EIFF and many more nominations at international festivals including LA Skins, American Indian Film Festival, the DGC and 10 Leo Award nominations.

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