Navigation Bar - Text Links at Bottom of Page


The Wardrobe
From the sets to the wardrobe, no detail was too small

From the sets to the wardrobe, no detail was too small. The filmmakers even commissioned a sculptor to create a life­size figure wearing the space suit created by costume designer Magali Guidasci. Guidasci, along with costume supervisor Sue Moore and their team, designed and fabricated the intricate space suits in a whirlwind. With only 10 weeks to prepare, the wardrobe department hurried to assemble three suits for the first several days of filming in South Dakota.

'We really rushed to get it done," says Moore. "There was a lot of drama involved with the fabric which was critical to the look of the suit. We found that there wasn't enough to make all the suits we needed and after some great detective work by our staff, we found a company in Georgia that was not only willing to make the 300­yard­long fabric, but was also willing to clear their calendar of all other jobs to get it done.

"We wanted to use a rayon/nylon blend, but they didn't have rayon," she explains. "After searching, we found another company in North Carolina that put some on a truck for Georgia right away. But when we began shooting in South Dakota, we found that the fabric we originally envisioned was unstable and wouldn't hold up. By the time we got back to L.A., it was a different story because we worked out many of the kinks and had a second batch of teeter­designed costumes ready to go.

Creating the helmets was equally difficult. Director Bay wanted helmets that were not round and had an elongated faceplate so that the camera could capture an actor's entire face even in profile. Global Effects and Neo Tech, the two companies that designed the helmets, also found solutions in keeping the faceplates clear from fogging when the actors would exert themselves and breathe heavily.

The wardrobe became so involved that Bay brought in a second designer, Michael Kaplan, to facilitate the process. The production utilized 30 suits for actors, doubles and stuntmen. Initially it took Kaplan and his crew about one hour to dress each actor, but by the time the show wrapped, the process only lasted about 20 minutes. Each suit weighed between 50 and 60 pounds with its large backpack of batteries required to illuminate the various lights and other bells and whistles attached to the chest plate. Once an actor put on his belt, boots, gloves and helmet, the ensemble became even more ungainly and uncomfortable. Many of the actors used their time on the set in the suit in place of hours working out in the gym! The complaints and jokes became so pervasive that Michael Bay agreed to end the griping by coming to work wearing one of the suits.

"Bruce told me he wasn't coming out of his trailer after lunch until I put on a suit," Bay remembers. "So I put one on and tried to maintain that it was light as a feather and started bouncing around. I did 35 push ups and started running around. It was so hot, it just tweaks your body. But I told Bruce it felt great," he laughs. "After two hours I started to get hot flashes and my directing was really taking a slide, so l felt their pain."

The full complement of cast and crew returned to NASA to complete scenes that needed the realistic backgrounds necessary for the scope of the film. Location shooting began in Texas at Johnson Space Center in late October where they spent four days shooting sequences at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab and Ellington Air Field. During their day at Ellington, the company received an impromptu visit from former President George Bush that overwhelmed even the most buttoned

Next Production Note Section


Home | Theaters | Video | TV

Your Comments and Suggestions are Always Welcome.

2018 3,  All Rights Reserved.


Find:  HELP!