Shirts & Pants Required!

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

When it comes to dress code, the film industry is one of the most lenient. On set you’ll see a huge range of clothing styles. This can be very liberating. Steadicam operators have a uniform of sorts… One that I used to subscribe to but have since deviated from. It basically includes cargo style shorts / pants and a t-shirt. But how does this uniform function both practically and aesthetically?

From the practical standpoint I find Cargo style pants to be the exact opposite of what a Steadicam Op would want. In fact, the best style pants would be tights… But I don’t think your gonna find many ops coming to work in tights. So I would suggest something in between. Straight cut pants allow for enough freedom of movement while keeping frabic from catching on your sled. Pants made from the new anti-wrinkle stretchy fabric are even better!

As for a shirt, breath ability is key! Cotton t-shirts aren’t great in that department. They tend to hold moisture too. Quick drying is an important factor… Especially if you plan on perspiring! Today we have a ton of companies making shirts out of breathable quick dry fabrics. The most popular is probably Under Armor… But there are a lot out there.

What about aesthetic choices in clothing? For me, the Steadicam uniform didn’t project the level of professionalism I was looking for. As an operator you need to interface with the DP and Director… And command the respect of the Assistants in the camera department. Perhaps cargos and t-shirt aren’t exactly the best choice for achieving this. Of course everyone has a style they are trying to make their own… But what works for me are Khaki flat-front, straight-cut pants and Under Armor style polo shirts. I also try to avoid wearing a hat… Although sometimes on exteriors in especially hot and/or sunny days I resort to the baseball cap. Dressing more professionally makes me feel like I’m going to work, and that I’m telling the people I work for that I’m serious about my job. Plus it keeps me cool and dry, and doesn’t get in the way of my operating.

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