One of the most important parts that at least deserved a nomination is the costume design of Ahmed’s film, which played a significant role in characterizing and depicting the situation of the people affected by the Bam earthquake in the early hours of the disaster. Niaz Hamidi, the costume designer of this film, who was also in charge of the costume design of the film “Shor Ashaghi” and Vicky was one of the most prolific cinematographers of this Fajr Film Festival period, has designed costumes for the “Epidemic” series and works such as Masih son of Maryam, Vahshi and No. 10.
This year, you participated in the Fajr Film Festival with two difficult and different projects in the field of costume design, the common feature of which is that they are historical (one is related to centuries away from contemporary history wiki) and the presence of a large crowd as actors and artists. When you are offered such projects for designing clothes, what initial plan and program do you have to deal with these works and what are the challenges facing you and the group?
The multiplicity of actors and artists, both in the design and performance sectors, has challenges such as matching the colors of the characters’ clothes together and not repeating the models and designs, which must be faced every moment and find a suitable solution for them. For this reason, both during pre-production and during production, we try to have the best performance daily by recording the appropriate designs of the desired historical period and the clothes used in different sequences.
In historical works, whether from the distant past or contemporary history, how much research is involved in the field of clothing and how many resources do we have in this field? Basically, in historical works like these two films “Shoorashghi” and “Ahmed”, how much do you consider yourself to be faithful to the documentation and how much do you use imagination and art?
Unfortunately, the lack of sufficient resources in the field of historical clothing is one of the biggest challenges for clothing designers. For example, in this passion of love, I tried to avoid stereotypes. For this reason, a large part of the group’s energy is spent on research, which must be repeated in every project. Since this research is not recorded anywhere, each new group has to reinvent the wheel from scratch. For Ahmed’s film, we searched, analyzed and analyzed about one thousand photos and eight hours of footage from the early days of the Bam earthquake so that what is presented as the output of the work is close to reality. When we went to the city of Bam in the last month of filming, and the people who survived the earthquake wore the clothes of the same day of the earthquake to pay respect to their lost ones, there was no difference in the style and type of clothes we and them wore, and this made me feel that I, in turn, changed my religion. Dear people, I have paid my respects.
The few works that have been made about the events of Karbala and that historical period of the beginning of Islam in our country, have created stereotypes and a limited space about the clothes of parents, lovers and people, and more or less in different parts of space creation, including clothes, films and series, in the same direction. have taken steps Getting rid of these stereotypes and at the same time being faithful to history, what were the difficulties in designing clothes and how successful were you in managing this contradiction and conflict and designing special clothes for the characters such as Shamar and…?
Film is an expressive medium and there is no need for metaphors. Colors and designs do not have the same meaning, and the ratio of their use and coexistence gain meaning along with other elements of the film. Red means one thing in one movie and another in another. Film is not a painting, story or photo. Cinema has a language and a soul, and therefore it can free the designer from stereotypes. For this reason, while analyzing the remaining paintings from that time and examining other works made with the theme of Karbala, I tried to avoid showing repetitive colors and depict my own world. This caused us to limit the use of archival clothes as much as possible, to produce 0 to 100 works, and the group looked for fabrics that were used at that time; Therefore, the fabrics are colorful and we hand-embroidered a large part of the work in a short time, including the designs on the clothes, cuffs, waists, leathers, shoes and even the gem we used for the number. At the same time, we tried to make each dress have its own personality depending on the character that wears it.
One of the criticisms about Shore Ashaghi’s dress is that some of the dresses are too old. Especially when we compare it with Ahmad and the people affected by the earthquake, this criticism becomes stronger. Why does the important category of veteran work, which the general audience may not be very familiar with, and which is very respected and implemented in Ahmed and is basically implemented with seriousness and obsession in your works, seems a little faint in the passion of love?
In every work, I believe in old age and current life in clothes, but every work has its own special coordinates, the director’s wishes, the type of editing, etc. In this work, apart from these coordinates, there was another issue that was raised due to the extreme angle. The sun and hemp of the fabrics. If the clothes were aged too much, the color and texture of the fabrics would match, and this was something we did not want to happen.
Clothing is one of the most important parts of Ahmed’s film, which helps to create atmosphere and represent the reality after the Bam earthquake in the story. Considering that you filmed the story for 24 hours in five or six months, tell us about the difficulties of keeping the record in different locations and the daily challenges of preparing this number of actors and artists.
We used to make about 25 to 30 kilos of artificial soil daily, both because of the realistic color of the soil and its hygiene. We also used about four to five liters of blood. At the same time, from some sequences onwards, we had to add bandages, names and prioritization clauses to make the classification of the wounded more believable according to the story. Based on the photos we had, we recreated this part and the green and red bands according to Bam’s reality. In addition, we had to maintain the visual continuity of the story from the beginning of the earthquake to the end of the film, considering the long sequences that sometimes lasted for several weeks. We intended that there should be no exaggeration or exaggeration in all of these renovations, so that, God forbid, the smallest damage would not be inflicted on the hearts of the people of Bam by me or my good group. Also, our other problem was to convince our many beloved artists to let us kill them.
What features did you consider in designing the clothes of characters such as Ahmed, Rahnama, Dr. Sadr and Abbas in line with the script? With the explanation that Ahmed Kazemi’s clothes, especially his blouse and jacket, are designed based on reality or as if with those glasses, his conflict as an expert with managers like Abbas who act jihadi, is more visible and…
In the script, the clothes of Ahmed’s character were something else, but I wanted to implement a design for Ahmed Kazemi’s clothes that is close to reality, because this film is not just for ordinary people, we made this film to be a tribute to people, people. They definitely saw Ahmad Kazemi with that image at that time, so I preferred to recreate Ahmad Kazemi from the point of view of his clothes. Regarding Sadr, we also had challenges with Amir Abbas Rabiei (director), because he wanted this character to have a different outfit, but since Sadr was not a real character and represented a group of doctors, rescuers, and medical personnel, I liked Sadr in the form of a simple person. To show from the heart of the people and the servant of the people. The guide of our story was a man with different obsessions, and I followed this in designing his clothes, clothes with discipline, with the contrast of special colors, which, despite the heterogeneity, had the right harmony to represent both his personality and his urgency to reach the rescue team to Bam. to be seen The character of Rahnama was one of the best characters for me, and in my opinion, I couldn’t have designed a better costume for her. The story of Das Abbas is a detailed story that I will skip over, but he was supposed to be the head of the Red Crescent organization, but in designing his clothes, I tried to avoid the cliché again and only use a logo on his personal clothes to distinguish him from Let’s get rid of being a boss and give him a natural and non-poetic form. In general, about all the characters in this movie, I tried to portray them on the screen in such a way that people like them.
Which group has the most daily interaction and communication with the clothing group?
The costume team must interact daily with all groups including the planning, directing and production teams. Here, I would like to thank the good production manager of Ahmed’s film, Mr. Mansour Ghazanfari, and the respected producer of this work, Mr. Habib Vali-Najad, who were with me and my plans every moment of the production. If it was not for this accompaniment, the work would not have been carried out properly. It may not have been noticed by the audience, but this project had 15 other clothing models, including red cross, fire brigade, army, army, pilot, etc., and some of these clothes had up to 9 sub-categories. When we talk about special clothes, it is not only the clothes that are discussed, there are logos and signs, design and many specialized discussions that definitely need the support of the production and supply team to be implemented.
What will happen to this amount of clothes of Ahmed and Shouraashighi? Do they go to the archive to be used in other projects? Maybe you don’t keep some clothes of special characters in a special place that will later have historical and cinematic importance? For example, Ahmad Kazemi’s dress in Hemin Ahmed or Shamar’s dress in Shur Ashaghi and others.
I have something to say about this category for the respected producers. The costumes of each project are among the valuable assets of each project, because some of these costumes are hard to find and there is no guarantee that they will be found again, but in the Iranian cinema industry, we have a fundamental problem with the archive of costumes. Groups spend a long time preparing clothes for a project, and after the end of the film, most of the archivists don’t appreciate the clothes and sell them, and this causes the next group to waste energy for the assistants and designers of another project to prepare the same clothes that were produced before. . Unfortunately, it is not thought that in the very near future we will need the same clothes that may not be found anymore.
The important role of costume design in creating the atmosphere of the movie “Ahmad”
Why do you think Ahmed’s film was not nominated for an award despite all this important and hard work in the field of clothing?
The non-nomination of Ahmed’s film in the costume design department raised many questions for us. In this context, I am surprised by the director of the work that, despite being with the work from moment to moment and closely seeing the efforts of the costume group and the high volume of work, he focused more on the special visual effects of the film and interviewed about it. Despite the valuable work of Mr. Baradaran in the visual effects of Ahmed’s film, an important part of the film took place in the field and in the technical parts, including the dress scene, and helped create a better atmosphere for the film. This comment ignores the production teams, direction, programming, sets and costumes. In my opinion, such a view played an important role in the decision of the honorable jury not to see the film’s costume design. Probably, the judges came to the conclusion that Ahmed’s film had about 50 artists and the rest of the crowd and their earthquake-stricken condition was formed in special visual effects. While the foundation of special visual effects was the good design and performance of the costume group. The daily posters of this project are proof of the hard work and the presence of numerous artists in this film.
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