On October 17 Maleficent: Mistress of Evil hits New Zealand cinemas and if you loved its prequel, Maleficent, you should be excited about this movie.
While Maleficent was very much a child's fairy tale, following the journey of the mystical Maleficent (Angelina Jolie), who is betrayed then, ultimately, taught by a child how to open her heart again, this story is the all-grown-up-now version, slicker and more sophisticated.
Says BAFTA-nominated costume designer Ellen Mirojnick, who played a key role in the incredible visual impact of the movie, "The whole tone is different. This is chapter two; it's the evolution of the characters and it's a bolder film, a fuller film… more vibrant and more courageous."
While chapter one could be described as "homespun", chapter two carries a feeling of growth, Ellen explains, and that was the starting point she worked from when drawing inspiration for the design of each character's costumes.
"Maleficent's wings are now attached and her character has grown since we last saw her. Princess Aurora has become a young woman. It's no longer a small countryside village, now we're in a bustling town. Everything is more sophisticated, there is far more diversity and [this film deals with] learning to live with many different types of people, acceptance, unconditional love."
Ellen says there is a "huge amount of thought and preparation" that goes into the creation of each costume.
"There is the digesting of the material, talking to the other collaborators about what the tone of the film will be, understanding the text so you understand what the different needs of the film are. It's not only about the logistics, it's the overall design of the film that you have to think about. You have to take into consideration the director's vision and collaborate with the production designer, cinematographer, all the visual elements of the entire film. You must share your ideas and everyone be on the same page and contribute to the greater good."
Angelina Jolie, who both produced and played the lead role in the film, had a "one hundred per cent clear vision" about what she wanted, Ellen says.
"Working with Angie is a great experience, in that there is a great back and forwards conversation in the formation of a character's look and how that will translate. There's the trying of different things, and sometimes we can talk about a lot of things and then in a sitting something else can be discovered and you decide that's the direction you need to go on.
"She has a very, very large participation in the design process," Ellen concludes.
Angelina's favourite costume was her battle costume, Ellen reveals.
"In her battle costume she said she felt courageous and warrior-like and it brought her to the point where there was no disconnect [between herself and the character]."
This also happened to be one of Ellen's favourite costumes.
There are many exciting new characters in this story, including Queen Ingrith, who is played by Hollywood royalty Michelle Pfeiffer.
Ellen reports that Michelle Pfeiffer loved everything about her costumes.
"She was 100 per cent professional, she loved everything, she put all the costumes on and she said she felt regal, queen-like and that she could conquer the world."
A big part of the job is helping the actors to get into character, Ellen explains.
"We give them the tools and the paint, if you will, to become [their character] and when it works it's great, everyone becomes the characters that they were written to be."
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