EXPOSED: Loretta Egan
Costume Designer Loretta Egan had a successful career as a fashion designer before turning her expertise to the screen industry. Loretta’s screen career was launched in 2000 after she volunteered to help on a short film for local producer Lois Randall, since then Loretta has worked in the costume department on a range of top Australian productions including The Gods of Wheat St, Paper Giants, Carlotta and Gladiators.
Loretta continues to travel to metropolitan centres to work on the city productions, but for the rest of the time she remains living and working from her home in the Northern Rivers. We spoke to Loretta about her career and life in Northern Rivers.
Tell us a bit about what you do in the Screen Industry and how you got involved.
I’m a Costume Designer who also works as a Costume Supervisor and Costume Cutter. I have a background as a Designer in the Fashion Industry-in Sydney, London and Athens, working for various labels ranging from one of Australia’s largest retail / manufacturing chains to my own niche market label, a shop in Byron Bay and now an online store selling my own designs.
I initially became involved in the Screen Industry when I saw an article in the Echo about a short film which was being shot in the area The Long Wet – produced by Lois Randall. I got in touch and volunteered to help. Later, Lois produced another short, The New Boots, which was co-written by my partner, John Campbell, based on an award winning short story of his. Lois and I worked together on both series of East of Everything, and more recently on The Gods of Wheat Street. In the meantime, I sought work on Film & TV productions in Sydney and on the Gold Coast – gaining experience in all roles in the Costume Department on a diverse range of projects, ranging from historical dramas to game shows.
What’s the project you have most enjoyed working on, and why?
Definitely The Gods of Wheat Street. It was great to work in this area, with a lot of local cast and crew. I was the Costume Designer on this show and, although we had a relatively small Costume budget, I feel we achieved a good mix of looks that suited the context of the scripts and the large cast of characters.
How long have you been living and working in the Northern Rivers?
I have lived and worked in this area since moving from Sydney in 1988.
What is important to you in running a successful and creative regional business/ working regionally?
While it’s important to create and maintain connections with the main sources of my employment in the cities, I feel we all need to keep promoting the development and production of screen projects in the Northern Rivers- it’s a pity that the large cohort of technical crew in this area are so seldom able to work here.
Tell us a bit about what you have been working on most recently?
Earlier this year I was Costume Supervisor on a Shine mini – series, Catching Milat, which was produced and shot in Sydney. Assuming the title gives a clue to the story, we had a large cast, many extras, and several time periods to work with. One of the challenging aspects of this job was researching and locating the uniforms worn by the various ranks of police, all of which have changed since the time frame in which the show was set. Also, considering that the events and characters are still relatively fresh in viewers’ memories, we needed to try and match the costumes worn in actual footage of events as much as possible. It was my job to cover all of these aspects, make sure all the costumes were hired or made and on set in time, supervise the various assistants and standbys, oversee the budget and assist the Costume Designer in all matters. I also made a few Costumes when we weren’t able to source what we needed- because I can!
Published on November 14, 2014 2:09 am