All posts in PRODUCTION NOTES

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Courtney Watkins wardrobe stylist

6 BUSINESS TIPS FOR NEW FREELANCE WARDROBE STYLISTS

New freelancers always ask me for business tips and billing information.  It’s complicated to answer for three main reasons. First of all, sole proprietorship DBA, LLC, B-corp, C-corp, and S-corp are confusing AF because each business structure has different taxation and benefits.  Second, every production company has different policies and preferences. Third, billing processes change with every new tax code, form, and App released.  There are simply too many variables.

Currently, there are plenty of business classes and advice articles for freelancers available on-line. However, there’s limited information for freelance wardrobe stylists working as independent contractors.  Stylists are probably too busy, too protective, or simply too frustrated by paperwork to share business tips.  In efforts to fill this information void, I’m happily sharing some of the good, the bad, and the ugly lessons I’ve learned.

Pulling from 16 years of commercial and advertising production experience, I compiled my top 6 business tips for freelance wardrobe stylist trying to navigate their way to a paycheck and tax compliance.
I’m not a tax professional and don’t offer legal, accounting, or tax advice.  

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FITZCO WINS AT CANNES LIONS

Cannes Lions

HERE KITTY KITTY!

Fitzgerald + Co Atlanta won a Bronze Lion at the 2014 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity  for their Press Campaign.   I’m proud to say that I was the photo stylist on this project shot by Clive Stewart!

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SWEET! I’M TWEET ELITE! @ CW_STYLIST

PRESS

Jezebel Magazine | Atlanta Tweet Elite | April 2014  |  link

cw_stylist tweet_elite_collage

@ CW_STYLIST  TWEET ELITE

I am honored to be one of the TWEET ELITE featured in Jezebel Magazine April issue.   I’ll keep posting production notes for the Twittersphere!

Follow me on Twitter @ cw_stylist

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SPACESUIT BEHIND THE SCENES

SO MUCH FUN!

I worked with this amazing spacesuit for a John Fulton print production this week.   The production was great fun and the spacesuit looked fantastic on camera!   The EMU spacesuit was a rental from WonderWorks in LA.   For more information about WonderWorks production services, I have written about them in a previous post, WonderWorks 4/26/2012. 

Here are a few spacesuit BTS pictures from the production.  More to come ~ enjoy!

astronaut

Fitting the spacesuit on myself the day before we shoot.

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BTS VIDEO FOR UNCLEAN WORLD

Here is a funny  BTS (behind the scenes) video on set with photographer Jason Maris for TG Madison’s  ‘Unclean World’ campaign. This video features “The Hacker,” one of four unclean characters.  Food service cutlery will forever give me germaphobic nightmares thanks to The Hacker, The Picker, Barffalo Bill, and Private Scratcher.  

I loved doing wardrobe on this project!  The Hacker was definitely my favorite to dress and I adore watching him in this silly BTS video!

Link to the entire print campaign.   Link to The Hacker motion.  Link to The Picker motion. 

  • Bedroom_Cauc-Fem_a
  • Fishing_Cau_Male_12_2070_f_a
  • FrontDoor_Indian_M_b
  • Kitchen_Asian_F_a
  • Models Released- 5 years, unlimited use, unlimited media (including internet, excluding broadcast, OOH, and POS), worldwide. Full talent details on X024177.
  • Window_AA_Male_a

NEW WORK: CHARMING CHARACTERS IN PENSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL PORTRAITS

I really enjoyed working on this character driven advertising project shot by Fernando Decillis.  I love character costuming! Dressing these charming characters was a treat for me. Handling props and set dressing for these pensive environmental portraits was icing on the cake.  I became moderately obsessed with orthopedic shoes and vintage metal TV trays!

Agency – CDMNY
Photographer: Fernando Decillis
Creative Director:  Mike Foster
Art Producer:  Meredith Lynch
Photo Producer:  Amanda Bertany
Prop + Wardrobe Stylist:  Courtney Watkins
Hair + Make-up Artist:  Kara Ramos

Photo stylist

RECENT WORK + BTS

photo stylist

sports stylist

RECENT WORK FOR JOHN FULTON PHOTOGRAPHY

As a stylist I source, make, or commission lots of unusual items for productions.   I keep a running  list of these odd requests. My list is appropriately named  “Things I’ve Done for Money .”   Making a bed sheet rope for this fun campaign is one of the most recent additions to my list.

Photographer: John Fulton
Producer:  Stephen Ostrander
Wardrobe and Prop Stylist: Courtney Watkins

 

 

 

 

Miller Mobley

BELLAMY YOUNG

Miller Mobley

RECENT WORK FEATURING BELLAMY YOUNG

 
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  • Fire fighters
  • football helmets
  • IMG_9827
  • football gridiron
  • fan gear
  • Bellamy Young
  • farm
  • fire

BUSY SUMMER

It’s been a busy, busy  summer.  I worked on a lot of interesting projects with amazing photographers + directors, the best crews, wonderful talent, and gracious clients.  I am a lucky girl indeed!

Variety is what makes my job so much fun.  I am thrilled that this summer has been an unusual pastiche of projects. I’ve seen fires, farms, football, fan gear, and fabulous ladies.  It’s been an F-ing great summer for a wardrobe stylist + prop stylist!

Enough work chatter.  Today I am going to the beach for a little fun!

~Courtney

wardrobe stylist

RECENT WORK

Mother Daughter Duo Avril and Cindy Joffe of Avindy Jewelry in Southern Living

Photographer: Robbie Caponetto
Prop Stylist: Yvonne Orchard
Hair & Make-up: Jennifer Denise
Wardrobe: Courtney Watkins Stylist

wardrobe stylist

ABOUT END IT MOVEMENT STUNT CAMPAIGN

This is a great short video about the END IT Movement stunt campaign filmed in Atlanta during the Final Four Weekend.  The two minute video talks about human trafficking, the campaign concept, and campaign results.   It also has some great behind the scenes footage.

I am very proud to say that I was wardrobe key on this project.  Thank you Christonya Kinsey, KeKe Lowe, Rebecca Klco, and Lily Chambers for your help!

END IT MOVEMENT AWARENESS VIDEO

Final video PSA for END IT Movement.  Being a part of this production was an amazing experience.  Costuming the 18 women as sex slaves was tremendously rewarding and horrific at the same time.

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  • Barffalo
  • Hacker
  • Picker
  • Scratcher

‘UNCLEAN WORLD’

Recent wardrobe work for Dixie Smartstock’s ‘Unclean World’ campaign. Super fun project! ‘The Hacker’ is one of four unclean characters used in this B2B campaign.

Agency: TJ Madison
Photographer: Jason Maris
Producer: Stephen Ostrander
Art Director: John Gregory
Creative Director: Jim Spruell
Wardrobe: Courtney Watkins
H&M: Karen Duncan

 

RECENT WORK: PROP + WARDROBE STYLIST FOR DAVID STUART PHOTOGRAPHY + BBDO

DAVID STUART FOR BAYER BBDO

© DAVID STUART PHOTOGRAPHY

 

PHOTOGRAPHER:  DAVID STUART PHOTOGRAPHY
CLIENT: BAYER HARMONIX
AGENCY: BBDO
PRODUCER: STEPHEN OSTRANDER
PROP + WARDROBE STYLIST: COURTNEY WATKINS
CANINE TALENT: CHARLIE

Bayer Harmonix tearsheet coming soon!   

 

What’s Your Place in the Film Industry?

Discover your film industry career path using this humorous flow chart.

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Falling Models, Tumbling Talent, and Slippery Shoe Solutions

Runway models are not alone in experiencing slides, slips, and falls.  Underestimating the power of a polished floor, we have all found ourselves flat on the floor, humiliated, and looking for the closest piece of furniture to crawl underneath.

I use one or both of these methods to prep slick, new shoes that will be worn by on-camera talent.  These very simple stylist tricks can prevent both talent tumble as well as personal embarrassment:

  • Sandpaper: Lightly scuff the bottoms of new shoes with sandpaper. Be careful not to scuff the sides of the shoes or any area that will be visible to camera. I keep both 80 grit and 120 grit sandpaper in my kit.
  • Hairspray: Spritz the bottoms of the shoes with strong hold hairspray and let the spray dry for about a minute until it’s sticky to the touch.  Spray as needed.  I keep Nexxtacy by Nexxus in my kit because it is super sticky and alcohol free.

★ Make sure the hairspray will not damage the flooring surface. If you are uncertain, ask the art department, location manager, or props.

SIMPLY BRILLIANT GRIP HUMOR

So there I was, lurking in the sound stage shadows like a light-sensitive mole. READ MORE

Today Show and Star Jones on Obesity Campaign

Last year I worked on an Anti Childhood Obesity Campaign directed by David Stuart.  The campaign has received a lot of press for being in your face, unapologetic, and heart wrenching. READ MORE

NPR on Anti-Obesity Ads

NPR All Things Considered
January 9, 2012

Stark billboards and television commercials that feature overweight kids are part of a controversial anti-obesity campaign in Atlanta. The goal of the “Stop Sugarcoating It, Georgia” ads is to shock families into recognizing that obesity is a problem. READ MORE

PDN features Recent Work

Recent work on an awareness campaign for Atlanta Resource Foundation featuring twelve charities dedicated to serving Atlanta communities.

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Screen Printing | Danger Press

I use Danger Press for all of my screen printing.  They handle time sensitive printing, custom design, short runs, and they understand my peculiar printing requests for different productions.

I may need 17 different designs printed on 17 different custom-made aprons in an extremely short amount of time.  UhhHrumm (clearing my throat), listen up!  I expect and am happy to pay rush fees because I know my rush projects are very disruptive to Danger’s press schedule.

Danger does not have everything. They are definitely lacking in the schmutz department.  Danger’s shop is spotless and so is the final product.  As a stylist, this is priceless.

Pictured: Front pocket + full back screen printed white lab coats and coveralls.

Recent Work | Horizon Milk

Saverio Truglia Blog about Horizon Milk.
I was the wardrobe stylist and prop stylist  on this campaign for Horizon Milk.

Cyclops in Monster Truck

This was a project for TBS that required a cyclops in a monster truck.  I had AFX studios on hold to apply an operable, prosthetic eyeball, unfortunately the eyeball got cut.  The talent was burning up inside of this latex mask.

Viva Aruba!

this is a post from holly thompson’s blog about the Aruba Tourism campaign shot by scott lowden.  i did wardrobe and props on this one.  tough day at the office!

Viva Aruba!

LUCKY’S COSTUME

Lucky’s costume was inspired by Cuban-American retirees of Miami

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Really Bad Toupe

This gentleman was a character for a TBS very funny production.  He was a scientist with a horrific hair piece.

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