Filming is wrapped and the actors have gone home - now what happens to the costumes that helped shape their characters onscreen? How do these garments get from a movie set to our galleries? And where will they go when our exhibition closes? Today, Deidre Thieman from NBCUniversal Archives was kind enough to answer these questions and more for a behind-the-scenes look at a studio archive. Read on to learn how Deidre and her team display and preserve costumes from your favorite films and television shows!
What is your official position with the NBCUniversal archives?
My title is Manager, Production Archives. I oversee all the acquisitions, processing, cataloguing, weeding, conservation, loans and exhibits involving collections from any film or television show NBCUniversal produces. These include costumes, props, photography, set plans, etc.
How did you become involved in the archival side of costumes?
I came to costume from Archives rather than the other way around. I am familiar with costume from theatre I did as a teenager and my own personal research interest in Elizabethan costume, but my background is in film, television and information science. I knew about costume from the perspective of production, but when I took over all the production collections at NBCUniversal, one of the first things I had to educate myself about was the care and handling of costume. I learned a great deal from colleagues from the museum and the conservation worlds, from my predecessors here at NBCUniversal, and I read everything I could get my hands on regarding costume preservation so that I could handle costume as well as I handled any other format of materials.
Tell us about your day-to-day; what does your job involve?
One of the best things about my job is how different it can be from day to day. I might spend the day pulling costumes from our Fast franchise films for use and/or reference by the upcoming sequel’s wardrobe department. I could be working on a request for new costumes and props from Bates Motel or Hail, Caesar. I may be updating locations from our recent facility move. I also work on our loans and exhibit program, serving both internal clients like Theatrical Marketing or Publicity and external requests like FIDM Museum. Additionally, I administer loan agreements, review facilities reports, etc.