Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Costumes for Film Fans: BMFI Favorites

By Devin Wachs, Communications Manager, BMFI

Actors get to transform their look regularly as part of their jobs, but Halloween is one of the few times when the rest of us are encouraged to dress up in crazy costumes. Why should the actors get all of the fun? At BMFI we love it when our guests wear costumes, as fans of our sing-along screenings know. In celebration of the spooky holiday, if you wear a costume to see a movie at BMFI this Halloween, you’ll get a free small popcorn!

If you needed some inspiration getting your last-minute costumes together, here are some of our staff’s favorite movie-themed costumes:
Andrew J. Douglas, Ph.D., Director of Education
It’s always fun to see people who’ve taken the time, and have the creativity, to create a costume based on popular movie characters. Who among us men of a certain age never dressed up as Han Solo for Halloween, for example? When the “casting” is right, and the costume is spot on, it can make for a wonderful treat this time of year. However, there is one thing better: When a person uses that time and creativity to make a great costume based on a supporting, or lesser-known, character from a film (blockbuster or no). For example, it never would have occurred to me, in a million years, to base my Halloween costume on Les Grossman, the sleazy producer in Tropic Thunder, played by Tom Cruise in a stunningly hilarious barely-more-than-a-cameo, but I have all the appreciation in the world for this guy who did.

Maxwell Gessner's Les Grossman costume was so perfect, it took home a prize in the 2010 Tom Cruise Halloween Costume Contest run by TomCruise.com, Cruise's official blog.

Valerie Temple, Programming Manager
I'm not into preplanning for Halloween—I usually just whip up a costume by throwing together items that I already own. Of course, I'm the kind of person who happens to have a pair of old-school roller skates and a selection of ‘70s loungewear in her closet. Pop on a blond wig and you've got the perfect Rollergirl (Heather Graham) from Boogie Nights!

Heather Graham played Rollergirl in Boogie Nights. If you have gold lame pants and skates, this costume is an easy one to replicate.

Patricia Wesley, Director of Development and Communications
Main Line thrift shops are my favorite place to shop for Halloween costume materials. A heavily beaded dress from the ’80s plus a fake fur, all the pearls you can find, and an hour with some scissors, and you are ready to go as Daisy from The Great Gatsby. Elbow-length gloves are usually available for a few dollars (you might even find kid gloves). Add a cigarette holder and a beaded cigarette case! Best of all, as Daisy, you have a license to have a great time!

Carey Mulligan dripped in diamonds and pearls as Daisy Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann's 2013 version of The Great Gatsby.

Kerri Grogan, Staff Assistant
What I love to see in any costume, not just one for Halloween, is creativity. This costume, make-up job, and prop design was created by Rayce Bird on the reality show Face Off, for a Tim Burton-themed challenge. I think it’s breathtaking. The concept is packed with emotion: it’s all about a musician’s passion for music and for her instrument. It’s also a beautiful interpretation of Tim Burton’s signature visual style and an homage to the emotion he puts into his characters.

Artist Rayce Bird created this beautiful costume, inspired by Tim Burton's work, for the television show Face Off.
For my part, an easy and fun costume for a couple would be the young runaways from Moonrise Kingdom. For Suzy (Kara Hayward), you would need a pink above-the-knee dress, white knee socks, and a pair of binoculars. Pull your hair half-back in a clip and amp up your eye shadow. For Sam (Jared Gilman), you'd need a scout’s uniform (or a similar khaki shirt and shorts) with a yellow kerchief, glasses, and a coonskin cap. A canteen and a pop-gun would make great props. And voila!

Dressing as the young lovers in Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom would make for a fun pair of costumes.
We hope to see you in costume on Thursday, and happy Halloween!

What are some of your favorite movie-related costume ideas? Tell us in the comments below.

Devin Wachs is the Communications Manager for Bryn Mawr Film Institute. She joined BMFI's staff in 2005, following her graduation from Bryn Mawr College. If you send BMFI a message on Facebook or Twitter or are interested in onscreen sponsorships, she's the one who'll be in touch!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Access for All at BMFI

Big changes and improvements are happening here at Bryn Mawr Film Institute. Construction is underway, and now that we’ve reopened our first renovated theater, we're excited to unveil some of the accessibility enhancements that are changing the way our viewers experience movies. Some Assisted Listening Devices, or ALDs, are available in theaters throughout the country, but BMFI is on the cutting edge in our region with what will ultimately be three different types of hearing devices: closed captioning, headphones with enhanced audio, and the “loop.”

The USLinc Closed Caption Receiver is a simple, portable way to enjoy closed caption subtitles for any film. This device fits snugly in your seat cupholder, and the adjustable goose neck allows you to position the caption box exactly where you want it. It's battery operated, so there are no cords to tangle with. The text is crisp, clear, and easy to read without being harsh in low-light settings. Since it uses infrared sensors, it won't pick up interference from other theaters or radio transmitters.

Bryn Mawr Film Institute is currently the only art house theater in the region that offers this closed caption system!
Thanks to the innovative hearing system known as The Loop, real movie sound can now be transmitted right to your hearing device. The loop is a sound system that broadcasts directly into hearing aids and implants, meaning that it serves you by using your own device, which is already customized to your exact specifications. Most new hearing aids come with Telecoil technology that can pick up on signals sent from a loop system. How can you tell whether your hearing aid is loop-equipped? According to HearingLink.org, if your hearing aid has an obvious "T" setting on the program switch, you can probably use it with the loop system. However, if you really can't tell, the best way to find out is to ask your audiologist.

We are looking into aids for the visually impaired as well.

As always, BMFI is fully wheelchair accessible. There is wheelchair-accessible parking in the lot behind the theater, as well as wheelchair seating and restroom access. There is an elevator with access to the second floor.

We hope that these enhancements will help you to enjoy a day at the movies at BMFI!

Kerri Grogan is BMFI’s Staff Assistant. She studied animation at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and moonlights as a dice-rolling, video gaming geek, blogger, and comic artist.