Starting out in Costume with Molly Frankland
We love finding out more about our graduate’s work opportunities and experiences to offer real insight into the ways in which our graduates get themselves out there.
Such as 2020 BA (Hons) Costume Interpretation with Design graduate Molly Frankland who has gained some fantastic opportunities and has given some great advice in this conversation fresh from working as a costume trainee with ITV. Read on to find out more:
Tell us about your work experience with ITV!
I have recently worked as a costume trainee on a new ITV drama called ‘Maternal’, this is my second trainee job, and I was able to gain the opportunity through Screen Skills as I am currently enrolled on their annual trainee finder scheme. They offer support, training, bursaries, and job opportunities for your chosen field, specialising in either High End TV or Film.
My day-to-day tasks working as a costume trainee on ‘Maternal’ included maintaining and prepping the line-up of costumes which would be worn by the artists. I also aided in dressing the supporting artists and pulling their costumes according to their measurements and the role they had been assigned. I also gained lots of on-set experience, ensuring the continuity of the supporting artists costumes on-set, aiding the costume standbys whenever I could. Other tasks included alterations, returns and helping with organising and maintaining the costume truck.
Let us know about the current project you are working on!
I’m currently working on a BBC production which I applied to through social media. So many opportunities can be gained this way, as well as through Facebook groups. Networking is also a huge part of gaining work, as people you meet can recommend you for work or let you know about opportunities they hear about.
Tell us about your embroidery work!
During my spare time I love to develop my gold work embroidery work which I initially started during my first year at The Northern School of Art, during the embellishment module. I like to keep my Instagram up to date and professional as you never know when a potential employer may see it. I enter competitions to build up my portfolio, continuing the millinery skills I learnt during my second year at university.
Any advice for future students?
My advice I would give to get started as a trainee and gain opportunities would firstly be learning to drive; I learnt during my final year and my job would not be possible without driving as filming often takes place in remote locations at unsociable hours!
Additionally, working as a daily (day to day work as opposed to a long-term contract) can provide you with networking opportunities and lead to more work and connections. Don’t be afraid to reach out to supervisors through email as this is how I gained my first ever screen experience on ‘Enola Holmes 2’, working as a crowd costume daily.
Whats special about The Northern School of Art and studying Costume?
The Northern School of Art is an amazing place to study; their resources and equipment are unmatched as well as their support and guidance. The breadth of study they provided during my Costume Interpretation with Design degree has been essential to me; from millinery to embellishment and construction, providing me with the skills I use day to day as a costume trainee.
Furthermore, the mentorship I received post-graduation gave me essential knowledge prior to gaining my first job: I learnt about call sheets, costume kit essentials and networking from a previous graduate working in the industry which gave me the confidence to start applying for work.
If you are interested in studying costume design we offer an established degree programme with a track record of providing students with the skills and opportunities needed to work in the exciting screen and stage industries! Find out how you can apply here.