"I DID SOME WORK ON THE NEW GI JOE FILM" BFTB Exclusive Chat

The 2009 blockbuster movie! [Please do not discuss the Toys and Comics here]
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"I DID SOME WORK ON THE NEW GI JOE FILM" BFTB Exclusive Chat

Postby Space Commander » 27 Feb 2009 14:18

As many of you know, the British company Palitoy created Action Force in 1982. By the mid-1980s, Palitoy and all its properties were bought by the American company who owned GI Joe, namely Hasbro. Rather than have the two franchises compete, Hasbro merged the two toylines and the rest is history.

Summer 2009 will see GI Joe arrive on the silver screen in the form of a live-action movie; GI Joe - The Rise Of Cobra.

A couple of years ago, I began buying embroidered sci-fi patches from a costume-maker in California (via the internet). Her name is Kathy Pillsbury, and she has helped out on films such as Return To The Batcave starring Adam West and Burt Ward, as well as fan-films such as Star Trek - Of Gods And Men, directed by Trek actor Tim Russ.

But more recently, she's been lending a hand on GI Joe - The Rise Of Cobra (filmed under the working title of Dark Sky).

Kathy has been interviewed about her science-fiction work before, and even appeared as a Star Wars expert on an E! Entertainment Star Wars Special on U.S. television.

But this is the first time ever that Kathy has spoken to an Action Force website!

I recently asked her about her work in general and her involvement in GI Joe - The Rise Of Cobra (Dark Sky). Here's what we discussed;



1) Please tell us a little about yourself, including how you first became involved in costuming and embroidery for television and films. I've always had a fascination for costuming.... started making my own 'play clothes' back when I was 9-10 years old... I started making costumes for others back in 1978 when a friend wanted a Star Wars costume and wondered if I could do it. I said sure. Someone saw their costume, asked me for one and it just took off...

2) If a member of the public contacted your business and required a costume or embroidered patch from a show that you did NOT work on, how would you go about finding the pattern to work from? Do you improvise, or do you use your contacts in the industry to secure the original? I'm a pattern maker besides being a costumer.... if I need a pattern, I look at all the pix I can find, and make it. If I have the possibility of getting an original to copy from, even better.

3) How did you first become involved in GI Joe - Dark Sky? Were you approached, or did you respond to industry recruitment? A friend who owns an effects company [Renegade Effects Group] who does it all -- effects, props and costumes contacted me about my ability to help with a project... turned out to be Dark Sky [GI Joe]. I started by prototyping a set of leather sleeves that the armor was to go over for the Vipers.

4) Were you able to work from your premises in Van Nuys or did you have to work on the Paramount lot? If you worked at Paramount, what was it like there? No, I went to work at their shop -- it was a lot easier because of the scale of the project.... we had to do vacuum-forming, leather work, sewing, etc.

5) Which people and / or departments did you have to report to? Did you ever work directly with Costume Designer Ellen Mirojnick? No, I didn't work with the costume designer, but my boss did.

6) Please can you tell us which specific costumes you worked on for GI Joe? I worked primarily on the sleeve armor for the Vipers.... we had to do 30 pair. I didn't do any embroidery, just worked with a lot of leather and a lot of glue! I also did some work on the leather sword harness for Stormshadow.

7) You mentioned Ray Park (Snake Eyes) when we chatted the other day. Please tell us about some of the cast and crewmembers you met whilst working on the film, and what your experiences of them were. I didn't work with them, but Dragon [the owner of the company] worked with Ray on the weaponry for the film. Certain requirements were needed because of the stunt work, so everything had to be planned out carefully.

7) Can you tell us a little about the design styles and types of fabric employed in the costumes for this film, please? Can you tell us a little about the manufacturing process? I worked mostly with the leather to cover the armor, while others did different aspects of the project. Once the master molds were made, one person ran the vacuformer to make all the armor, someone else ran the band saw to cut them out, another did the finishing trimming of each piece, who then brought them to me. I had to cover each piece [smoothly!] with leather [and went through 4 gallons of barge cement!]. Once I was done, there were holes to be drilled to attach all the connecting pieces/straps which were cut & sewn by another and myself. Once all the bits and pieces were done, the sleeves were finally assembled and matched in pairs.

9) Roughly how long did you and your team work on GI Joe? Was it an intense schedule, or a laid-back atmosphere? It started out as a relatively easy month with standard 8 hour days, but with several refining details/changes, it became very intense at the end.... our last week was 5 days totaling 63 hours!

10) What was your most enjoyable experience on this project? I enjoyed most of it.... the very end when we were rushing to make the deadline was a little bit stressful, but knowing everything was done at 4 AM and ready to be picked up at 8 AM was good...

11) How do you feel about contributing to such an icon of pop-culture? Pretty good... I never thought growing up that I'd end up where I am now.

12) And what message would you like to pass to we British fans of Action Force / GI Joe? I hope the film is everything you hope it to be.... I did my part for 'The Team'




Special Thanks to Kathy for participating!

If you'd like to see her wares, please follow the link; :mrgreen: http://www.Katarra8.com :mrgreen:

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Re: "I DID SOME WORK ON THE NEW GI JOE FILM" BFTB Exclusive Chat

Postby SteveD » 27 Feb 2009 14:46

Nice work Space Commander! Interesting stuff.

I wonder who got the job of measuring up Baroness?
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Re: "I DID SOME WORK ON THE NEW GI JOE FILM" BFTB Exclusive Chat

Postby AnnieM » 27 Feb 2009 16:20

It's hard to imagine the amount of separate wardrobe pieces that must be needed for a big-budget film.

I like the embroidered cobra patches in Kathy's shop.
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Re: "I DID SOME WORK ON THE NEW GI JOE FILM" BFTB Exclusive Chat

Postby Space Commander » 27 Feb 2009 16:46

AnnieM wrote:I like the embroidered cobra patches in Kathy's shop.

Maybe we'll get lucky and Kathy will branch out into :af: as well! :lol:

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Re: "I DID SOME WORK ON THE NEW GI JOE FILM" BFTB Exclusive Chat

Postby AnnieM » 27 Feb 2009 17:02

I once worked as an embroidery machinist - wish I still had access to those machines now!
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Re: "I DID SOME WORK ON THE NEW GI JOE FILM" BFTB Exclusive Chat

Postby jamarmiller » 27 Feb 2009 18:02

Nice interview thank you so much for doing this!
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Re: "I DID SOME WORK ON THE NEW GI JOE FILM" BFTB Exclusive Chat

Postby Chopper » 27 Feb 2009 22:09

SteveD wrote:Nice work Space Commander! Interesting stuff.

I wonder who got the job of measuring up Baroness?


ME, me, me... oh, its not a request ;) I would have done it tho....

For scale of costumes check out the LOTR trilogy. Man alive there was some work there.

Can't wait to see this film now, I think I'll have to go and see it at the flicks regardless of its reviews. Hell if the Clone Wars are anything to go by, its proof the reviewers are idiots anyway.

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Re: "I DID SOME WORK ON THE NEW GI JOE FILM" BFTB Exclusive Chat

Postby The Baron » 28 Feb 2009 06:46

Oh come on, guys. Space Commander scores us a BFTB exclusive, Kathy consents to an interview and shares her time and experiences with us and all we get is a couple of boob jokes?

What else has Kathy worked on, Space Commander? Her ebay store contains props from practically all of my favourite Sci-Fi shows. Would she be interested in making some Action Force patches for us? If so, she'd be more than welcome to have a slot in the forthcoming store for them and her other products.

Thanks for mentioning Star Trek – Of Gods And Men as well, I'd never even heard of it! Just watched the trailer on youtube and it looks cracking - I shall spread the word.

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Re: "I DID SOME WORK ON THE NEW GI JOE FILM" BFTB Exclusive Chat

Postby Ross SC » 28 Feb 2009 07:05

you can watch it for free!
www.startrekofgodsandmen.com
it's awesome!
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Re: "I DID SOME WORK ON THE NEW GI JOE FILM" BFTB Exclusive Chat

Postby jamarmiller » 28 Feb 2009 11:11

I posted the news on other boards and other boards and really enjoying it!

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