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    Making a western - not as hard as you think.
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    Senior Member Marlon Ladd's Avatar
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    I thought since I've had some experience making westerns (a feature and a short) I'd chime in and talk about some of the things that have helped me.

    WARDROBE:
    This is not as difficult as some might think. It seems like clothes have changed alot in the last 100+ years, but they haven't. Do research on the old west and you'll find alot of pictures. Look closely and you will find several things of note that you may be able to cheat and get away with for cheap. Do a little reading and you can also watch some westerns that did it right ("Unforgiven," "Tombstone") and pay attention to the clothes they wore.

    Check out some of these things you can actually buy at the thrift store:

    SHIRTS - un-collared, button-up long sleeve shirts always work. Thin collared shirts (solid color - black or white) with no designs will work as well. Thick cotton or wool are better. Don't forget the suspenders.

    VESTS - they wore plenty of vests in the old-west and these are also some items you can find at the thrift store. Plain colored or even striped vests from the 70s or 80s will work. The thicker the collar, the better. The thicker the material the better.

    SPORTS COATS - Find a sport coat from the 80s or 70s and you can definately cheat with these. As long as they're a thicker material and the print isn't standout and the colors are dark, you're good to go.

    PANTS - Flat front pants work the best. The pants that they generally wore back then had two little pockets at the top in the front and buttons for suspenders in the front and back. These pants were sort of a thick cotton and the most common colors from what I've read about and seen were grey, black and brown.

    BOOTS - Must be square toe for them to be authentic looking. These will be hard to find at thrift stores as most boots today are round toe, but you can cheat with the round toe boots (As long as they're not real pointy). They don't always have to be seen close enough for anybody to notice anyway, so keep that in mind.

    SCARVES - Go to Hobby-Lobby and get the material (dark, solid color - silk or cotton) and cut out a big enough piece (square) to make a large bandana and you got yourself a scarf.

    In order for the other elements to be authentic, my suggestion would be to buy online or rent locally. Cowboy hats (not the modern day ones) are relatively cheap to rent at a costume shop, as are old west jackets.

    HOLSTERS - Any holster will work, but if you want to be authentic, look up Hollywood Holsters and stay away from them. They are holsters that Hollywood invented to basically be cool, but were not what people in the old west really wore. Hollywood Holsters ride lower on the leg and usually have a string to tie around the leg - supposedly for the quick draw effect.

    Guns?? All states and countries have their laws, but see if you can find a wrangler or get in contact with some re-enactor groups. They are an excellent resource and they love to film and usually have all the above things I mentioned and more. You can look them up on the internet.

    Horses and old west towns - Re-enactor groups will also have info. on both of these. There are old-west town all over the place, but the problem is, they can be kind of expensive (sometimes) and the places that do alot of business will surely require insurance and the whole 9 yards. My suggestion would be to find some woods or a camp site or even an old west house. Check with your local tourism department.

    If you're lucky enough to find an old west town close and the people are reasonable, they may also know people that have horses. Again, if you're talking authenticity, then the saddles will have differences, but not enough for the average person to notice. Throw a rope on there and some saddlebags and you're set.

    These are all the things I can think of for now. I may add more later. I would have included some links, but I'm at work and can't look at any of the sites from here. Check out the link from Rodney's thread as well. http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=204667

    Per Larry R http://www.buycostumes.com/30-Barn-Siding-Backdrop/36471/ProductDetail.aspx

    Now you guys know all my $5 secrets! I hope this helps.
    Last edited by Marlon Ladd; 03-31-2010 at 12:31 PM.


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    Marlon,

    Great stuff, thanks so much for sharing!


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    Senior Member Shawn Philip Nelson's Avatar
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    I'd add that you can buy stuff from the civil war reenactment community, very time period accurate, readily available and just about as cheap as you can get for good looking stuff.
    Formerly user 'shawneous'.

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    Senior Member Marlon Ladd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Philip Nelson View Post
    I'd add that you can buy stuff from the civil war reenactment community, very time period accurate, readily available and just about as cheap as you can get for good looking stuff.
    Yep, you're right Shawn. They're a big part of the re-enactment community too.


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    Thanks Marlon! The wardrobe tips were great, and just in time for my trip to the thrift store.


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    More Cowbell Pictures Michael Anthony Horrigan's Avatar
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    Really great stuff, Marlon.
    I would print this list if I had my printer hooked up.

    I just watched Unforgiven and Tombstone this week. Definitely some good material there.

    MAH


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    Senior Member Matt Harris's Avatar
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    Marlon where can I see your western feature?
    Matt Harris
    Director / Composer / Colorist / Motion graphics
    http://www.imdb.me/matthewrichardharris

    DVXFEST ENTRIES: GLASSJAW / CABIN / CLARA / THE SOLUTION / LAKE WICWAS / BACKFIRE
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    Senior Member jasonthewho's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing the tips Marlon! Very helpful, if I enter I'll definitely be taking your advice.


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    Senior Member Marlon Ladd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Defcon View Post
    Marlon where can I see your western feature?
    I'll be getting more copies soon (I keep telling myself), but you can find it on amazon.com in a DVD multipack called Band of Brothas (with Ice-T). Looking on my phone it says it's $2.40 new! Helluva a deal! LOL!

    Let me know if they still are selling it - remember it was 8 or so years ago. If not, I'll let you know when I get some new copies.


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    Senior Member Matt Harris's Avatar
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    Marlon I'm ordering it, thanks!
    Matt Harris
    Director / Composer / Colorist / Motion graphics
    http://www.imdb.me/matthewrichardharris

    DVXFEST ENTRIES: GLASSJAW / CABIN / CLARA / THE SOLUTION / LAKE WICWAS / BACKFIRE
    BOUNTY ON A DEAD MAN'S HEAD / VACCINE / NO HORIZON / THE BOATSHED / CLEAR SPACE



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