The Story Behind The Costumes For Pelayo: Visigoth and Muslim Tunics Custom Made To Fit Each Actor
The costume for Pelayo was already practically completed before the Grisly Grisell premiere. We based Patrick's costume on a painting that we found of Pelayo defending the cave on Pinterest.
In this painting, Pelayo wears a long gold and white tunic with blue leggings tied with red straps. Over his outfit, he wears a long red cape. On his feet are a pair of short light brown boots. We found items with features as close to these items as we could and made the costume accordingly.
At the Grisly Grisell premiere, one of the viewers and a friend of ours offered to sew costumes for our next film. We were absolutely thrilled to let her take the costume making over! She made all of the costumes for both armies, custom fitting all the tunics to each actor. For Alqama Pasha, we did purchase a pattern designed to be an Ottoman leader.
We went to the many thrift shops in our area and purchased belts and other accessories, mainly looking for black scarves and beanies for Muslim turbans. Our seamstress also donated some exciting fabrics that we were able to accessorize our characters with.
Adelaide Bowen as Alqama Pasha
Levi Wassmuth, Becket Bowen, and Kathleen Bowen in their Muslim Warrior costumes
Noël Bowen as a Visigoth Warrior
Pelayo Budget: Making The Numbers Work And Getting The Weaponry Of Our Dreams (And The Dreams Of All Teenage Boys Who Were Acting)
With the budget that we were working with, we are very happy with the overall look we were able to achieve, especially as regards the weaponry. We were able to use all of the swords from our previous films as well as purchase a new medieval sword for Pelayo and two scimitars for the Muslims.
Collin Knutson, one of the extras, had brought a small scimitar from a trip to Israel and was happy to have it in the film as well. The Knutson children were very creative with bringing their own props and costumes for us to use or scrap as we saw fit. Thanks so much, guys!
With all outdoor scenes, we were able to save a lot on sets. This also gave us the freedom to spend more on weapons and even give a small commission to all the actors for their time freely given.
Practicing With The Actors To Get Battle Ready Without Accidentally Harming Each Other With The Swords
Since the battle was to be the focus of this short film, we went through the trouble of actually choreographing the battle scenes. Faustina typed up a battle sequence and she and Becket taught it to the actors with the help of the rest of the crew. There were three planned weeks of practice leading up to the shoots.
The first practice, it hailed and rained like crazy and we had to mainly work under the pavilion, shivering and freezing cold. The other practices were much warmer and better, although the ground was mushy and we made a mud pit of the city park. After practice, practice, practice, we took to the shot locations and shot the scenes with much more smoothness than we experienced in past films.
Doing The Grunt Work On The Pelayo Shoot Days
We broke our record with filming Pelayo. The entire movie was filmed in just 2 weeks. We shot the battle scenes on a weekend, the bishop scene only a few days later and the cave scene the following weekend. DONE! The only close call with the swords was when Michael accidentally stabbed Collin's shirt to the ground.
On the first battle day, we had everyone costumed as Visigoths before lunch. After lunch, we re-costumed and applied makeup for the Moors for the after lunch shooting. On the second battle day, we did the combat clips with half Visigoth and half Moor cast.
The editing, since we upgraded to Adobe-Pro and hit a major learning curve, took much longer than the filming. At last, even the editing was done by October and was sent off to Music Forge for its score!