Dressing Up Milk

Milk costume designer Danny Glicker celebrates his first Oscar nom -- and shares a few of his preliminary sketches -- with Advocate.com.

BY Greg Fieser

February 05 2009 12:00 AM ET

Milk costumes Franco x555 (Danny Glicker) | Advocate.com

How did the meeting go? My vision was very much in sync with
Lance’s [screenwriter Dustin Lance Black]
script and Gus’s vision. We were all in this
together.

What was your vision for this movie? How did you
see it coming together? And how did you use costume
design to tell the story?
First of all, it took so long for this film to
come to fruition because no one could figure out how
to tell the story effectively. But Lance’s
script is so incredibly elegant -- deceptively elegant
-- it interconnects all parts of Harvey’s
life and world. People couldn’t see that
before. Then Gus wanted to set it in San Francisco, in the
Castro. I mean, we were shooting in Harvey’s
camera store, not a set or even the store next door,
but the real Castro Camera shop that Harvey owned. And
by doing that, everything was allowed to breathe and have a
real life. And if it’s breathing, it
doesn’t feel stagy like some period pieces can
be. I wanted to re-create the time exactly as it was --
every part. I didn’t want to saturate the
colors or use sepia or anything. I wanted to make it
just like it was and just let it live. Because of where it
was set there was this incredible authenticity to the
whole project. I give Gus credit because there is
enormous discipline behind the looseness. It’s
free to live in a controlled environment.

What was your research like for a project like this? Tons of research. I have huge binders on every
character. I worked with the San Francisco LGBT
society and looked through their extensive archives.
The public library has beautiful archives. And I was lucky
that Danny Nicoletta -- who’s become a good
friend -- had an amazing photo archive as well.
[Nicoletta is a photographer and longtime chronicler
of San Francisco’s gay scene and was a core
member of Harvey Milk’s team.]

Tags: film

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