Quiet on the set! I’m going to take you on a behind the scenes look at the making of ABC’s new show Marvel’s Agent Carter.
Did you catch the premiere of Agent Carter last week on ABC? It is an amazing new Marvel show starting Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter. Agent Carter is working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve). She must balance doing administrative work and going on secret missions for Howard Stark all while trying to navigate life as a single woman in America, in the wake of losing the love of her life – Steve Rogers. In November I had the chance to go behind the scenes to learn more about how this show is made.
Costume Designs of Agent Carter
Let’s talk about the costumes on the show. Agent Carter is set in the 1940’s and the costumes are AMAZING! I just love this era of clothing. It was a privilege to meet Costume Designer Giovanna “Gigi” Ottobre-Melton who designs the costumes for Agent Carter.
Gigi is an Emmy award winning costume designer whose work spans the entertainment industry; from feature films to television including series such as TNT’s “Mob City,” CBS’ “Numbers,” NBC’s “My Name Is Earl,” WB’s “Jack & Bobby,” CBS’ “The Handler,” and the NBC series “Providence,” for which she won an Emmy for costume design.
Here Gigi was showing us some of the clothing and idea boards that were used to create the costumes for Agent Carter. We learned all about “hero” outfits (the first time you see the costume on set) as well as costumes that are made to be torn, get “blood” on them, etc. The costumes come from a variety of places such as prop houses and second hand stores and many of the shirts are custom made. They try to keep the costumes, including the fabrics used, as authentic to the time period as possible. Many of the costumes need to be rebuilt from the inside to keep the integrity of the vintage looks. Gigi went on to describe color palettes and the extensive research that goes into making each outfit be exactly like what would be worn during that time period down to the undergarments. I was most amazed that they use about 85 costumes per episode. For many of the costumes there are multiple sets in case something happens to one of the outfits they can switch it with an identical match. There are so many things that go into costume design for a period show such as Agent Carter that you just don’t think about and that is part of the magic that Gigi and her team create.
Touring the Agent Carter Set
We then were given a tour of the Agent Carter set by Executive Producers and Showrunners Tara Butters & Michele Fazekas.
It was a live set so we got to see actors actually on set getting ready to do their parts in a scene that was taking place in the diner that you’ll probably recognize from last week’s episodes. Everything was so realistic, especially the (fake) half eaten food on some of the tables like you would see in a real diner. There was such attention to detail in every part of the set.
It was so exciting being on the set which was built from the ground up and based on real offices from the 1940’s. The furniture is vintage from the 1940’s and either bought or rented but some items such as the maps had to be created just for the show.
Here I am sitting at Agent Carter’s desk! All of the props down to the stamps and pencils are just like an office would have had in the 1940’s! We all got a little giggle as we walked around and read some of the papers on the desk that wouldn’t be seen close up enough for cameras to pick up what was written.
Posing in front of the SSR sign!
Meeting the beautiful Hayley Atwell aka Agent Carter!
Hayley Atwell was so sweet and poised! I love her accent and could listen to her talk forever! She told us how she had trained in basic stage fighting and combat for her role and how she accidentally kicked a stuntman. Oops! We asked Hayley about her 1940’s wardrobe for Agent Carter which is tailored for her like it would have been in the 1940’s:
Shopping in a mall you can pick a nice dress and try it on and it doesn’t fit quite right and it leaves you feeling deflated. But when you have well fitting clothes that are tailored for you, that flatter you, it gives you such a lift. The main thing is learning to wear the clothes rather than the clothes wearing you.
Standing at attention waiting for our next assignment from the SSR!
Watch Agent Carter Tuesday nights at 9:00 pm EST on ABC!
Disclosure- I have been provided an all expense paid trip to Los Angeles for the Big Hero 6 movie premiere and ABC TV Event in exchange for coverage of these events. All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you so much Disney and ABC TV!