Job in Dubai & UAE ‘Star Trek’ costume stylist on getting started in Hollywood

‘Star Trek’ costume stylist on getting started in Hollywood:

Dubai, UAE: Interns in the film industry need to become quick problem-solvers in order to secure a full-time job, Hollywood costume stylist Angela Schnoeke-Paasch told Middlesex University Dubai students.

Schnoeke-Paasch has worked on the sets of Hollywood movies such as “Fast and Furious 7,” “Star Trek” and “Deliver Us From Evil.” The stylist gave a guest lecture to students at Middlesex University Dubai on her experience on sets as well as how wannabe filmmakers can get into the competitive film industry.

Schnoeke-Paasch, who is the local costume coordinator for Hollywood movies, said that interns need to be able to produce fast solutions to problems that their team is facing, without having to be asked to do so.

“We had a lot of interns at Star Trek. We had two interns in our department, and out of that two, I took one for sure. I took her on every movie because I trusted her. Everything I asked her for, she got it for me. She gets what we need within a second.

“It’s a dream for the head of a department when a person is listening to a conversation and bringing in solutions without us asking her. This kind of person makes a great assistant.

“When you see your team leader facing a problem, you have to think fast and save the day. That way they’ll remember you, trust you and might need you for their next movie.”

A film lecturer at Middlesex University Dubai, Afroz Nawaf, said that the university has seen an increased interest from students joining the film course. As of now, there are about 28 film students and they expect that number to increase significantly.

He said the university gives students assignments where they can get on-the-field experience.

Nawaf said: “Every semester, we always try to find a project that can be tied with a brand or a particular commercial, so they produce for their brand. We tie them up with brands. In terms of internships, we are in touch with production houses that can hire interns for experience. The students get to work on the field with studios so they get experience, which is a bonus to their education.”

However, Daniella Tully, who also teaches film at the university, said students need to be actively sending out CVs to production houses and to international producers who are looking to film in the UAE.

She said that students need to be aware of films that are being shot in the country and to reach out to the members of the crew.

“If students are getting experience on film sets while they are still in university, that will only help them. They can use the knowledge they are getting from on set and apply them to their studies,” Tully said.

Dealing with demanding actors

Working on the sets of blockbuster movies being shot in Dubai may be the dream of many, but the job comes with a heavy price to pay.

Angela Schnoeke-Paasch, who has worked as the local costume coordinator for “Star Trek and Fast and the Furious 7,” said she often has to deal with demanding actors and directors who want costumes their own way.

However, she has learned how to deal with them over her 23 years in the film industry.

“With actors during fittings, it’s very difficult because they say ‘I don’t want to wear that’ but when you work with that person multiple times, you know what they want. So, you give them a few options and that’s how it is with directors. It’s very tricky. You have to be tricky not only with what you’re doing but also with the people you are working with,” she said.

Schnoeke-Paasch said when parts of “Star Trek” were being filmed in Dubai, she had to prep for three months ahead of just a five-day shoot.

She said there were 300 rails of costumes and 1,000 actors and extras had to do fittings.

The costume designer and wardrobe stylist also said that Dubai is one of the popular places among filmmakers abroad because of its multicultural factor.

“Dubai offers a lot. For one movie that had scenes which were meant to be shot in India, were shot in Dubai instead because it has so many different nationalities,” she said.

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