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HomeCraftsCostume DesignDaniel Orlandi Designs Costumes for Jurassic World

Daniel Orlandi Designs Costumes for Jurassic World

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Daniel Orlandi
Daniel Orlandi

To create costumes for a project of the enormity of Jurassic World, longtime costume designer Daniel Orlandi carefully studied the previous films in the franchise, dating back to the 1993 original. “I had seen them and remembered them,” he said by phone from Atlanta where he’s working on his next project, The Founder, about McDonald’s chief Ray Kroc. “I watched them with my crew together on the computer. I read the script and wanted to go from [director] Colin Trevorrow’s script. I had a nice conversation with him.”

Set in 2015, 22 years after the events of the first film, Trevorrow mandated that the entirety portray the near future, set in a heavily populated hi-tech amusement park. “We talked about the uniforms in the park and looked at production sketches of the park,” said Orlandi of time with his director. “We wanted to have a reference to the other movies but be fresh and modern. I looked at a bunch of theme parks around the world. Jurassic World is a great place to go and has to look good. Park visitors are paying money to come to this island from all over the world.”

For the movie’s lead characters, played by Chris Pratt as a head animal trainer and Bryce Dallas Howard as an top executive in the park, Orlandi strove to give them iconic looks which had to make their way fully through the roughly 24-hour setting of movie. “I wanted it to be easily referenced,” described Orlandi of Pratt’s costume. “We wanted Owen [Pratt’s character] to be heroic and masculine and a little bit counterculture. He’s a throwback in this hi-tech world; he’s a classic adventurer. I made him a safari guy. I looked at him as somebody living off the grid.”

Jurassic World
Jurassic World

Regarding Howard’s character, the costume had to reflect her well-heeled status at the outset, which eventually leads her into a rough jungle adventure. “Bryce is like an onion, peeling off layers,” Orlandi related. “We wanted this outfit to transition. Owen doesn’t change through the movie. She becomes more like him towards the end. She is the heroine. She gets sexier. She surprises even Owen.”

To dress his secondary characters, Orlandi revealed that he does not prefer to have too much of an opinion on their costumes before he encounters who has been cast. “We wanted the clothes to be classic,” he stated. “Even in the control room, he’s got his Jurassic Park T-shirt. We wanted it to be fun for the audience to watch.”

When Orlandi first got the call to work on Jurassic World just prior to Christmas of 2013, he was in the midst of an HBO project and was afforded only 12 weeks of preparation. “I met Colin and was so impressed,” he said. “He would make a decision, and nobody ever questioned it. He was so decisive and knew exactly what he wanted.”

Jurassic WorldDuring his prep period, Orlandi started doing sketches of the park attendants’ uniforms. “With Bryce and Chris, I didn’t do sketches before I met them,” he said of his leads. “Bryce likes to be part of that. I didn’t want to present them with a sketch. It’s their character and I wanted them to be a part of it. After the second fitting, we hit on these ideas: Howard’s costume would look great in the jungle in the dark — high heels running in the jungle. Bryce was on-board. We had to manufacture 20+ of each of Bryce and Chris’ outfits.”

For the horde of Jurassic World’s park employees, Orlandi had to make about 400 uniforms. “We had the park rangers, animal containment soldiers, and Ingen soldiers,” he explained. “We had greeters, hotel staff, restaurant staff, park employees, maintenance staff, people in the petting zoo. We farmed a lot out to a uniform manufacturer. A promotion company made the T-shirts. We had a great graphics person who designed most of them.”

During principal photography, Orlandi had a big crew dressing the actors every morning on set in both Hawaii and New Orleans. “We had 20 people at our biggest day,” he stated of costumers and crew, “getting 800 people dressed plus the principals and stunt men. We had many extras that came in Hawaii. We had two full-time people just aging all the clothes for Bryce.”

Jurassic WorldUnlike a costume designer who hands off duties to one’s costumers once the clothes and accessories are created, Orlandi remained integrally involved in Jurassic World during production. “After prep, I’m very hands-on,” he detailed. “Every day, decisions are made dressing the extras. We are still prepping. A lot of great ideas happen on set. It was fun. I had never done a movie like that before.”

Just as surely as any film sub-genre, a Jurassic Park sequel is doggedly its own individual realm, an aspect of the profession which appealed to Orlandi on Jurassic World. “That’s part of the job – it’s always different,” he said. “You go into a completely different world. It becomes all consuming. On a lot of movies, we are like psychologists determining the personalities of the characters. We want the costumes to convey that. I don’t think any two films I’ve ever done are the same. It’s always interesting.”

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