OK IT’S FREAKOUT TIME!

A Jacket/Pants Sketch for a look in the movie

A Jacket/Pants Sketch for a look in the movie

 

Picture 4

 

OK, it’s freak out time. Just six days left to raise $1350 of our goal for our film on Kickstarter. People have already so generously donated $4650 and if we don’t meet the rest, we get none of it! PLEASE HELP! It’s going to be an awesome movie and $25 gets you a credit in the film. We have been working so hard. Check out the latest costume I finished just yesterday.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1297000993/red-pearl

-1 -2 -3

Dream Role(s)!!

A Jacket/Pants Sketch for a look in the movie

A Jacket/Pants Sketch for a look in the movie

 So, some major news in my several month lull here on my good ole blog.  I was cast as the lead in an independent feature film shooting this summer out West. Not only am I acting in this film, as a fashion designer starting her life post-college, I am also the costume designer (think Tim Burton-cum-Wes Anderson-cum- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind! This is the gelling of all of my work in fashion and acting over the last ten years and I couldn’t be more ecstatic and ready to put in my A-game.  Shooting starts in one month and we are seeking KICKSTARTER donations to get this underway. The film, entitled, Red Pearl, was written by two fantastic award-winning filmmakers & screenwriters over the last two years. You can read more about the project below and if you feel so inclined, please donate ! There are fifteen days left of our Kickstarter campaign.
R E D   P E A R L

A young fashion designer starting her first job in a new city finds herself uninspired and involved with unwanted drama.

Red Pearl is a feature film written and directed by award-winning filmmakers starring Desira Pesta.

Production Update!! We’ve got Mondo! Project Runway’s Denver native, Mondo Guerra,will be making a cameo appearance in our film. Thanks to Mondo and Remy for your time and support!

About the Movie

Red Pearl tells the story of an aspiring young fashion designer starting her first job in a new city. Struggling to find her place in the world, she becomes involved with unwanted drama and ends up lonely and uninspired. The dramatic comedy has a little bit of everything: fashion, art, romance, jealousy, quirky roadside attractions, and even a bar fight!

Sketch by Desira Pesta
Sketch by Desira Pesta

Let’s set the scene…. 

Arriving in Denver is young Scarlet, fresh out of fashion school in fabulous Columbus, aspiring to be a successful couture designer. Her confidence is high: she is wide-eyed and prepared for independence in the post-college stage of life. Ready to make her big dreams come true, she takes her first job designing costumes for the world-renowned Central City Opera, a mountain-town establishment nestled between old-west culture and history, and modern-day slot machines.

Almost immediately Scarlet finds herself immersed in difficult situations where she must decide how to handle the cold, demanding scene shop boss and her snickering, judgmental co-workers. She must choose whether or not to reciprocate a mutual attraction with her neighbor: the gorgeous- but married- Carlos.

While navigating the drama of work and sex, she seeks comfort in her aspiring musician friend Julian and her cynical-but-lovable landlord Dorian. Just when Scarlet is feeling better about the possibilities of her future in this new place, she finds herself shamed by those around her. Spiraling into despair, Scarlet must decide how she will confront disappointment, rejection, and morality-questioning debacles as she seeks to reconfigure her sense of identity.

The Filmmakers 

Jess McGaugh and Stacy Barton have been friends since 2005 when they became roommates during grad school at Syracuse University in New York. We began collaborating immediately on projects while sharing an editing studio in our house off Westcott Street. The snowy winters allowed for an immersion into filmmaking, and it was only a matter of time before we would venture into the world of narrative features. Working together training tomorrow’s filmmakers, we began writing Red Pearl, deeply inspired by the city and mountains surrounding us from our 8th floor, shared downtown office at CU Denver.

Pre-production started earlier this year and we are shooting the film this June 2014. Distribution and exhibition plans for the project include film festivals, DVD sales, Internet streaming, and VOD markets.

Follow our production on our blog at: http://redpearlmovie.wordpress.com

The Actor: Scarlet

Desira Pesta is an East Coast-bred visual and performance artist & writer who was raised by two bikers in the woods of Scranton, Pennsylvania. She started acting and writing as a child, finding she preferred perfecting Southern characters, dressing as a male, or taking on the role of an orphan witch in home videos & recordings she created in lieu of “normal” teenager activities.

Desira received a BFA in Fine Art from Syracuse University with a minor in Interior Architecture. After college, Desira moved to NYC and as a self-taught seamstress, she started working as an independent fashion designer, finally producing a small ready-to-wear line she sold throughout the US, Australia, the U.K. & Japan from 2005 to present. Ever a performer, the screen beckoned her back and with tremendous good luck and hard work, she was invited to join The Screen Actors Guild in 2009.

As a fashion & costume designer, Desira’s clothing company, started in 2004, has become a favorite amongst indie lovers and Desira was one of the final 25 possible contestants for Project Runway Seasons 7 & 8. With a natural knack for all things creative, she has lived an alternative lifestyle, supporting herself solely through creative hands-on endeavors & projects.

Desira Pesta
Desira Pesta

Why are we making this movie?

As adventurers ourselves, we closely identify with our lead character Scarlet who is exploring the difficulties of following big dreams. Both of us, as filmmakers and educators, have picked up and moved to brand new cities multiple times throughout our lives in search of our individual paths to success. The overwhelming process of immersing oneself into an unfamiliar environment with no friends or family to fall back on is a life-forming experience like no other. We want to visualize the struggle of a young woman on her quest of learning who she is and what she is capable of in a difficult environment.

Since the fates have brought us, the filmmakers, together once again professionally in such a comforting and positive way, we decided to collaborate to tell a story that takes some of our own lived dramas and puts them on the big screen (with other dramatic, fictional embellishments of course! After all, this is the movies!)

As now residents of Denver, Colorado, we love our city. We also love art and fashion. We are proud of the Denver fashion stars and potential for growth that is coming into its own here, and we feel the up-and-coming fashion scene in Denver is notable and worthy of featuring and promoting in our movie. In Red Pearl, we are collaborating with some up-and-coming local designers as well as established, local fashion publications and entities.

What will the money be used for?

Feature filmmaking is very expensive. We are planning to work with a very low budget while maintaining high production value. Will $6K cover our entire budget? Heck to the NO. We’d love to raise more, much more, but $6K will get us moving forward as we continue to fundraise and get closer to production. Here is how we will be spending the money more specifically:

$1,500 SAG/AFTRA Actor Fee

$500 Travel funds for Lead SAG/AFTRA Actor

$1,200 Additional primary cast Actor Fees

$800 Production Insurance

$1,000 Production Audio Recordist/Engineer

$1,000 Lens’, Dolly Track, Car Mount Rental

Kickstarter Total $6,000

Additional costs included in our production budget but not within our immediate Kickstarter goal:

$2,000 Director of Photography Fee

$500 Hair and Make-Up Stylist

$300 Desira Pesta mini-collection materials & labor

$800 Overnight shoot in Lucas, KS

$600 Props, set dressing, make-up & hair supplies

$200 Grip truck gas & parking

$500 Fashion Show scaffolding, chairs, DJ, etc.

$2,000 Hard drives for media storage

$150 Expendables

Additional Production Budget Total $7,050

And this doesn’t even including our post-production budgetary needs!

Other Ways to Support the Film

If you are unable or unwilling to give cash, and want to help see the film go further, there is plenty you can do to support Red Pearl. We need to feed the crew for over 2 weeks, so in-kind donations of food would be helpful, either in the form of paying for or providing local catering, or through gift cards from Costco, Target, Wal-Mart, etc. We are also in search of donations including sewing busts, fabric, and event chairs and risers, just to name a few. Additionally, we are in need of the temporary use of 2 custom cars: an old, beaten-up pick-up truck, and a work-in-progress, classic, detailed convertible.

Another way you can support Red Pearl is to host a screening of the film in your community. We want the world to see our movie!

Thank you so much for your interest and support in our project, Red Pearl. You are giving us an opportunity to follow our dreams and to advance us to the next important stage in our filmmaking careers!

Love,

Jess and Stacy

Risks and challenges

Risks and challenges associated with this film are standard for every production since the beginning of cinema. Some of these production risks include bad weather, equipment malfunction, actor absence, computer software glitches, and location audio problems.

For those of you who have film experience, you already know that things happen that are out of your control. However, being prepared with a backup plan will help in operating a smooth film set while crafting excellent images, sound and performances.

We have a back-up plan, and a back-up for our back-up.

Costume Design for YouTube Webseries Malcontent’s Lab!

Picture 30

Hey y’all,

A few months ago, I was commissioned to create an original design for a new webseries. I designed,  created a pattern for, and constructed a custom steampunk-inspired lab coat for the titular character in the new YouTube series, Malcontent’s Lab for actress Alana Jackler this past summer. Designs were bounced around and around, playing with elements of the late 1800’s, as well as Futurist aspects. Over the course of about 5 weeks I designed, constructed, and finished this giant job and you can see the process below… Malcontent’s Lab is one of the many shows on the YouTube channel, ScifiRiot.

 

Alana Jackler in Malcontents Lab

Alana Jackler in Malcontents Lab

Picture 27

The coat took approximately 22 hours and the process included preliminary sketches, merging sketches and then a final sketch was approved.

My sketches for the coat

My sketches for the coat

Document- Document-malcontent sketch1

So the sketch on the bottom left was the one picked, yet I would include a purple tulle underskirt to soften the hardness of the coat and also to convey a little fantasy in the character.

2. The next step was drafting the pattern! I did a simple bodice design with a full circle skirt and then chopped one side of the front bodice and enlongated the other. This would give that asymmetrical center front and create the palette for those leather straps and buckles you can see in the drawing.

3. Construction/sewing!

The pinned bodice pieces

The pinned bodice pieces

The bodice with the open skirt pinned

The bodice with the open skirt pinned

THE FINISHED PRODUCT!

THE FINISHED PRODUCT!

20130607_7337 3 20130607_7340

The finished product :o)

The finished product :o)

20130607_7377 20130607_7334 3

A LAST MINUTE ADDITION: a little M emblem, she beckons the idea of a superhero for herself

20130607_7377

;O)

Spring / Law & Order SVU Sketches

Photo: Jessica Lynch

Photo: Jessica Lynch

I’ve got Spring Fever, cabin fever, what have you. I want outside time asap!

Here are the finished drawings I did for a Season 14 episode of Law & Order SVU:

Copyright 2013 Desira Pesta

Copyright 2013 Desira Pesta

DesiraPesta_SVUsketch2 DesiraPesta_SVUsketch3

A Year in Furs

Call it winter blues, call it writer’s block, I have been been working less in the last month after the holidays than usual.  These moments of less activity kind of bum me out, but I think I am winding down from a crazypants year of hyper-activity! I have to remind myself what I have done because whenever I am feeling “lazy”, I mull over my past projects in my mind and go, “Oh!, right, I did that.”

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

That refers to my being cast as Ann Marie, Ashley Greene’s rival in the ABC pilot, Americana, using my own designs to portray a fashion designer. The pilot was sadly not picked up, but this was my first opportunity to be able to showcase my two loves, fashion and acting.

On Americana with my designs!

On Americana with my designs!

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

That refers to my first theater production with my old theater company, Homebrewed, back in April-May, which I served as stage manager & actor in.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

That also refers to the completion of & performance of my first full length play, Crystal Atlas, at the end of May

181392_10150852772090617_2003570120_n-1

That also refers to the completion of a one-act play, Yess, Texas, which I also made 9 costumes for (my Spring 2013 Collection) and performed with my new theater company as part of Williamsburg Fashion Weekend.

wfw

423738_10151027704277245_1284261874_n

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

That also refers to the wood-nymph photoshoot I held with one of my best friends of said collection in the woods where I grew up.

20121012_1572

20121012_1585

IMG_6894

IMG_7098

———————————————————————————————————————————————–

That would also refer to the fact that I got cast as a featured wife of a warlord in one of my favorite director’s, Darren Aronofsky’s, newest film, Noah. I got to be a part of the amazing experience of this biblical times feature complete with mud, rain, and amazing sets galore.

Me on Noah

Me on Noah

 To be continued…

S/S 2013 Show // Photos Galore!

Little Blue (Military) Dress

Sideways

Studs

Epaulette

B-B-Back

A look inspired by Janis Joplin…and Aladdin

The Vest Alone… Red Velvet & Brass Studs

A Unique Draped Wedding Dress with wraparound waistline… 20 hours of work, man.

Zee Back Complete with Train

Shoulder Detail

Little Pink Peter Pan Collar Check Print Dress

Little Cutie

Far & Away 

Baby Got back

A Little Grace Kelly

A Little Closeup

Wraparound Waist

A Hendrix Inspired Buttondown with Embroidery/Studs (15 hours of work, man)

Side

Closeup Baby

Back Attack

C’mere, Gorgeous!

W o m e n    o f   t h e   2 0 ‘ s . . .

Mae Murray:

Billie Dove (best name ever):

Marion Davies:

Gone Blond

Lilian Gish:

Greta Garbo:

Louise Brooks:

and who could forget,

Clara Bow:

Gorgeous, timeless, and so utterly worth emulating. ;O)

Hot Tin Roof

It’s summer, it’s time for watermelon, ice cream trucks, sweating, and good vibes… and sweating.  Today was one of the hottest days we have had here in NYC in a long while and I spent it from 5am-3pm working on my seventh day as prostitute on Boardwalk Empire in the 96 degree heat.

My Father Said I Look Exactly Like My Grandmother Here

Le Legs

We thankfully had a wonderful air-conditioned set with Al Capone, boobies, cigarettes, and loose women, but I biked home at 3pm in full makeup and hair, mini shorts, a tank top and combat boots.  I got some stares from the local Bed Stuy residents, but made it in one sweaty and slimy piece.

2 Hours of Sleep, Man!!

I actually enjoy extreme heat and sweating.  My parents used to think I was insane in high school, when I would take off to Lake Scranton to run around the lake on the hottest days.  There is something so alleviating and releasing about sweating immensely as long as there is nearby shower use afterwards. I stopped by Home Depot after awaking from a nap and almost everybody was buying an air conditioner.  One man had SIX fans in his cart.  NYC is unbearable in the summer sometimes between the constant closeness of people and the concrete everywhere. I rigged up my air conditioner to work and although it’s precarious and I dropped some books out of my window while trying to put it in, it’s cooling off my living room where I sit presently.

Adieu.

 

Playing: Inspiration in (Historical) Pop

I recently completed half of a full length play based on The Doors. I performed it with some stellar actors last month and we are going to film it and hopefully produce it at the end of June. With that said, I spent months doing research on the Doors, Jefferson Airplane, the late 1960’s and that period in music in general.  I have seen every documentary ever made on the Doors and some of them more than once.  It was amazing. It all started in December when I went with my folks up to the Woodstock Museum in Bethel Woods after Christmas.  The emotional experience I had there, coupled with my love of that time in music combined with my love of dressing in Southeast Asian jackets and necklaces exploded into a play that I am very proud of.  Here’s a shot:

Cat Cabral, Desira Pesta, Alan Braunstein, Cameron Moir, Delaney Smeal

Half of the cast

Cat Cabral, Desira Pesta, Alan Braunstein, Cameron Moir, Delaney Smeal

Here are some freaking amazing photos of some sweet fashions on some even sweeter rock stars:

Jimi, etc.

Janis

Amazing

Country Joe & the Fish

The Mamas and the Papas

Jefferson Airplane

Ray, John, Jim, & Robbie

:o) Can’t wait to share more of the play, the film, and photos ;o)