Tessie Bundick On Being an Extra in Coen Brothers' "A Serious Man"
When Theatre Arts make-up instructor and designer Tessie Bundick was cast as an extra in the recent Coen brothers' film, A Serious Man, she began taking notes recording the production details of the celebrated writer/producer/directing team in action. She shares her behind-the-scenes observations of the technical aspects of the Oscar nominated film appear in December's online edition of the USITT Northern Boundary News. (http://www.stolaf.edu/depts/theatre/NBS_Dec11/Article2/Article2.html )
Appearing as an extra in two scenes --a funeral and a bar mitzvah--Bundick shares her particular interest in the wardrobe choices and costume fittings with the film's designer Ms. Mary Zophres, who has collaborated with the Coen brothers on many of their films. Zophres's designs were researched for this project by pouring through period photos at the Jewish Historical Society of the upper Midwest. Bundick reveals the designer's meticulous hunt for clothing and eye glasses to achieve an accurate 1967 period look for the film set in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.
Besides describing in detail the work needed to transform a St. Louis Park synagogue location into a setting with sufficient light in preparation for shooting, Bundick allows the reader to glimpse the collaboration between the Coen brothers and Roger Deakins, director of photography and cinematography. A Serious Man went on to win many awards and was nominated for two Oscars for best picture and best screenplay.