works on Suspect Zero film
Department of Theatre and Dance Assistant Professor Dorothy
Baca is one of two costume supervisors for the full-length feature
film Suspect Zero, which begins filming in New Mexico
by Jonathan Sanger and directed by Elias Merhige, the psychological
thriller stars Sir Ben Kingsley as a former FBI agent suspected
of killing serial killers.
has more than 25 years experience in film and television, and
Liz Wolf of Los Angeles, will assist costume designer Mary Claire
fittings and accessory selection for actors will be part of
leads in the film are primarily males, in modern dress,
Baca says. My job is to help the costume designer distinguish
one character from another, to interpret for each actor the
look of a truck driver, a homeless person or the minister. The
costumes help tell the story.
is Bacas focus on technical problems. The lead actor may
actually have five identical copies of each costume to reflect
different events or times in the script.
may shoot the costume in a dirty, muddy scene first, and the
scene where the actor is clean will be shot a couple of weeks
later. I have to make it seem perfect, seamless, so you cant
tell that they are different costumes. That ensures continuity
of the script so it looks as if it was shot in sequence, although
features are never shot in order, she says.
of several film unions, Baca learned about the opportunity to
work on Suspect Zero, from New Mexicos film
local union, IATSE 480. It was also listed on New Mexicos
Film Commission hotline. Ive always been a proponent
for bringing films to New Mexico. Its very good for the
economy, she says. I hope all the community is
supportive, so more features will consider shooting in New Mexico.
for six years, she has returned to Los Angeles to work on other
films, including Batman and Robin, Wild, Wild
West and the Mel Gibson film, What Women Want.
Previous television credits include Dr. Quinn, Medicine
Woman, Major Dad, Charles in Charge
and Murder, She Wrote. Bacas stage work includes
Bette Midlers signature character, Delores DeLago, the
mermaid who rides on a wheelchair designed for the Divine
Madness World Tour.
costume design courses and a cultural studies course, called
The Decorated Body, which includes tattooing, scarification
and other types of body modification. With funding and support
from UNM, Baca is researching the costume history of New Mexico
during the Spanish Colonial period.
filming she will bring students from her fall semester costume
design course onto the set for hands on learning, she says.