“It was a dream job,” declares costume designer Mari-An Ceo about the series “Timeless,” and that’s because they got to go “back in time” and “do something different every week and every episode.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Ceo above.
This NBC series starred Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter and Malcolm Barrett as a trio of time travelers who try to prevent a mysterious organization from changing the course of history as we know it. Throughout its two seasons, the series took viewers back to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the Salem Witch Trials, Hollywood’s golden age, and the Battle of the Alamo, to name a few. It wrapped up its run with a two-hour Christmas special that took place during both California’s Gold Rush and the Korean War’s Hungnam evacuation.
As the show went on “it became so fast-paced that it was as exhausting as it was exciting,” Ceo admits. “In reflecting upon it I think oftentimes, how did we actually accomplish that? How did we provide these costumes, create this world?” The show “was very challenging, and it really pushed the limits of what I was trained to do.”
With movies “you have months to prepare for a period drama,” but on episodic television “it’s a matter of a couple of weeks.” So Ceo had to rely on her team to divide up design duties, including research and the dressing of background extras, because “it was so broad that not one person can do one thing.” At various points, her attentions would be divided between shooting something from one era and prepping something from another. But while Ceo confesses that “it’s kind of nice to not have to do it every week,” she’ll still “miss it.”
Ceo has worked on such shows as “S.W.A.T.,” “House of Lies,” and “Constantine,” as well as the films “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning” (2006), “Friday the 13th” (2009) and “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (2010).
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