Alumna applies Berry costume shop experience to film career

Alex Hodges, Campus Carrier Arts & Living Editor

Berry College alumna Hannah Greene (06C) is currently the fabric buyer for Marvel’s “Captain Marvel” and has been working in costume design since she earned her graduate degree.

Greene has done costume design for several Marvel films. Her first major film was “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” in 2012. Since then, she has worked on “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and, in December of last year, finished work on “Godzilla vs. Kong.” She is currently working on CBS’s “Strange Angel.”

After finishing her undergraduate degree, she moved to New York for a time before attending University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for graduate school. This is where she made connections and used her networking abilities to land jobs in the film industry after her graduation.

Greene was a visual communication major at Berry. She said that the networking skills she has came from taking classes within the communication department.

“When it comes to anything in television, in film, or really any kind of creative work that you’re doing, you have to be friendly, get out there, network, meet people, and you’ll get all your work by word of mouth,” Greene said.

Greene got her start in costume design at Berry when she took several classes in the theatre department. She had worked in theatre since high school, doing various stage crew positions, but she began her work at the costume shop during her undergraduate education. From there, she was in a production and designed for a couple of dance concerts.

She was able to use the work she did on productions at Berry as experience that aided her entry into UCLA. From there, she met people and did her best to get her name out into the field.

Greene attributes her continued interest in costume design during her undergraduate education to Alice Bristow, the associate professor of theatre at Berry.

On top of teaching her in a couple of classes, Bristow worked with Greene on productions at Berry.

“Hannah (Greene) always had a really good work ethic,” Bristow said. “She was allowed to design and create here.”

Bristow said that Greene’s work in the classes offered by the theatre department, as well as her work on productions, probably gave her a sure foundation for her career work.

As far as costume design goes, Berry’s theatre department offers courses in technical production, advanced c o n s t r u c t i o n , tailoring, patterning and costume history. In these, students can learn sewing, fabric modification and other design fundamentals.

From those classes, students can start creating work by designing for friends, for community theatre or here at Berry, according to Bristow.

For aspiring costume designers or students interested in careers in film, Bristow said that one of the best things to do is to see shows.

“It’ll broaden your depth of experience,” Bristow said. “You don’t know what magic can happen until, maybe, you see something that will spark your imagination by seeing another show.”

Bristow also recommends that students interested take costume classes, art history and drawing classes for the same purpose of forming the creative building blocks that allow for imaginative and expressive freedom. This, as well as traveling the world, helps fill students’ wells of creativity.

Bristow said “It’s like reading books. “How can you be an English major if you haven’t read any books?”

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