Reel Career Profile Series: Angela Wells

Angela Wells graduated from the International Academy of Design Montreal with an AEC in Clothing Design. She has been a proud member of IATSE 856 in the Costume Department since 2005. Angela has had the opportunity to hold many positions throughout the department, including Costume Design.

What she loves most about working in film is not just the creative collaboration but that each show presents itself with different challenges, rewards and continued learning.

When and how did you start in the media production industry? 

I studied clothing and textile design at the Academy of Design in Montreal. I worked for a private label company and did digital flat illustrations of garments that were sent to the offshore production companies to produce. This was not where I saw myself building a career, but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do.

I met someone at the Fringe Festival who worked in film, and they directed me to FTM. I began my film journey as an FTM intern in the costume department in 2004 on the show “Population 436”.

What area of the film industry do you work in now and why? 

I have spent my 20-year career working through all the different positions of the Costume Department. Most recently I’ve transitioned to the role of HOD – Costume Designer.

Kyle Irving and Lesley Oswald gave me my first opportunity as HOD in 2019 on the third season of Burden of Truth. They were an incredible support and I value them both as mentors.

What has been a substantial change in the industry since you started?

Technologies like smart phones, iPads, laptops, costume softwares. Heated Products like thermals, socks and accessories. Many local production companies have been storing stock from show to show, which helps to cut down on some of our consumption footprint.

If you could give yourself advice today to yourself in the past, what would it be?

Drink more water! Don’t overload yourself with projects, carving out time for rest is really important.

What is advice you would give to someone starting off in the media production industry?

Drink more water! Meet with a financial planner, you’ll thank yourself later.

Why is learning and training important?

As technology is constantly changing, so is our industry. Staying up to date with new products and programs is ongoing,  and sharing that knowledge with others helps the industry grow and helps us to deliver a more professional project/product. Often these new systems help create a safer work environment as well.

What are some of the films, TV series or even books that have inspired you? How about anything new you’ve been into?

I have a soft spot for anything shot in black and white. B&W characters built using shape, tone and texture are fascinating to me. Most recently, I loved Kenneth Branagh’s “Belfast” set in 1969. 

Is there someone within the film industry you would like to work with and why?

I think learning from Sandy Powell who is a British Costume Designer would be an amazing opportunity.

Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?

Still learning!

FTM is a non-for-profit charity and member of the Province of Manitoba’s sector council program (through the Department of Economic Development and Jobs). FTM conducts workforce development and training to build a highly skilled and adaptable film industry to support the activities of Manitoba production companies. FTM collaborates with members of the film and television industry to identify the training needs within the community.