Carlos Maciá has worked as costume assistant, model maker and prop buyer on productions including, Game of Thrones, Dracula Untold, The Alienist, Millie Inbetween, Dani’s Castle, The Secret and The Lodge. I spoke with Carlos about his career in the industry and his experience working on Game of Thrones.
Did you always think you would go into a career in film/TV?
I've always had an interest in film/TV. I was lucky to have a teacher in primary school who managed to teach us filmmaking basics when we were 10. I shot my first short film when I was 17 and since then I got hooked. I studied Theatre and Media Arts Teaching and then a Masters in Film. Right after that I managed to get my first job in the industry. And it was a Hollywood movie from Universal Pictures. A dream come true.
Is there anyone in the industry who has really inspired you?
There are lots of people I've worked with that have inspired me. In every job I could easily point out at least 3 or 4 people who have taught me so much. From the top of my head I think of Kevin and Nicola, who were my bosses in several of the children's shows I worked in. They seemed to have the right balance between hard work and a fun environment at work. With them I learnt lots, but mainly that you can be highly professional and hard-working and still nice and human (it hasn't always been the case in other jobs...).
You worked as costume assistant and junior crowd assistant on Game of Thrones. How did this come about?
After my first job in Costumes for Universal (Dracula Untold) all I was called for were jobs in the Arts Department (Props Buyer), mainly for children's shows. Not complaining. It was a far more relaxed and balanced job. But then most of my colleagues in costumes from Dracula were working on Game of Thrones. So it was a question of time that they'd call me to give a hand. First a few weeks in Season 5. Then I had my usual few weeks for the busier episodes in seasons 6 and 7. Season 8 was the first time I worked on the whole season.
What is the most challenging, and also most enjoyable aspect of your work?
Costumes is a very intense part of the industry. It's not only the long hours, with all the prep, dressing/undressing everyone, etc... but when you're on set you need to be completely focused all the time to make sure no one is flashing a colourful piece of clothing that shouldn't be there, etc... I'd say the most challenging is the long hours, and standing on your feet the whole time, sometimes under harsh weather conditions. The most enjoyable, I'd say meeting lots of new people almost every day and working with some really nice people, many of whom I call friends now.
You worked as a model maker on The Alienist. Can you tell me more about this?
It was a very brief and unexpected affair: I was moving to Dublin after years living/working in Belfast. I got a chance to do some work experience with Mark Maher in his studio. They were making some props/models for The Alienist and I spent a few weeks giving a hand and learning lots.
Can you tell me about any projects you’re currently working on?
I've moved back to Spain and redirected my career to teaching (which is technically what I'm trained to do). I'm also working in theatre. I've directed a play that we're touring with now (well... pre- COVID-19) and I was supposed to premiere a new play a few weeks ago, but it has been postponed now until January next year. So I'm not working at the moment in any movies/shows. I have a friend who is directing his first full feature in September and I might give him a hand. Not sure yet.
If you could work in the costume department on any film in history, what would it be?
Hard to choose just one. There are the movies I'd have loved to work on because I love the movies, and the ones that I love the costumes on them. I was lucky to work with Ngila Dickson (in Dracula Untold) who won the Oscar for Return of the King (in the Lord of The Rings trilogy). I would have loved to work in any of those films.