From Their Minds To the Page To the Big Screen
A Visual Look at Ruth E. Carter and Hannah Beachler Design Process
If you’re coming from my interview post with Ruth and Hannah, you read about how they created Wakanda. And if you’re starting here first be sure to read my interview post with these ladies about their roles in bringing Black Panther to life. If you’ve seen the film you’re probably running around wondering how do you get to Wakanda. While you can’t actually travel to Wakanda you can see some of the beautiful places in Africa Hannah Beachler used as inspiration for the fictional country.
When we first see Wakanda, it’s breathtaking. The scale of it is just amazing. Well, Hannah used real-life locations in parts of South Africa as a guide.
This looks like the mountain where we first see Wakanda when Okeyo, T’Challa, and Nakia return home to prepare the young king for this ceremony of ascending the throne.
These photos of Pearl Rock South Africa and Capetown reminded me of one of the teaser posters we had seen about the film. It’s really cool to look at these photos of Hannah on location and see how she transported them into Wakanda.
When you look at the film you can see how Hannah was able to move her ideas along and bring them to life for us to enjoy the movie.
Hannah B: I did reach into Nigeria, Lagos. Did a lot of research in Nairobi and the bigger cities around — and Kenya and in South Africa, Joburg, Cape Town just for some of the architecture. And I looked at lotta older architecture. So, that’s really where my process started really big. Where are we? And then it was like what is the typography of the land? Next step is where does each tribe live on that land and why? And what is each tribe’s history. So then I go down and dot through each tribes’ history, and like this is why they live here. There is a story and a reason behind every single thing you see on that screen coming from me and coming from Ruth.
Ruth E. Carter is responsible for all the beautiful costumes we saw on the screen. I was able to see a few of them at D23 Expo 2017, and I shared them on the blog. You can check out some of her designs and how they ended up on the screen.
You can see the design she had created for King T’Challa and how it ended up on the screen. It looks very close to the original design.
There were some differences in the final costumer and look for Zuri but they still stuck with the original purple color that symbolizes royalty.
When you see the film you will also see costumes that are almost identical to these designs from Ruth E. Carter.
Although her hair is different we see Nakia escorting King T’Challa in this green gown. The design is beautiful and the actual dress was just as stunning. We asked Ruth about her favorite costume and she said it was hard to pick one since she had a lot of favorites but she ended up picking the one Angela Bassett wears when we first see her in the movie.
Ruth E. Carter:You know, I had a lotta favorites in there. Lots of favorites. So I’m gonna say one of my favorites is when you first see Angela Bassett. That felt very royal and very queenly. And you knew she was the Queen of Wakanda. I would say that one.
Hannah B: And I know we’re pressed for time but I do have to say this. So, like everybody was faintin’ over like Ruth’s costumes every day. My Supervising Art Director, Allen Hook, he is this like six-five man who is a football player. He’s like in this forties. He has a couple daughters. He’s from South Carolina.
And he comes up to me after he sees that outfit, right. He comes up to me and he goes I’m just tellin’ ya, like I’m really moved right now by Angela Bassett’s outfit. He’s like I think I’m gonna get some tears in my eyes. And he started getting red eye like he was gonna cry. He was like I have never in my life see anything so beautiful. Ever in my life. And he said it like ten times.
Ruth recalled the story where Allen was trying to talk to her about Angela’s costume, stating she was so focused on stopping the crew from putting a blanket over the costume because it was cold outside.
Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.
BLACK PANTHER is now playing in theatres everywhere!