Slideshow shadow

From the Sky – Short Film

May 25, 2013 in Costume / Fashion Design, Production Design by Kristen Bonnalie

A poverty-stricken father and son struggle to survive in a region of the Middle East frequently targeted by unmanned aerial strikes.  From the Sky is a narrative short film about living under drones, from writer/director Ian Ebright and producer Jessica Grant.

Set for release: Fall 2013


‘From the Sky’ Official Trailer from Ian Ebright on Vimeo.

Character development is the most essential part of a film. The characters inform everything from colors, textures, props, set and script. Research and development was key in ensuring authenticity to the characters, the story and the set. Though the father and son are nomadic goat herders, we wanted a small, transportable structure to symbolize family and stability. The campfire is also a nod to how the father loves and cares for his son. They don’t have much, but they take great care with the things they do have. Below are sketches of the campsite and tent.


Image from Set – Hakeem and the tent. Photo by Tony Tibbetts

Samir, Abbas & Dhiya sitting around the campfire. Photo by Tony Tibbetts.

In addition to Production Design, I was also the Costume Designer. For me, the combination of these two roles is a welcome task.

The costumes were a great challenge in color, texture and cut. We decided that the father (Hakeem) should carry the same visual weight as the main traveler (Dhiya). Hakeem (Maz Siam) is dressed in tranquil blues and greys while Dhiya (Steven Soro) wears energetic red/browns and oranges. Both encompass opposite ends of the spectrum.

Dhiya & Hakeem face off. Photo by Tony Tibbetts.


Abbas (Mohamad Tamimi) is Hakeem’s son. It was important to show the connection to his father and their traditions while hinting at the struggle within himself and longing for a different way. For that reason, we chose some of the neutral tones of the landscape combined with the blues of his father and a bit of brown from Dhiya.

Abbas. Photo by Tony Tibbetts.

Samir (Georges Chalhoub) is the wildcard character, we never really hint at where he may be from and we are never quite sure how strong his allegiances are. He plays an important role, but we wanted his character to blend into the story as well the environment. He wears all neutral tones with just a touch of black.

Samir. Photo by Kristen Bonnalie.

Additional Production Stills (Photos by Tony Tibbetts):

The Only Time We Have – Short Film

April 26, 2013 in Production Design by Kristen Bonnalie

Seattle International Film Festival – Fly Filmmaking Challenge 2013 – Premier dates: May 27th, 2013 & June 5th, 2013
Inspired by works of art created by one of the 2012 Artist Trust Fellows, this Fly Filmmaker (Amy Enser) rose to the challenge with an original film that was shot in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle.
Studio 216 article regarding the film premier
SIFF page for film
KEXP9 – Evening with the Filmmakers

What does it mean to be the last in a lineage? The Only Time We Have explores the day in a life of an elderly man who reflects back on a sliver of time that changes the course of his life forever.

Writer/Director: Amy Enser
1st AD: Bryan Campbell
Producers: Sarah MacAaron & Sarah Crowe
Director of Photography: Ty Migota
Production Designer: Kristen Bonnalie
Costume Designer: Kimberlee Iblings
Hair & Makeup: Lindsey Watkins
Gaffer: Kevin Cook

Sheldon Remains – Short Film

March 29, 2013 in Art Direction, Costume / Fashion Design by Kristen Bonnalie

Sheldon Remains is a USC Graduate Thesis film from Director/Writer Corbin Frost.

“Sheldon Remains is a delightfully desperate film about the late coming-of-age of a logger and mama’s boy. Stuck under the thumb of his over-bearing mother, Sheldon Barrett spends his days in the woods and his nights self-medicating and accompanying her on dates.”

Shot in LA and Forks, WA, I was brought on as the Washington state Art Director and Costumer.

One of the scenes calls for Sheldon to make boats during his walk in the woods. I created the boats using twigs and vines.

The Girls – Transfer Station – Music Video

February 19, 2013 in Costume / Fashion Design, Production Design by Kristen Bonnalie

Mannequins + mini-blinds + back-lighting = a great music video with a nod to Blade Runner.

The Girls – Transfer Station (official music video) from Justin Foia on Vimeo.

Director: Justin Foia
DP: Ty Migota
Production Designer/Costumer: Kristen Bonnalie
AC: Nicholas Davis
PA: Travis Smith

More Images:

Prom Queen – This Town Ain’t Big Enough – Music Video

February 15, 2013 in Art Direction, Costume / Fashion Design by Kristen Bonnalie

How much fun would it be to make a retro music video à la Venus in Furs meets Faster, Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!? Well, that is how much fun it was to be a part of Prom Queen’s This Town Ain’t Big Enough video shoot. She has a look that is all her own, unique lyrics combined with a voice that is reminiscent of Nancy Sinatra or Loretta Lynn.

Sourcing set dressing, props and costumes as well as painting an acoustic guitar fit for a Prom Queen was as delightful as working with the artist herself.

Director: Nik Perleros
DP: Ty Migota
Art Director/Costume Designer: Kristen Bonnalie
AC: Nicholas Davis
Producer: Jessica Grant
Art Department Assistant: Jade Justad
Filmed at Seven Oaks in Yelm, WA

And here are some production stills (Photos by Tony Tibbits)

Explorations in Catharsis – Return To Sender – Mixed Media

February 6, 2013 in Blog by Kristen Bonnalie

What do you do with the returned remnants of a former life? You could burn them. Throw them away. Place them in the recycling bin. Or you can make something new. The later is my choice and this is a project that I have been working out in my mind for a few years. I had some previously misused canvases and so, I finally am getting to work on this.

The finished piece will be comprised of 4 canvases (2 square and 2 rectangular) and measure 42 x 48 inches

Images 1 & 2: Red and green dye baths with submerged pages

Image 3: The dyed and torn pages, set out to dry on my sink

Image 4: Piles of dyed and torn paper with materials to be used

Image 5: One of the square canvases being prepped

Image 6: One of the rectangular canvases with first layer of “foliage”

Images 6 & 7: Closeup of “foliage”

Upcycle – Rose – Mixed Media

February 5, 2013 in Blog by Kristen Bonnalie

Whether you have forgotten to bring your shopping bags or you just don’t have any – most people have been handed those plastic single-use bags. I’ve been holding on to mine for years – never knowing what to do with them. Sometimes they are used as wrapping or padding when we move. Mostly, they just sit.

I was inspired one day to try making something beautiful and reusable out of them. Flowers are what came to mind and the results were surprising. I wear them as a pin to hold a scarf together or as a decoration in my hair.

Full Freddy’s – Upcycle Rose

Fred Meyer Rose


Ross Shopping Bag – Upcycled Rose

The Pearl – Proof of Concept – Short Film

December 18, 2012 in Costume / Fashion Design by Kristen Bonnalie

In collaboration with writer/director Liz Vice, I embarked on the design of two characters for her Proof of Concept fundraising video.


The Princess was inspired by the ocean. At this point she is an empty shell of a being and her dress is symbolic of that. The fabrics (up-cycled cottons and cheesecloth) are hand-dyed and painted and embellished with hand beading and interwoven satin threads and organza ribbon. The foundation of the dress is a damaged prom dress – though no part of it is visible, it serves as a great canvas on which all the materials are layered.


More Images:

Summer – Senior Prom – Fashion Design

December 3, 2012 in Clothing Design, Costume / Fashion Design by Kristen Bonnalie

“Red Carpet” was the theme for my step-daughter’s senior prom. Together, we designed a beautiful high waist, column gown fit for…well, the red carpet. Wine red satin and chiffon with beaded lace appliques on a ruched bodice. Could not for the life of me get my rolled hem foot to work, so I did a rather time-consuming and meticulous baby hem on all the fabric layers – so worth it! The biggest challenge…keeping my cats away from the fabric.

Big Box – Commercial

November 21, 2012 in Costume / Fashion Design by Kristen Bonnalie

What do you do when you want to show how a customer service-oriented, local retailer measures up to a big box corporate competitor? You simply put them side-by-side and let them do the talking. Now, how exactly do you show that big box store without pointing fingers? You put him in a big box! This is a custom costume created for Dunn Lumber’s new commercial campaign.

Materials: Coroplast,Vinyl Wrap, Laser Cut Vinyl Lettering, Paper Packing Tape

Client: Dunn Lumber
Agency: BMH Marketing
Production Company: Blue Plate Digital
Costume Designer: Kristen Bonnalie

Photo by Doug Cooper