University of Louisville Magazine

SUMMER 2017

The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.

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3 6 | L O U I S V I L L E . E D U "It's about being persistent, but it's also about luck. 'La La Land' was the result of me putting my portfolio out there, and it just happened to be at the correct time." "She came to us in a really good place; her advantage was that she was a double major," Goldentul said. "She knew hu- man body proportions. She was trained in studio art." "Her drive also made her stand out," Shepherd added. "Jessi was constantly redoing her work to make it better." Her dedication resulted in a dual degree with both a bachelor of science, as well as a bachelor in fine arts. Eichberger next attended the Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland to pursue her master's after being awarded a Mary Churchill Humphrey Scholarship. "The fact that I was trained in two different fields helped me get accepted into the Edinburgh College of Art," Eichberger said. "Also, every designer to whom I have shown my resume felt my degrees gave me the po- tential to be a more well-rounded costumer and person, because I developed skills in multiple areas at UofL." Shepherd, her former mentor, said it's more than just technical skill that makes Eichberger a success. Her per- sonality is what got her through any obstacles in her way. "It takes an incredible amount of courage and self- confidence to accomplish what Jessi did in the amount of time that she did it," Shepherd said. LANDING IN LA LA LAND After receiving her MFA, Eichberger worked as a cos- tume shop assistant at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Fair and then faced a big decision — moving to either Los Angeles or New York City. Thanks to advice from well-known costume designer Eduardo Castro, who works on the ABC fairytale show "Once Upon a Time," she took a leap of faith and moved to L.A. "I made the move. It was a risk," she said. "I sent out emails and would literally drive house to house and drop off my portfolio in designers' mailboxes, just hoping to get a call back." At one house, Eichberger left a portfolio for Mary Zophres, a longtime and well-respected designer in Hol- lywood who created costumes for movies including "O Brother Where Art Thou," "The Big Lebowski" and "Iron Man 2." Another portfolio went to Dan Lester, the assis- tant costume designer for the third film in the Divergent series, who had an opening for a production assistant. Eichberger began working with Lester on "Allegiant." Later that year, Eichberger received an email from Zophres, who asked her to interview for a production as- sistant position for a new movie. The project was "La La Land." Eichberger was thrilled to get the email, let alone the position. It was only her second job since moving to L.A. "It's about being persistent, but it's also about luck," Eichberger said. " 'La La Land' was the result of me putting my portfolio out there, and it just happened to be at the correct time." Zophres' team worked closely together to create the costumes, and Eichberger gained invaluable experience by listening to how Zophres guided her crew, conducted fit- tings and exchanged ideas with director, Damien Chazelle. "As someone new to the industry, I think this experi- ence was instrumental to my understanding of how a film is created. There's something magical about seeing distinct departments creating these separate elements that fit together seamlessly when the cameras start to roll," she said. "On any given day I could see Ryan Gosling and A costume designed by Eichberger as part of her master's thesis at Edinburgh College of Art. Photo provided by Jessi Eichberger

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