(L-R) Ana Coto as Sarah Morris and Olivia Cooke as Laine Morris in “Ouija.” Credit: Matt Kennedy / Universal Pictures.


October 31, 2014

A lot of successful movies originate on the toy shelves these days. Now producer Michael Bay has brought forth the spooky “Ouija,” based on the Hasbro board game that aims to summon spirits.

First-time director Stiles White said his intent was to create a scary movie that shows what can happen if you play with a Ouija board and don’t follow the rules. The story also shows the consequences–for better or worse–of making a connection to “the other side.”

“Ouija” stars Olivia Cooke as Laine Morris, Ana Coto as younger sister Sarah Morris, and Daren Kagasoff as Trevor. The high schoolers try to find out why their friend met a terrible fate after she recorded herself using an ancient Ouija board.

For the Morris sisters, “Ouija” Costume Designer Mary Jane Fort balanced timeless teen looks with contemporary clothing elements. Each character’s costumes show how the girls are dealing with life after their mother has died.

“I was trying to emphasize how distinct they are. Sarah Morris is essentially a juvenile delinquent younger sister to her very proper, organized older sister. Sarah has been left alone to cope, and she is going out with someone older than she is. I wanted to show how tough she is,” Fort said.

The movie’s estimated $5 million budget meant that Fort had to shop smart. For a key element of Sarah’s wardrobe, she scoured typical teen mall stores to find the right piece for the petite actress–a pleather motorcycle jacket that cost about $24.

“That jacket is a very inexpensive jacket that we embellished with studs and zippers and all the bells and whistles,” Fort said. “With the budget challenges, it was easier to find something that fit her well that I could embellish, rather than trying to find a great jacket we could afford and make it fit. I went for the fit.”

Fort stocked up on multiples–and not just for the stunt doubles. “It was so cheap, we figured it would fall apart,” Fort said.

For older sister Laine, Fort retained the teenage innocence but added a bit of subtle armor–a denim jacket.

“Laine is going off to college. She’s studious and very Type A and does everything right,” Fort said. She’s also the stronger person of the two sisters.

“Olivia Cooke is just a wisp of a girl, so I needed to work on giving her a structure, which is why she wears a denim jacket a lot and kind of tough boots.”

Fort avoided clothes that might seem too suggestive.

“The Ouija board is an old-fashioned game, and the director and writer wanted an old-fashioned ghost story, but with a contemporary feel to it. So we didn’t push the costumes too far,” Fort said.

Given the low budget and short timeline, Fort had to summon her own kind of spirits to create the looks for the six-week shoot, set mostly in South Pasadena.

“It was made for not much money, shot in record time and made piles of money,” Fort said. “But it was fun.”

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