A Look at the Photo Research Behind Robert Eggers’ ‘The Lighthouse’

Whether it’s sketching, concept art, photographs or pulling from magazines of the time period, a look book helps define the visualization of the characters, from colors to textures to shapes. For “The Lighthouse” Director Robert Eggers researched the period extensively,  collected photos and worked on adding notes for the film.

The Lighthouse” is set in New England in the 1890s. Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson star as the two lighthouse keepers isolated on a lonely island as the two, trapped by stormy weather, descend into madness and hallucinations.

Based on the photos, costume designer Linda Muir was able to create costumes based on the collaboration process and this look book that Eggers created.

Dafoe’s character, for one, had to have a maritime look and feel. Muir not only thought about the type of buttons on his jacket, but how many there should be, and where those buttons should be placed on his outfits. His look was more worn and rugged.

Muir couldn’t find original oilskins for costumes, so she made those with her team, cutting everything from the hats, coats and overalls. Once they were cut, she then waxed them by hand and left them to dry in the sun to create the textures and oilskins.

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Similarly, the heavy-knit sweaters worn in the 1890s with “rollnecks” were hand-knitted. Modernization and warmer weather meant heavy-knit sweaters were harder to find, so Muir had those made. For the heavy-knit wool socks that the keepers wore, Muir was able to source them from Ireland.

Eggers’ “The Lighthouse” full digital lookbook will be on  iTunes 12/20 to coincide with the film’s digital release, but you can see select pages below:


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the lighthouse



the lighthouse


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