The elements of mise-en-scène (or "everything in the frame that makes up the frame") play a pivotal role in the storytelling process, from the size of your shots to the way you dress the set, and one such element you should never ignore or leave to chance is costume design. The way you dress your characters is just as important as how you light your scene or direct your actors, but this skill is often quite underdeveloped (or not developed at all) in novice filmmakers. If you want to take your costume game to the next level, the team over at The Film Look gives you a few pointers on how to get started in the video below.
Choose costumes that communicate
Costumes speak volumes. They can tell audiences where and when something is taking place, who your character is, what's going on in a scene, and what is going on in the story. Costumes give your characters their persona and your story visual depth, so it's not enough to have your actors wear the clothes they came to set with. Take some time to develop the costumes of each character and see how you can communicate story elements with your choices.
Make them pop
Another thing you'll want to consider when designing costumes is color, not just of the clothes you'll be using, but of the set(s) they'll be appearing in. You'll want to choose materials that bring your actors out from the background, rather than blend them into it. In other words, if you're shooting against a brick wall, it wouldn't be wise to dress your actors in red; perhaps blue or a vibrant yellow would work better.
Keep styles consistent
In real life, we all wear costumes, don't we? I mean, I have had the same exact style since middle school, so if someone were to draw a caricature of me, I'd be dressed in a black T-shirt, skinny jeans, black tennis shoes, and a black beanie. (If I don't wear that damn beanie, my child doesn't even recognize me.) Keep that in mind if you're designing several different costumes for a single character. Each of them will have their own unique style and any deviation from it will most likely be obvious and confusing.
What are some other costume design tips? Let us know down below in the comments.
Source: The Film Look