Character Costumes

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COSMOS MOVIE PRODUCTION BLOG 21:
CHARACTER COSTUMES


“What a costume designer does is a cross between magic and camouflage. We create the illusion of changing the actors into what
they are not. “ — Edith Head

Costume Design, as the name suggests, is the creation of costume or clothing for a character in film, tv or theatre. The development of this overall appearance contributes heavily to the believability of the world and its population in a particular story.

Costume styles vary significantly depending on gender, nationality, geography, class, period, economics, religion, season and even character backstory. Historical dramas obviously rely heavily on believable and accurate character costume. Science fiction obviously accesses artistic license to the same effect.

Costume design is so impactful on the filmmaking process, that sometimes iconic movie characters are inseparable from their iconic costume. A leather jacket and fedora can only belong to one man… and if adventure had a name… it must be Indiana Jones! 

But remaining faithful to the old movie maxim, why tell, when you can show…? here is a collection of insightful vignette videos all about the costume design process and its value to the production, the actors and the audience. Enjoy.

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Creating the ‘Astro-Nuts’ Baseball Caps

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COSMOS MOVIE PRODUCTION BLOG 14:
CREATING THE ‘ASTRO-NUTS’ BASEBALL CAPS


Due to budgetary limitations the filmmaking Art Departments, such as Costume Design, are often overlooked by independent filmmakers — when money is tight the camera becomes top priority and every other department seems to cascade beneath in a perceived order of importance.

'Astro-Nut' Photoshopped Concept

‘Astro-Nut’ Photoshopped Concept

But dressing your characters in a costume that reflects their personality and profession will not only dramatically increase the production value of your movie, but more importantly help your audience believe in your story.

As filmmakers we MUST strive for a high level of production value across ALL creative departments — there’s no point shooting our films in stunning 4k resolution if the costumes look like an after thought! We may get a few excited comments on the ‘dynamic range’ and ‘digital noise’, but no one will believe in our characters.

For proof if proof were needed, here’s Baz Luhrmanns excellent podcast on Costume Design for his epic AUSTRALIA.

Costume Design is fundamentally the expression of character through clothes, but it can be much more than that. Everything we learn from costume, we find out about the life of the character and the world that they lived in.


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