Whether you’re making a short film or recording a live event, there are a lot of elements involved in pre-production. It’s great when you have the bandwidth to work with a real team for each requirement, but it’s okay if you’re handling some aspects on your own, as long as you’re exhaustive in your preparation.
Some pre-production needs are obvious. You need the camera equipment to record, you need lighting so everyone can easily be seen, you need talent, and you need a plan of the shots you’re setting up, so you’re not just winging it on the day. In the midst of thinking about how everything will be recorded, you may have forgotten about a very important part of the pre-production — wardrobe. Here are a few reasons why you should incorporate a wardrobe into your pre-production before you start shooting.
Planning ahead prevents chaos on the day.
Your talent’s going to be very aware of their appearance since they’re going to be recorded and put in the public eye. You may be thinking much more “big picture,” but the people you need to keep happy will be focused more on the small details. If you want their best performance, you need to give them the tools they require to feel confident.
Even if you’re not specifically working with actors, this can be a point of contention. For example, if you work at a university and there’s a live event that’s being recorded for your students, parents, and faculty, you’re going to need to approve everyone’s wardrobe in advance. What if someone shows up in something that’s considered less than appropriate for the event? What if you’re shooting on a green or blue screen, and someone shows up in the same colored shirt? It’ll make you and your institution look unprofessional if your student body is Photoshopping different shirts on the president of the university, as they did to Queen Elizabeth II when she wore an unfortunately colored dress.
If you’re worried about handling all of the preproduction work, or just want to make sure you get everything right, consider hiring live stream production services from a professional company. Whatever your event is, they’re going to know all the ropes and have the equipment to make it happen. That’ll free up your brain to think about smaller, but critical, details like a wardrobe.
Outfitting your people in quality clothes improves video quality.
Do you know how they say the camera adds ten pounds? The camera can also pick up on the quality of the clothes your actor or speaker is wearing. Anything that’s pilled will seem magnified. Anything that’s sheer could end up being embarrassing once lights hit the fabric. If you’re having someone bring their own clothes for a shoot, make sure you encourage them to bring options. That being said, it’s almost safer to just get their measurements and supply them with what they’ll be wearing.
When you’re shopping, find high-quality women’s clothing stores to cloth the women who will be in front of the camera. When you’re buying something, consider how it will appear on camera. Patterns that look great in person may end up being very distracting once your camera is rolling. That’s why actors and actresses often screen test in solid-colored clothing. That way everyone will be looking at the performer or presenter, instead of the zebra stripes on their shirt. The same rules apply to men’s clothing. Find something that’s well-tailored. Stores always have sales, so you won’t break the bank.
It’s easy to forget about wardrobe because the best productions incorporate it seamlessly into the project. Wardrobe only becomes invisible when it has been done properly. When it compliments the actor and speaker and bolsters the story you’re creating. Whatever project you’re in pre-production for, remember to pay attention to what people wear.