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Wardrobe Character Analysis for Headshots and Reels

by TheHeadshotAssistants
March 4, 2016 12:19AM

Wardrobe Character Analysis for Headshots and Reels

When you take headshots or create a reel, it is like a first date and an interview. You want to make a good impression, show off your talent, seem pleasant, and be professional. Your clothing, tone of voice, and gender all affect how you are perceived by the people viewing it. 

For headshots, you want to be the highlight of your shot so use a solid color background when possible. Wear colors that highlight your skin tone; deep jewel tones and black are best for most people. Vary the color for the outfits, mixing different pieces. Have a few different outfits to show the different transitions of character; you should have a work look, a day look, and a night look. Think of what you see a character wear on TV, for instance 30 Rock: at work you see Liz in jeans and a blazer, at home in sweats, and out on the town in a dress with simplistic accessories. Characters are always in different environments, so show yourself that way. For reels, make a selection of several pieces of work to edit in; show the many sides of your talent. Background and clothing should be similar to what is listed for headshots if you are recording a few pieces of yourself. Wardrobe is key to character development, but you don't need to use props or gimmicks. Make sure to work the camera to your best advantage and to stay in frame; the camera should be eye level and straight on. 

There are only a few basic character types that everything is a variation off of, these can be boiled down to comedic and dramatic. Let's look at the medical doctor scenario that is so popular currently. There are shows like Grey's Anatomy, where the doctors are witty but the tone is very serious, and The Mindy Project, where there is still witty dialogue, but the tone is much lighter. A doctor on Grey's will wear more sombre or traditional colors, where one on Mindy will wear more vibrant colors, and a show like Scrubs or ER you rarely see them out of the hospital scrubs. Both may ask for dramatic moments, but timing will be much different for each. Study shows in the same setting but different genres, and watch for the differences. Take note and put that away for future auditions.

Be yourself in headshots and reels, no one is more genuine or pleasant to be around than when they are playing themself.

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