Costume Fittings and Make Up Tests

Getting actor costumes and hair right is an important part of making a production look professional.

When it comes to costume fittings and make-up tests, the creative elements of the two departments are developed in coordination with the director. It is based on a costume and make-up discussion in which the director and the departments first discuss the look and tone of the film and then all the individual roles. The further the casting of the actors has progressed at this time, the more concretely this occurs. Costume and make-up rehearsals usually take place at the production site.

The first costume rehearsals typically take place between the costume department and actors without the director being present. The costume designer documents his work with photos, which he then discusses with the director. The form in which these first rehearsals take place depends on the demands of the script. Often, they take place in the costume rooms of a production office. Alternatively, costume designers and actors can also arrange a costume collection, where costume parts are tried on and custom-ordered, just like visiting a tailor. In contemporary productions, it is also quite common for costume designers and actors to go shopping together.

As long as the make-up department does not have to make time-consuming wigs, hairpieces or beard pieces, it starts work just before shooting. Make-up tests then take place together with costume decisions. In this context, the make-up artists try out different make-up and hairstyles and let the director decide what works and what doesn't. Doing both tests in parallel allows the director to judge one or more roles together in relation to costume and make up, and to combine them as a function of each other. The costume and make-up artists can then work together to provide the elements each other needs. A photo of each actor in full costume and make-up is presented to the director for approval before their first day of shooting. Camera tests will also take place prior to shooting to ensure that the costumes and make up look appropriate on screen.