Filmmaking 101: Developing characters

Filmmaking 101: Developing characters

Welcome to Brading images. We are a Photography and Videography studio in Manchester, Salford, Irlam. We primarily do music videos and family photoshoots in the studio. We particularly enjoying doing: Newborn photoshoots, one year old photoshoots, toddler photoshoots, kids photoshoots, fairy photoshoots, mother daughter photoshoots, maternity photoshoots and siblings photoshoots, here, in manchester!

Outside the studio, we run a film club called The Stage and Screen Academy, where we teach filmmaking 101.

So once you’ve worked out how many characters you have, you should make a list of them.

You need to give them all names and then describe them. 

How old are they? Remember. This isn’t theatre. A 10 year old can not play a 60 year old, it will be obvious that it looks wrong. The age needs to match the people you have available as actors. If all your actors are between 10 and 16, then your characters need to be between 10 and 16.

What do they look like? Again, remember what actor you have available. Don’t imagine an alien character with 3 heads as you only have human beings to work with, and you do not have the ability to use special effects. So when describing them, are they perhaps tall? Or muscly? 

What do they wear? Have you got those sort of costumes? What they wear should reflect their personality. A good student might take care of their school uniform for example.

What’s their personality like? Are they brave? Anxious? Intelligent? Goofy? What do they like?

Who are they friends with in the scenes? Who are their enemies? This will be important, when your character reacts to what other characters are doing and saying.

What’s their back story? Maybe they have been bullied in the past, and so will react a certain way because of it?

All of these descriptions will help your actors give a more realistic performance and will strengthen your script.

So let’s recap. You should come up with a detailed description of your characters, but you must keep in mind what possible actors you have available, and be realistic.

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