Wardrobe Tips for Looking Your Best on Camera

Fine stripes and similar patterns filmed by a video camera can cause a “moire pattern”

Excerpt from Chapter 10, Corporate Video Production, Focal Press, (c) 2011 Stuart Sweetow

Wardrobe

Some colors and patterns work better for on-camera reproduction than others.  Solid white may be difficult to reproduce and it may contrast with someone with a dark complexion.  Herringbone and tight stripes may cause shimmering when played on some monitors.  It is a good idea for on-camera talent to bring at least one alternate wardrobe so the director has some choices.

The background and the set colors also play a role in wardrobe choices.  If you are going to use a green screen, the talent should not wear anything green – even an accent pin or earrings.  If the set is pure black and the talent wears all black, it could require that the gaffer or lighting technician provide additional illumination to show the clothing texture.

Some fabric textures should be avoided.  Satin can appear too shiny for the camera.  Chiffon may be too sheer and revealing under a bright light.  Any metallic-looking fabrics or those with beads or sequins should be avoided.  Natural fabrics such as silk, cotton, and wool as well as fabric blends make good wardrobe choices.

Clothing should fit properly.  A suit jacket with sleeves too long could make a man look like a boy in a man’s suit.  Pant legs should be long enough and socks high enough that a man’s legs are not exposed when he sits.

On-camera presenters should be instructed that they will be wearing a clip-on microphone; they may need a collar to attach it to.  If they will be standing, they should have a waistband or a belt to attach the transmitter pack.  A collarless dress with no waistband creates a nightmare for the sound technician.

(Please avoid wearing “Transition” eyeglasses that change from clear to dark. Under video lights, they can get so dark that we can’t see your eyes.)

From Corporate Video Production, published by Focal Press (c) Stuart Sweetow, 2011 http://www.focalpress.com/books/film_and_video/corporate_video_production.aspx

For expert advice on wardrobe and styles talk with Michelle Moquin http://avconsultants.com/video-samples/michelle-mouquin-specialist-in-styles-welcome-video

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