Costume Research

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Costume Research:

Costume Research Supreme Productions

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For costume, within the mise en scéne , jogging bottoms and hoodies are ideal for the gang members as they introduce the stereotypical youth and present how society associates these types of clothes with people who cause trouble and belong to gangs. The hoodies will reinforce the idea that these youths are troublemakers and once again express the stereotype that criminals and gangs often wear hoods over their heads in order to appear as threatening and dangerous. In addition, jogging bottoms and hoodies will present the gang members less as individuals and more as a group, relating to how society doesn’t acknowledge youths as individuals but as groups of trouble makers. These costumes will also be significant as they present the gang as more threatening and dangerous, therefore allowing the viewer to recognise how they are well and truly negative characters. Black tracksuits would be especially ideal as the colour black once again demonstrates the negativity of the gang and how they are dangerous. A black bomber jacket would also be ideal for either the gang members or even Tyler’s character’s boss, the Detective. This is because the jacket creates a sense of class while also presenting a casual effect to emphasise the high stature of the Detective as well as reinforcing the negativity and danger surrounding the undercover operation. Trainers would also be an ideal costume feature as they are usually worn by youths and indicate how the young gang members are often on the move and how they rarely dress smartly.

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In addition, a suit is also another possible costume within the mise en scène as it would, potentially, be an ideal outfit for a police officer, or more specifically , a Detective. This would be an ideal outfit for a Detective as it would create a sense of authority and would express the power and stature of the police force as a whole. Despite this, it might not be ideal as our film concerns an undercover operation within a gang, therefore it is likely that hoodies and joggers and other pieces of casual clothing will be used more often. A baseball cap would also be an ideal feature of costume as it is a feature that society usually associates with youths, and something that is stereotypically believed to be worn by trouble makers. It would also create a sense of secrecy which is something that is a key concept in our film; the hat would slightly cover the head and face of the gang members, therefore hiding their identities slightly and presenting them less as individuals and more as one- something that our modern day society does. Similarly, a balaclava would also be a suitable and potential feature of costume as it, like the baseball cap, would create a sense of secrecy as it would cover the face of the gang members. It would, too, present them less as individuals and would make the criminals appear as more intimidating and dangerous, however, there is the negative that the use of a balaclava may present the gang as cowards due to their refusal to show their faces to the world, which goes against our preference for the gang to be seen as brave and proud.

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Potentially, we will include the wife of Tyler’s character in our production, therefore we believed that a white dressing gown would be an ideal costume feature due to how the colour white would connote the innocence of the wife and her purity, which will make any harm to her seem more shocking. In addition, a white shirt would also be ideal or any females characters we choose to include in our production. This is because it will also present the innocence of the women wearing it as well as how she isn’t prepared to defend herself if faced with danger. Slippers would also be ideal for any female character we include as they are a costume feature that very much express the idea of innocence. They present the idea of comfort and would therefore make the female seem innocent and any attempt to harm her cruel and shocking.

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When researching costume, one film we studied closely was ‘Attack the Block’ due to how the film concerns a gang, much like our own production. The group of youths in ‘Attack the Block’ are seen to wear hoodies and jogging bottoms throughout the film and are also often seen in baseball caps and balaclavas. These various costume features present the stereotypical appearance of a young person in the modern day society we live in. We researched this film as it enabled us to see what clothes would be ideal for the gang in our film. It strongly supported our original idea of dressing the gang members in hoodies and jogging bottoms. The baseball caps and balaclavas used in the film gave us the idea to potentially use these costume features as we were able to see how they created a great sense of secrecy and how they made the gang members appear as more dangerous and intimidating to the people they live amongst. ‘Attack the Block’ allowed us to recognise how we must dress our gang members similar to the youths in this film in order to make them appear more dangerous and to live up to the stereotypical appearance of a young gang member. Despite ending up as the protagonists of the film, the gang in ‘Attack the Block’ are immediately portrayed as and seen as the antagonists, partly because of the clothes they wear. With regards to costume, we took some inspiration from the film ‘Green Street’, based on football hooliganism. Our research into this film allowed us to see how the main leader of the firm wears better quality clothes than the other men, therefore making him stand out as the leader and higher in stature than his friends. The poor quality of clothes worn by the men in the Firm indicate their rough backgrounds and how they are low in stature and look down upon by society, therefore this is useful to us as we too wish to present our gang as lower in society and a group that if very much frowned upon. This enabled us to decide that Lewis’s character ‘Thompson’ will wear nicer clothing than the rest of his gang members, due to the idea that he is the leader and should be recognised as higher and wealthier than his associates. This would also make him stand out above the rest, outlining how he makes the decisions within the gang.

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