1. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Contributor Contributor

    Aug 11, 2019
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    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, North America
    Currently Reading::
    TRYING (!!!) to read Eric Flint's "Ring of Fire" series.......it's soooo many books!!!!!

    Clothing in scripts

    Discussion in 'Scripts and screenplays' started by Cdn Writer, Jul 22, 2020.

    When you write a script, are you supposed to write down what the characters are wearing?

    If so, how descriptive do these descriptions have to be?

    Like, can you say "gym clothes" or do you need to spell out shorts, socks, runners, t-shirt?

    I am assuming that if your script becomes a movie or a tv show, someone in wardrobe will dress your characters appropriately....although I sort of wonder. In the recent remakes of "Charlie's Angels" I believe the Angels were walking around in heels while kicking ass....umm, yah, that's believable.

    I also remember the stupid horror films of the 80s which were basically eye candy for teenage boys. Honestly, what other reason is there for a lone teenage girl to hear something go "bump in the night," strip down to her sexiest outfit, and go investigate the noise???? Haven't any of these girls ever heard of this new invention called a "telephone" and the emergency services number, "911"? But then, I guess there's no story.

    So I wanted to check, if I convert my WIP novel into a script format, do I need to specify the clothing the characters wear?

    Xoic likes this.
  2. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor Blogerator

    Dec 24, 2019
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    Way, way out there
    I know you're just making a point about sexism here, but there actually is a good reason for it. Imagine the same scene but with a huge hulking man instead of a girl. It isn't going to be nearly as scary, because you assume he can take care of himself. It's basic biological nature, when we see a female in danger our protective instincts kick in hardcore. It's about vulnerability, which works best with a female or a child, and is heightened if they're not all armored up by being fully dressed. We feel far more vulnerable when naked (or nearly).

    Cdn, you of all people should understand this—it's what really amps up the power of your story—little bundles of innocence and vulnerability stripped bare. That's the ultimate for bringing up peoples' protective instincts and anger against the villain.

    And of course, it's also what's been called "the original special effect". Put a pretty girl in your movie, it will make a lot more money (referring back to the 80's slasher movies thing here).
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
    Cdn Writer likes this.
  3. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

    Mar 7, 2013
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    Here's an interesting article on the topic of description in screenplay. What I get from the article is this: use your brief description (of clothing, accessories, actions, etc) to denote what the character is like.

    Cdn Writer likes this.

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