Excellence in Artistry Brings Characters to Life on Film


Excellence in Artistry Brings Characters to Life on Film

What makes a film realistic and relatable to the point where we grow invested in the lives of those we may never meet? What is generally portrayed on screen becomes a three-dimensional reality through the authenticity of the characters represented. The unique interpretation of an existence displayed on camera connects people to a world they may never experience apart from on the movie screen. Perhaps the unsung heroes of many productions are the ones who adopted the principles of detail and precision. These people help make the script a story and give the characters in any film life.

Movie watchers often overlook wardrobe, makeup, and hair stylists, but their crafts are as essential as any other aspect of filmmaking. What makes a movie so believable is the creative interpretation of the details. These artists help directors tell stories about characters and help cinematographers turn their complex visions into tangible realities.

There are three significant functions stylists base their work upon: accent, reflect, and reveal. They must accent the actors’ physiques, allowing their characters to be seen for who they are in the film. They must also reflect a character’s era, climate, location, occasion, or dimension. Finally, they are to reveal their style of performance, as well as the character’s personage, age, social class, and individuality. These three components make up the foundation of an excellent stylist—like the ones contracted to for Why the Nativity?.

Marissa Soto is a fashion and costume designer from Los Angeles, California. She joined Why the Nativity? as the key set costumer, whose role was to dress everyone who would be on camera and to stand by the monitors for touch ups between shots.

“My job is to ensure everyone on camera is dressed accordingly and follows the rules of continuity. Costumes played a big role in Why the Nativity? because we had to dress crowds of people as if it was the time of Jesus. We had to make it look historically accurate and make the storytelling believable to the audience,” says Soto.

Costumes communicate the details of a character’s personality to the audience, and it often helps an actor transform into a believable person on screen.

“I’ve always loved movies and wanted to be a part of making them. Clothing can make or break an actor’s performance; that’s why I fell in love with how the costumes fully immersed the characters into another world,” says Soto.

Along with wardrobe artists, makeup and hair stylists joined Why the Nativity? to accent the beauty of our actors. The job of many makeup artists is to make the ordinary extraordinary while fashioning a blank canvas into a beautiful portrait. They transform one’s entire look with the artistry of the brush. Makeup artist Danielle Evans, from San Diego, brought a particular skill to the set that outlined the beauty of our actors.

“There is a good reason they call cinema entertainment. We can be transported in a moment to a make-believe world, and we see the nonfictional come alive in a true story. This is the magic of makeup in film,” says Evans.

Evans helped make the actors in Why the Nativity? real people. Their characters were no longer descriptions in the script but rather their entire identity. The makeup used highlighted the truth each character was cast to display. And Evans’s exuberant and joyful personality brought a delightful combination to her excellent artistry.

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