Developing A Character

Developing a character in ways different to them actually speaking is very important, especially in short films. This is because there is less time to actually get an idea of the character. This can be done by: costume/what they’re wearing; their room or house; the characters body language; or even the way other people talk about them.

The way Wes Anderson introduces characters is either getting another character to explain them, or a voice over to describe them. However, he does also use subtle way to show character.


Not subtle:

Another Character:

In ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, the character M. Zero Mustafa is described by the writer who visits the hotel. Because the character is a writer, he describes Zero in a lot of detail as if it was an extract from his book. This is very cleaver because it’s as if the audience is reading the book and learning more about the character.



Using a narrator is a good way of showing a character in an unsubtle way because you get the back story of the character from someone not related to the story. It tells you more about them before the film and plot has really started, meaning you know the character fully before the important plot starts.




Wes Anderson in the film ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ Richie’s character’s costume is used to show his character development. He is shown wearing nearly the same outfit and hair style from when he was young to when he is an adult. This gives the impression that he doesn’t change at all, and is living the ‘same life’ all that time. Also gives the impression of immaturity and living still in his childhood.  However, when he has a break down half way through the film, he cuts his hair and takes his normal clothes off. This shows a dramatic change in his life, showing he wants to change. By the end of the film, he is wearing completely different clothes and his appearance is completely different. He looks more smart and well presented, showing he wants to look after himself more and change his life.

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Other films/ways I like:

Visual intro in Little Miss Sunshine:

With this introduction, the character doing something that represents their character. I think this is a really effective way of showing a characters personality. Its also effective because it tells the audience about the character before they start interacting with each other or the plot starts properly. It makes the audience know the characters as individuals instead of part of a bigger plot.



I think I’m going to use subtle techniques to show my characters because I only have a short period of time to show the characters. I can do this by costume, the girls room and body language.



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One Response to Developing A Character

  1. kendalcollegefilm says:

    Good research here, Izzy, showing a strong engagement with Anderson and his ideas. You’ve drawn compelling conclusions from your analysis, nicely backed up with choice screenshots and clips. I’d like to see your final paragraph fleshed out a little, perhaps with some some more constructive speculation about what specific form the subtle techniques will take, but this is me fussing over a good piece of research.


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