Bringing Characters to Life: Costume Design and Character Development in Film

Great costume design, like sets and scenery, is a natural extension of the story that provides subtle cues to support the narrative. More than simply transforming an actor into a character, costuming can be used to establish emotional make-up or mood, distinguish social-economic status, convey authority (or lack thereof), contextualize an era, or develop a sense of space/place. Costuming is an effective way to reveal the arc of a character’s journey, unite or divide characters through style and color (e.g., black hats vs. white hats), and transport the audience from reality to a world of fantasy. This program examines the art of costume design for film, from conception to creation, and its ultimate impact on character development.

Cat Hartmann, professional actress and instructor of Film and Media Studies at Arizona State University

Presenter Cat Hartmann is a professional actress and performer in the Valley and brings her industry insider expertise – both in front of, and behind, the camera – to the classroom. She is an instructor in Film and Media Studies at Arizona State University, where she received her Master of Advanced Study degree in American Media and Popular Culture. She is also a Faculty Affiliate in ASU’s Center for Film, Media and Popular Culture, where she explores the dynamics between mass media and cultural influence.

Presented in conjunction with ASU’s Center for Film, Media and Popular Culture and the Arizona State University Foundation. Admission to this program is free to ASU students with I.D. and to museum members; otherwise included in standard museum admission. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.