Recently I was at a camera test for a film where production was also conducting stand-in interviews.  The stand-ins selected for the day could have landed the stand-in jobs for the film, or they could just land the stand-in job for the day, standing in for principal actors who were trying out their wardobe on camera for the first time.

One of the stand-ins selected for the day was doing something I found ingenious: Using the camera test as preparation for her job.  In particular, she was taking wardrobe notes on the actor for whom she was to stand in.

In particular, she was noting the clothing her actor was wearing, as well as her actor’s shoes.  The clothing was important for at least a couple of reasons: to suggest the color of color cover the stand-in should bring, but also to suggest how much skin she should reveal in her color cover (specifically, how much of her arms she should reveal in her color cover).

The shoes were important because they would determine whether the stand-in should wear heels to stand in, or whether her height in flats met the actor’s height in heels.  Even the height of the heels was important.  Each pair of shoes the actor tried on, the stand-in tried to estimate the height of the heel.  (Actors could wear a selection of heels with different heights over a production, possibly meaning that stand-ins need to closely match those heights.)

Of course, as a stand-in, you might not know for what scenes an actor will be wearing what clothes, but witnessing a camera test is an opportunity to prepare for a long-term job.  The information you gain from a camera test may imply you should go out and purchase some items for your wardrobe that you lack, in order to use them for color cover or to wear as shoes.

However, just because you’ve landed a stand-in gig for a camera test, you haven’t necessarily booked the gig for the whole production.  Air on the side of caution before spending a lot of money on new color cover and shoes.

Is there anything else you recommend to do at a camera test?  If so, share below!