How do I make a lookbook?

Your lookbook is a collection of photographs, movie stills and illustrations that represent your vision for your project. The lookbook functions as a reference for how your film will look and feel and can illustrate various elements like casting, lighting, mood, era, location and even cinematography.

As the film or TV show's creator, your lookbook becomes the vision bible for the project. It will be used in pre-production with your director and cinematographer, but it will also play an important part in obtaining financing.

Here's an example of the lookbook for Netflix's Stranger Things:

Here's another example for a feature film called Black Mitzvah:

Key Questions

A lookbook can change as you progress through the filmmaking process, but to start, you should ask yourself some key questions to get you started crafting the mood and feel for your project.

Here are a few questions to help start your process.

  • What mood do I want to create? This video from Indietrix Film Reviews has some great information.

  • Will lighting play a part in setting that mood? What are examples of how that will express my vision?

  • What images or pictures inspire my vision for this project?

  • What locations will help explain the mood?

  • Do I have any specific cameras, lenses or other technology that I want to use?

  • What's the film's color palette? Studiobinder offers some excellent tips for movie color palettes.

  • What about this story inspired me?

  • Are there other films that are similar?

Elements of a Lookbook

What's included in a lookbook is entirely up to you as the creator and filmmaker. There are some basic elements that suggests that will help others grasp, understand, and become passionate about your project.

Basic Information

  • Title

  • Logline (1-2 sentences)

  • Synopsis (5-8 sentences)

  • Character Descriptions (Be more engaging than just demographics)

  • Filmmaker/Team bios (You and your teams pedigree)

Creative Elements

  • Inspiration (things that inspired you to create this project)

  • Creatively Similar Films (helps a reader connect)

  • Images Denoting the General Feel of the Film (the visual grabber for your project)

  • Color Palette (using color to drive emotions)

Technical Elements

  • Locations you’d like to shoot at

  • Cities you’d like to shoot in

  • Equipment you plan on using

Note: Your technical elements should align with your proposed budget.


Most importantly, building a lookbook should not be viewed as a required task but as a way to showcase your passion for your project. Your project lookbook will speak for you when you're not around and help others join in your journey to make your film a reality.

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