Create the costume breakdown for a production

Business Sectors (Suites): Costume for Film, TV and Theatre Productions
Developed by: ScreenSkills
Approved on: 30 Mar 2021


​This standard is about your ability to breakdown scripts into a costume breakdown or costume plot. It is about identifying with the characters and understanding their required 'look'.

This may involve confirming costume designs, using costume breakdown/plot software packages, identifying costume requirements for the production, planning time and resources, negotiating and working within a budget and communicating across all departments.

This standard may be applicable to costume/ wardrobe supervisors and managers.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. ​assess scripts and identify costume requirements
  2. determine how the story and timeline will affect the look of each character
  3. identify the number of characters in the production
  4. discuss and agree characterisation with the production team
  5. identify action points in the storyline that call for special costume provision
  6. consider and include continuity requirements
  7. take and include photographs of costumes within the breakdown
  8. confirm the final costume schedule and budget implications with the relevant person(s)
  9. negotiate budgets, resources and timescales as required
  10. create a costume breakdown that identifies and confirms the costumes required, the date and time required, the expected duration and the budget
  11. demonstrate flexibility and respond to last minute changes
  12. follow the productions confidentiality rules and requirements
  13. communicate clearly with production staff, visual artists and other relevant departments or individuals
  14. follow health and safety legislation and guidelines at all times

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. ​script interpretation 
  2. analysation of storylines and timings
  3. estimating costs and budgetary constraints
  4. the relevant person(s) to agree costume and budgetary requirements
  5. how to identify the full costume needs of the production
  6. time constraints within the production schedule
  7. character analysis

  8. how character activities affect costume design and production

  9. fabrics and construction methods
  10. how to record costumes and agreed actions
  11. continuity requirements
  12. the productions confidentiality rules and requirements
  13. negotiation techniques
  14. all departments /personal involved in the production and the communication protocol
  15. statutory responsibilities under health, safety and environmental legislation and regulations


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2026





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Arts, Media and Publishing, Associate Professionals and Technical Occupations, Crafts, Creative Arts and Design, Media and Communication, Media Associate Professionals, Performing Arts

SOC Code



costume; wardrobe; plot; script; designs; software; production; detail; preparation; resources; budget; director; producer; negotiating