I don't mean research for a book report or essay, I mean research for film, specifically research before you go to shoot anything. This is important because everything that appears in the frame, at least in the classical Hollywood, narrative mode of production, is supposed to add to the verisimilitude of the world of the film. Verisimilitude, for those who are not familiar with the term, means the appearance of being real or true. As it relates to film, verisimilitude means how believable the world of the film is to the viewing audience. For example I am attempting to write something where Beyonce is playing a Marlene Dietrich type character and Lady Gaga is attempting to play a Marilyn Monroe type character. Well, we all know that Lady Gaga can play a Marilyn Monroe type because that is what she has done previously in career. However, Beyonce playing a more androgynous type is something that I needed to research because as we all know Beyonce is an ultra-feminine, beautiful woman who I wasn't quite sure could play an androgynous character. So I went to a Google image search of Beyonce in androgynous looks and this is what I found....
So clearly Beyonce is very capable of giving an androgynous look that still underscores her femininity just Marlene Dietrich gave throughout her entire career.
This leads me to a question that I am sure you are all asking yourselves, Ted how do we do this research that you are demanding of us? Well I have an answer for you that will help you figure out where to start. Say that you were making a film about the alien sightings in the 1950's, where do you go for information or inspiration? Well there are two answers, one involves technology and the other does not. Those options are...
1) THE INTERNET
2) A LIBRARY
In a library you will be able to read books and periodicals that relate to the time period that you need to find information on.
On the internet you can find information more easily, in my opinion, then in a library. I create a folder on my computer and put images that help me lock into the style of the period that I am researching for and even if that might not directly relate to the style or look that I may want, I keep anything that helps me lock into ideas for what I want my film to look like.
In conclusion, research is important and vital to insure that your film looks good.
SO DO IT!!!!!