There’s something so uniquely impressive about Wes Anderson’s films that it’s hard to imagine anyone else replicating them. But believe it or not, there’s a new trend going around on TikTok that nails the director’s signature style in just a few seconds — and you can join in on the trend, too. Whether you’re an aspiring filmmaker, or you just want to pay homage to the auteur, here are some tips on how to pull off the Wes Anderson TikTok trend taking over the platform so you can live your life as a character from your favorite movie.
From the composition of each shot to the way the films are edited, Wes Anderson’s projects always have such a specific, aesthetically-pleasing look which makes them stand out among the rest. The color grading, set design, outfits, and whimsical approach all seemed inimitable, or at least they did until TikToker @avawillyums put an end to the illusion for good. On April 8, the creator posted a video that romanticized a boring train ride by acting as if they were in one of Anderson’s films, and the result has everything you’d expect: quick cuts, symmetrical shots, playful music, and quirky costuming all in just 24 seconds. Ever since the video went viral, the hashtag #wesandersontrend has accrued over 10.7 million views, and the OG TikTok has amassed over 2.3 million likes.
It didn’t take long for the extremely accurate video to inspire other fans to try the eccentric filmmaking trend for themselves, like this video creator @keithafadi made while getting lunch with his wife.
Luckily, you don’t have to be a film fanatic to edit your life Wes Anderson-style, because these tips on how to replicate the director’s work with a cell phone and basic editing software are all you need.
The first tip comes from @thewanderingcass, who recommends steering clear of the “TikTok pan” when participating in the trend. According to the creator, the TikTok pan, which is essentially just panning from one thing to another, adds “visual interest to things that are not visually interesting.” Conversely, one of the signature stylistic choices of Wes Anderson is his ability to create interest in through stillness, which means you’ll want to keep the camera as static as possible to replicate his style. In other words, if you want to “pan” from one thing to another, you’re probably better off inserting two separate shots of your subjects rather than including them in the same shot.
If you don’t know your way around an editing program, don’t worry, because @tipsforcreators has got you covered. The account gave some insight into how long your clips should be when making a Wes Anderson-inspired TikTok and even provided a glimpse into what the editing process will look like if you use CapCut to make your video. If that video is still too complicated to follow, you can simply import your footage into the account’s Wes Anderson CapCut template, which you can access here.
Title cards explaining what you’re doing are a trademark of the trend (no matter how mundane the task at hand may be), so don’t forget to include that in the beginning on your video too. You’ll want to time-stamp the event as well, to make the experience feel even more true to a film.
Another must-have in a Wes Anderson film is dreamy color grading, which you can achieve via CapCut by following this video created by @tipsforcreators that shows you which filters to use and what contrast and saturation levels to mimic.
Lastly, TikToker @esno.art advises incorporating lines into your work to emphasize the symmetry of your shots and turning the camera 90 or 180 degrees when making a cut. “Never film at an angle, but point the camera straight at the subject so all lines are straight,” the Wes Anderson enthusiast shares in this video.
Other tips from the creator include using music by frequent Anderson collaborator Alexandre Desplat (most people have chosen the “Obituary” audio from The French Dispatch to complete their videos) and avoiding any “shaky, handheld footage.” Buildings, landscapes, or interiors that have “warm and earthy tones” are crucial, and don’t forget to feature clothes and objects that have a “vintage look,” too.
If you used to be on Tumblr, you probably reblogged your fair share of screenshots from such films as Moonrise Kingdom, The Royal Tenenbaums, and The Grand Budapest Hotel back in the day. Now, you can make your life feel like those movies, thanks to these Wes Anderson-inspired editing tips from TikTok.