However, one thing I noticed was that the characters didn't have the exact same costumes that the comic book portrays. There are subtle differences here and there, and in some cases the costume looks like it was changed quite dramatically.
There are questions to be asked.
a. Would the original authors (Wendy and Richard Pini) be angry or litigious should the fan film reproduce the costumes in their exact nature? In this case, no. The fan film has been giving the creators' blessing, so there's no good reason to fix what wasn't broken.
b. Would a budget constraint affect the way the costume was built? Quite possibly - the fan film was hoping to raise five thousand dollars to cover costumes, filming, etc. The main characters start out living in a forest. They wear dyed leather from the animals they've killed. Clothing a whole crew in leather scraps adds up fast.
As a costumer, I think that I notice details like this more than a regular person, and I imagine that the rest of the cosplayers out there do too. It's our nature to see a movie or show and analyze how the costume was made and what it was made of. Figuring out integral details like that can make or break a replica piece, especially from something live action.
This is the costume that the character Clearbrook wears pretty religiously throughout the first four ElfQuest bound collections. Several years of work makes a pretty consistent costume design.
This is the costume used in the fan film.
See the larger version here.
Is it fair to critique this version? I find myself wondering if the fan film owes something to its viewers - simply because it is for the fans, by the fans. Should they have stuck to the original design, or do you think that liberties are ok to be taken?
How would you as a costumer choose to handle a question such as this? If you think that a professional film or effort must follow the costume design to the letter, do you hold yourself to the same standards, or is there a line?