I will be gearing up to design a production of Noises Off in Collinsville, CT this fall for the Farmington Valley Stage Company. Looking forward to designing this show...again and I think it will be easier, much easier, the second time around.
The last couple of days has been spent sitting at my drafting table (kitchen table with paper everywhere and my little black cat snooping through bags) coming up with the plans for Hamlet.
Today was Build the Model for Hamlet Morning.
I like the process I have developed when creating sets. It took awhile to develop but at last I think I have my own. Once I narrow the idea down on paper and trouble shoot ideas I start drafting the plans. Once the plans are finished I start creating the model. I use the build plans as a guide to help me through the model making process. I now look at the plans as a builder and I figure out what I didn't include in the plans. Today I didn't mark a measurement correctly and would not have noticed if I hadn't made the model. The carpenter will be most happy.
I know for this show trying to describe the set was odd ,"So you have an angled wing that slides on a track attached with eye hooks made of 1X4 wood with canvas stretched across it." (?) Now I can say the same thing and point to my little creation.
I just finished build plans for Hamlet. Now it's time to build the model and get messy with some glue. Paper is normally all over my apartment and takes awhile to clean up after. But I know it will be worth it.
Below is a picture of the To Kill a Mockingbird model, which was sadly stolen, I made a couple of years ago. The Hamlet model will also be a white scale model. White models are great because the spectator can just focus on the design and not judge it based on the color you choose. If a director or producer doesn't like the color green and your primary color is green the chances of them liking the design might not be all that great. But if you eliminate your beautiful green that took you several day to decide on the design just might be liked a lot more.
However, sometimes making a model in color can be useful too. I recommend color models for musicals, the lighting designer will love you for this. Most musicals have lots of colorful gels, like below, this will help the lighting designer achieve their goal and may save them time and money to install the gels they think they need. You also might be invited for coffee by this person and chances of inheriting a nick name that you don't know about might be low.
Design plans for Hamlet are getting close to being done. After this I can start the model. I have by Tuesday to complete all of this....better hurry!
Today was Clean the Apartment Day. I will be ready to start drafting plans tomorrow morning at the table in a nice clean setting. Below is a picture of my hard work.
My thumbnail sketch for Hamlet
I had a great production meeting with the producer and director today at Fun House Theatre & Film. Meeting time was about two hours and came with lots of ideas!
A designers first meeting at the theatre needs to be informal. I have learned this over the years. If you come with one really convincing artist rendering the director may think that this is what the set will look like on opening night and may turn it down because they did not get their say or feel threatened that this is your show. If you come to the meeting with three or four ideas it could make you look unsure of yourself. Both have happened to me before.
So at my first meeting I come with pictures, lots of research, that I think will get the juices flowing. Then you can pull out a piece of paper and make a quick sketch, like the one above. After this 'idea' is approved you may work on your first artist rendering to present for final approval. From the rendering you can move into a model, I like 3/4 scale, and from the model on to the working plans to build the show. This process takes me three to four weeks to complete.
The picture below is what struck a cord with me when I first saw it. Everyone really liked this image, simple and powerful. My entire design was inspired from this picture by artist Henery Fuseli. The design will convey the same idea simple and powerful.
Watching the first season of BBC's 'Keeping Up Appearances'. This show is really funny once you get the dry humor of the 80's sitcom.
It's me sister Rose with the house with a pool and room for a pony.
It's weird to watch a movie and realize that it was filmed right down the street from where you live. It has turned into 'guess that location' or ' I don't know where they filmed that'. It's also a lot of fun to know the set designer. Clare, my mentor, teacher, friend, and coffee buddy designed the movie. Knowing this has turned into 'Did she use that prop in that one play that one time?'
The name of the movie is Ciao and you should see it. Visit the site here to explore the movie and the watch the trailer.
Well, the holidays are over and it's time to buckle down for 2013. It's time to make new resolutions, which I typically execute, and work on new projects.
My current show is an all youth production of William Shakespeare's Hamlet. A new show means research research research. If it's one thing that my friend Clare taught me it's doing the research. She also taught me if your going to carry a concept for the design, own it and stick with the idea...make it work and make it your own.
My first round of research has led me to the artist Henry Fuseli.
Sometimes coming up with the ideas will open up Pandora's Box, and boy did I open a box.
Enjoy reading my encounters in and around theatre set design.
"The object of art is to give life a shape" -Shakespeare-