Things have been soo busy I haven't had time to blog, check back in a couple of days.
Having a functional ground plan is the most important thing a set designer can have. Also figuring out the ballet of scene changes can make or break a show. The flow of set must work with the flow of the show.
How do you make this work?
Measure the space that you are working in. Figure out what the stage has going for it, whats working, also figure out what to avoid. I am designing a huge musical coming up and this stage does not have a stage right exit, big giant wall in the way. The stage is also not very big. However, it does have three movable traveler tracks, possibly to attach scenery to, it also has a motorized scrim. So now I know the strong points and the weeks points this stage has. Play off the strong points and make the week points stronger.
You will also need to nail down how much space you have back stage. This will tell you how big your movable set pieces need to be. Or if you are tight with wing space you can design the set to spin and transform before your eyes.
Remember to have precise measurements. I once designed a backdrop and accidentally wrote a two instead of a one and my backdrop was sewn 10 feet too large. It didn't fit where I wanted it and it had to be moved way upstage, working with dead hung battens....they don't fly in or out. Super duper embarrassed. Good thing it made a critics list of memorble sets at the end of the year.
Check out the current show by Fun House Theatre and Film, scenic painting by me.
Click on the picture below for your tickets.
Getting ready to draft plans for Noises Off next week. Below is the first time I designed the show in the small proscenium theatre. I get to iron out kinks the second time around.
Went to pick up some paint at the store yesterday for Hello Little Human Female! The guy at the paint counter looked at my crazy colors and said politely "What room are you painting?" I replied "It's for a stage set". The look of relief was funny.
My paint store that I go to (Lowe's) actually has some really great faux finishing and dragging brushes. The one that I really like using is a 6 inch wide short haired brush, makes great wood grain.
Visit my friends blog on how to make a scene change more mysterious and magical. I am going to use this trick on my next show, I have over 20 set changes! She went to the set design master class in NYC and set designer, Rob Howell (designer of Matilda) gave this little tip.
Last night and tonight I watched The Adventures of Tin Tin by Stephen Spielberg. This is probably my favorite animated film of all time due to the realness of the animation. It has a great story, packed with action, wonderful architecture and the stellar animation. I highly recommend it. Tin Tin's Adventures take him to an old mansion, to the sea and ending in the desert, add in a mystery revolving around three scale models of ships that old a secret, I especially like the opera singer breaking glass at one point.
Scenic painting a show next week. It's called Hello Little Human Female by Fun House Theatre and Film.
I made these today. For the first image I took my watercolors and paper and painted a yellow block and then used my stamp and ink pad to make the creative logo on the left. Once I let it dry I scanned it into the computer and messed with the visual settings to get it to show better. Easy. I also created a logo to seal my drawings and ground plans with,the image to the right. I may make it into a sticker but before I do that I may have to have another go at it, it's a little crooked.
Enjoy reading my encounters in and around theatre set design.
"The object of art is to give life a shape" -Shakespeare-