Tuesday, 20 December 2016

The Cook, The Theif, His Wife And Her Lover - Film Review

The Cook, The Theif, His Wife And Her Lover

Fig. 1 The Cook, The Theif, His Wife And Her Lover (film still)

Like the film 'Black Narcissus', colour symbolism is also used frequently throughout the set design of the film, adding to the mood of a certain character. Each room within the film is set in its own colour: the kitchen being green, the restaurant is red and the bathroom is solely white. Not only that, but Georgina's costumes also change with each room she enters.  Matching and blending in with her surroundings.
"Georgina’s clothes are color coded simultaneously within a single scene. The attention to detail is staggering. Even the color of her cigarettes changes when she moves from one room to the other." (The Cook, The Theif, His Wife and Her Lover,  
Fig 2. The Cook, The Theif, His Wife And Her Lover (film still)
The red restaurant is where most of the outbursts of anger happen from the character Albert Spica's (Georgina's brutal husband).Red is usually asscoited with "anger, passion, rage, desire, excitement, energy, speed, strength, power, heat, love, aggression, danger, fire, blood, war, violence." (Film Directing Tips, '12 Colors and Their Meanings' by Peter D. Marshall)

As well as the walls and furnishing being red they even use subtle ,red lighting across Albert's Face. Contributing to his anger and violence. However this room contrasts with the clean and white surfaces of the bathroom. Portraying a more peaceful and less stressful environment. This is one of the places where Georgina would secretly meet her new, lover Micheal. "WHITE – Yes, protection, love, reverence, purity, simplicity, cleanliness, peace, humility, precision, innocence, youth, birth, winter, snow, good, sterility, marriage (Western cultures), death (Eastern cultures), cold, clinical, sterile" (Film Directing Tips, '12 Colors and Their Meanings' by Peter D. Marshall) 

The green kitchen stays busy and chaotic. It is also another place where Georgina meets Micheal in secret. The kitchen staff help Georgina hide from her husband, whilst she engages in sexual activities with Micheal. The colour green has connatations associated with
"renewal" and "fertility." (Film Directing Tips, '12 Colors and Their Meanings' by Peter D. Marshall) 
"Renewal" in terms of her finding a new and stable lover,"fertility" - Georgina engaging in sexual activities.  
Interestingly the only person throughout the film whose clothes don't adjust to the environment is Georgina's lover, Micheal. Throughout the film Micheal is seen as "normal" and the "safe place" for Georgina to go to for a while."BROWN – materialistic, sensation, earth, home, outdoors, reliability, comfort, endurance, stability, simplicity." (Marshall n.d ) 
Unlike Georgina, his costume doesn't change with the environment he's in. His costume stays as an ordinary brown suite. Suggesting his lifestyle is not controlled by those around him and he's not trying to "blend in" or hide. 

Caryn James in the "New York Times" says: 

"But Mr. Greenaway turns this tale of a bullying criminal and his unfaithful wife into something profound and extremely rare: a work so intelligent and powerful that it evokes our best emotions and least civil impulses, so esthetically brilliant that it expands the boundaries of film itself." (James C, April 6, 1990)

This small attention to detail of colour thoughout the film, really get the audience to engage and "evoke the best emotion" from the film. Whats even better is that as an audience member you dont even realise the effect "colour" can have on your emotion.

Illustration List:
Figure 1. The Cook, The Theif, His Wife And Her Lover (poster art)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cook,_the_Thief,_His_Wife_%26_Her_Lover (accessed on 13 December)
Figure 2. The Cook, The Theif, His Wife And Her Lover (film still) https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=the+cook+the+thief+his+wife+and+her+lover&view=detailv2&&id=C0FF1738BD3B10A2DC01DD50A4E9283C8E636603&selectedIndex=132&ccid=lR%2bRMN2p&simid=608008512435914120&thid=OIP.M951f9130dda9c13844216884a2f79f1eo0&ajaxhist=0
(accessed on 13 December)


 (The Cook, The Theif, His Wife and Her Lover, https://asmarchitecture.wordpress.com/2010/03/09/the-cook-the-thief-his-wife-and-her-lover-use-of-color-as-a-metaphor-for-transformation/ (accessed on 13 December)

James C,  (April 6, 1990)  Article name In: New York Times [online] At: URL: http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9C0CE4DE1F3DF935A35757C0A966958260
(accessed on 13 December)

Marshall PD (no date) Film Directing Tips, '12 Colors and Their Meanings'  In: Film Directing Tips [online] At: URL: http://filmdirectingtips.com/archives/157 (accessed on 13 December)


Monday, 19 December 2016

The Shining - Film Review

The Shining

The American, Horror film "The Shining" was released in 1980, produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick was  inspired by Stephen Kings novel called "The Shining."

Fig 1. The Shining, (poster art)

Jack Torrence, his son Danny and his wife Wendy, head out on a journey to the Overlook Hotel, situated on a Mountain in complete isolation. The Hotel is closed between October and May, so the family are invited to stay at the Hotel because there is no one else there.  Jack takes this opportunity of 'solitude' to write for his new job. However the family soon learn the past horror's of the Overlook Hotel, that surround and effect the people who live in it.

Through out the film Kubrick frequently uses Steadicam shots.
"Steadicam was invented by cinematographer Garrett Brown
who wanted a way for movie viewers to follow action intimately without the jerkiness of a handheld camera and without crews needed to assemble big cameras on dollies."
For example, there is one scene when Danny is speedily go-karting down one of the Hotel corridors. The viewer is placed above Danny, following from behind his every movement. Not only does this scene create an intimidating camera angle by dwarfing Danny's character, it also shows the audience the vast emptiness and space of the Hotel.

Fig. 2 The Shining (film still)

Kubrick is also well known for his use of one point perspective, he uses this technique throughout most of the film, especially within the corridors and hallway where he focuses on what is at the centre of the image. Using Danny as another example there is a scene where  Danny is playing with his toys on the orange and brown patterned carpets.  The camera trains the eye on the centre of the image, creating a one point perspective.  (see image .....)
"Kubrick’s most famous trademark is his use of symmetry in many of the most important shots of his films. He places the camera so that there is a “horizon” that spans the middle of the screen. He uses the very center of the picture as a point of perspective, with everything else in the shot leading to that singular point."

The Hotel's interior is not a typical horror movie set.  no cobwebs and no castle.   Kubrick instead contrasts the theme of horror by sing  clean, simple and modern architecture. Roy Walker (Set designer) gathered images of real hotel rooms from all around America. Once Kubrick chose his favourite interior's, the production team then replicated these interior designs for the movie.
“We wanted the hotel to look authentic rather than like a traditionally spooky movie hotel,” Kubrick said. “The hotel's labyrinthine layout and huge rooms, I believed, would alone provide an eerie enough atmosphere. This realistic approach was also followed in the lighting, and in every aspect of the d├ęcor it seemed to me that the perfect guide for this approach could be found in Kafka's writing style. His stories are fantastic and allegorical, but his writing is simple and straightforward, almost journalistic.”

Like my previous film review for Black Narcisuss, you could argue that there is colour symbolism in this film too. When Jack gradually becomes more angered and psychotic, Kubrick cleverly places the character within a red toilet. Red is a colour you might associate with evil or anger. A great example of how the set can sub-consciously  help the audience understand a characters mood.
"The room is utterly unlike any other in the hotel – it’s as though it’s a direct projection of Jack’s violent mind, which it almost certainly is. It’s but one example of how Kubrick uses colour and design to reflect the mood of his characters."The music itself plays a vital part in creating the horror and thrill for the film. The use of non-diegectic sound is very random and disturbing. Sometimes the film would simply flash a week day on the screen.  The eerie music beforehand causes the viewer to anticipate something sinister.  Yet the viewer is relieved to discover  that its just Tuesday.

Illustration List:
Figure 1. The Shining (poster art) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shining_(film) (Accessed on 30 November 2016)
Figure 2 The Shining (film still) http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/18283/iconic-set-design-the-shinings-overlook-hotel (Accessed on 30 November 2016)

Gothamist, Film Society Of Lincoln Center To Celebrate Groundbreaking Steadicamcam Movies, Including 'The Shining' and 'Boogie Nights' http://gothamist.com/2016/11/28/steadicam_lincoln_center.php  (Accessed on 30 November 2016)

Den of Geek, Iconic set design: The Shining's Overlook, In: Den of Geek At: URL: http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/18283/iconic-set-design-the-shinings-overlook-hotel (Accessed on 30 November 2016)

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Reflective Statement for "What if? Metropolis"

Intially I quickly created thumbnails of my artists world without properly understanding the complete project brief. This meant that many of my thumbnails did not really fit into my final design.  I learnt: 1) the importance of understanding the task 2) that thumbnails are never wasted time.  What may not be good in one project might be perfect for another.

I began to understand the definition of space and environment. I learnt: 1) the importance of digging deep and really understanding the space you are creating 2)  to think about the environments around me and to think about their components 3) to be brave and experiment with shapes and textures

Understanding and manipulating the software of Maya and Photoshop has previously scared me - this project has helped to develop my skills in this area.  I learnt: 1) how to model in Maya 2) how to create texture, bump and colour  maps 3) how to render scenes using wireframe and a UV grid 4) how to light a scene 5) how to create a matte painting in Photoshop 6) how to increase my toolbox 7) how to increase my speed

My chosen artist's character and style was difficult for me to understand because he lived and operated in world that was alien to me.  I initially could not or chose not to incorporate some aspects of the artist into my work.  However, I learnt: 1) it was possible to collaborate with an artist whilst detatched from his life style 2) I wasn't recreating his work but rather trying to see things in the way that he might 

Perspective has not been easy for me to grasp however throughout this project I have learnt: 1) to look at environments me and consider perspective of buildings and shapes 2) there is more than one perspective 3) it can be used to transport a viewer into the scene

The films that I watched have not always been ones I would have chosen.  In some cases I have been surprised at what I have enjoyed but in other cases have been traumatised by horror.  However throughout them all, I have learnt 1) that I am able to appreciate production design and the efforts that production artists go to in order to portray theme and narrative 2) about colour symbolism and the use of matte paintings before CGI 3) about the impact of costume and mise-en-scene 4) about the use of camera angles to create tension and suspense

This project has caused me stress and anxiety and at times, I was unable to see an end product!  However as I began to develop my software skills and combine them with my technical ability I really began to enjoy this project.  I have learnt so much and I believe have developed my skill set in  production design.  I have enjoyed the way in which our group has bonded over this project and worked together to help individuals.  I have really appreciated the support of students in other years and their willingness to advise and guide.

Production Designer Research - Bo Welch

Leigh Bowery - Artist Research

'What if? Metropolis" Art of

'What if? Metropolis" Crit Presentation

Revised Travelogue - Higley Bower

Higley Bower is a world inspired by the artist Leigh Bowery and its name is an anagram of his! But Bower means a pleasant shady place under trees or climbing plants in a garden or wood and that is what the world at first glance,  appears to be.

However it is a world that holds secrets close to its chest for there is another side to this world.  Side streets open up to reveal a shadier side of Higley Bower.  Where the streets pulse with the throbbing of clubbing.  The buildings take on a character of their own - as if they could step out of the pavement and walk beside you or behind you.   Their eyes are the windows into another world, a seedy, gaudy, temporary place of escape.

The chequered trunks throughout this place, lead the  curious eye towards the sky line. The size of the structures dwarf the visitor as the buildings, with quite literally their head in the clouds tower above the street scenes.

The world seems quite spherical as that roundness can be seen everywhere.  In the doughnut like arches, in the topiary of the pom-pom flowers and in the building roofs or heads of the body buildings.

Transportation across this world takes place on platform stilts embossed with measle dots. They punctuate the sky and allow the traveller to touch the fabric of the buildings as they pass.

The light dances across each platform scampering and blinking its way to the end like an excitable puppy who has found a friend.

Standing on the platform and looking below, a patchwork theme emerges. Not one of different coloured fields or shades of green. Rather one that shouts of different coloured sequences, the spots and the stripes and the hashtag too.  The buildings look like over-sized and exaggerated humans.

There are volcanic hills that seem eerily toxic in their appearance.   It is as if their crown is melting, yet they still seem strangely regal and royal as they drip treacle from their foreheads, like jewels from a crown.

What do they know, what could they tell me?  Where do the  washing lines of glitterati  fashion  lead?  The costumes wave their flamboyant tribute to the scene in the breeze. Their design and shape and colour seem to tell the story of a quest for fame.

Your attention is captivated by their charm, by their difference and   by   their charismatic      presence.    Bordered by the harlequin design the lips speak out truth as if they are unafraid to discuss those things once thought taboo. They remind us of our right 'to be' and the lips. seen everywhere, constantly remind us to be.

The mirrors confirm the true identity of the one who stands before it. Their appearance at regular intervals reflect the truth of what they see - or do they?  On the building shapes, mirrors reflect who they see enter into the club scene and who exits.

There is a tower that stands camouflaged and hidden away from prying eyes and lost in the jungle of the vine. The camouflaged chameleon that sits and moves just its glassy eye knows how to find the way in. Perhaps the only way to reach the tower is by scrambling the vines, setting your feet on the stronghold of the stems – or is it? Do the platform shoes with the ladder heel take you to the safe place, where you can hide from yourself? Who can divulge the formulas and secrets of this eccentric place? The belted bridges border the boundary of the set but you choose where to unlock the buckle and pass through into the next scene.

There is a different spectacle to be seen through the lens of the spectacles where perspective is distorted and the physical exaggeration of all things can be seen. 

The street where the human buildings stand on guard at the entrance.  This wonderland speaks through its pattern and its shape and through it's energy.  The lighting in this street is fragile but inviting.  The physical structures don't blow in the breeze.  Instead they stand imposing, human-like in their structure.  They stand as if 'on-guard', sentry like and watching those who pass by.

The buildings seem to have an exaggerated human shape.  Club Motion, the night club that stands tall is solid, silent and still but raving with motion and emotion inside.

The cinema looks on - the huge rotating windows spin and scan the environment, like over-grown CCTV cameras.  It's time to pause at the grinning mouth for it entices you in for that 'bite to eat'!

What appears to be over-sized trousers at first glance with one way mirrors for windows means that the pedestrian can watch the movers and shakers dance the night away.

There is a giant in size and personifcation - the centre piece of the street.  Towering above the buildings, watching and waiting for the visitor to make their way to greet him.  This night club provides the pulse to the street - to the world as its beat reverberates.  The shine from its body radiates the heat from inside filling the air with warmth and the sky with stars.

And still there’s more, the sky turns a shade of navy. The city scene of buildings and lips and stilletto heels distort the skyline. 

Higley Bower in many ways does what you might expect. It is a place of shade
 – where the oversized trees and plants and flowers that climb and sprawl and spread provide space to rest and think. This unorthodox, chaotic world draws you in, it captivates and demands your attention. Yet, there are too many places to look, too many things to see, too many meanings to understand in this place where impossible dreams come true.  This place is counter-intuitive for it  combines shelter and hope with excitement, adventure, daring and fun.

As you leave this place, having walked through the light and shade of this metropolis.  You wonder if the cinema head holds the key and  contains the knowledge of how this world came to be, of the stimuli that shaped this world and the influences that inspired it. 

All my texture maps, bump maps and color maps (on top of each UV snapshot)

Texture map for Stage Bar sign
Texture map for Sobo night club sign
Texture map for cinema sign
Texture map for Club Motion sign
Texture map for big sphere on the Cinema
Texture map for the Cinema's bricks
Bump map for the Cinema's bricks
Texture map for the Mirror building
Texture map for Club Motion
Texture map for Stage Bar
Bump map for Stage Bar
Texture Map for wall tiles on Mouth Structure
Texture map for Sobo nightclub - glass stained windows
Colour map for lamp poles
Colour map for lamp heads
Texture map for cinema poster

Have I missed any on here? Wire frame model, untextured model, UV grid model and textured model

Each of these renders include lighting and ambient occlusion:

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Wire frame render of my scene

Un-textured Scene

UV Mapping of my scene

Build up of final concept painting - Animated Giff

Building up my 'art of' - Stage Bar

Building up my 'art of' - Club Motion and Cinema

Building up my 'art of' - Ring Struture and Mirror Building

Building up my 'art of' - Sobo Nightclub and Mouth Structure

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Rendered Image so far - Help?

Can anyone explain to me why it looks so different to my non-rendered Image??

Non-Rendered Image

Rendered Image