The Unfortunate Truth Of The Matter

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Rooftop studio of Lubin Pictures in New York, early 1900's

“The more successful the art direction, the less likely it is to be noticed. Only when it fails, only when a set looks like a set, does the work of this much-overlooked department become apparent. Set Design, set construction and set dressing are items taken for granted by audiences. Unhappily, they are often taken for granted within the industry itself. . . Art Direction, or production design, determine the look of a picture almost as forcefully as the lighting. For it dictates the atmosphere – and atmosphere, particularly in the films of period reconstruction, is tremendously important.”

Kevin Brownlow, “The Parade’s Gone By”

Quick View II Anyone?

I still have a small number of the second model of my Quick View camera angle finders available. This is an updated model with all the common digital sensor sizes as well as the standard film formats for easy cross-reference. I’m debating as to whether or not to order another batch, so I can’t guarantee this won’t be the end of them.

I’m selling these at $50, which is $10 off the normal price.

The Motion Picture

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“The motion picture offers incomparably the greatest field to any creative artist of brush or blueprint today. It is the art of the 20th century and perhaps the greatest art of modern times.”

Production Designer Joseph Urban, 1920

still from Treasure Island, 1920

Hold the Bulldozer! It’s time to dance!

Since what we do is to create things that usually have only a momentary physical life, the ephemeral nature of our profession causes most of us to move back and forth from a state of temporary creative satisfaction to a feeling of complete stupefaction that borders on Nihilism. Take, for example, this satirical short film entitled, “The Life Of A Set Designer”.

But there are times when those ‘architectural light reflectors’ get a second life, even if only for a short time. Pernilla Olsson, one of our Art Directors in Sweden for “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”, sent me some photos of one of our sets which has had just such a second life. A small country market set with boathouses that we built in a parking lot was not immediately torn down following filming and the lot owners decided to keep them standing.

This summer it became the site of  “Hälsinge Hambon”, a traditional dance competition famous in Sweden. Here are some shots after completion last year, and in use this summer for the dance competition.

Swedish market set

set after completion in 2010

"Hälsinge Hambon" event 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Hälsinge Hambon" event 2011