Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Concept Drawings

room and the new floor plan I have drawn some examples of how I see the rooms in my mind. The top drawing of the bed/study shows it to be a lighter more pleasing environment whereas the drawing room (place of death) is much more cramped, darker and gradually decaying towards the corner of Ivan's nightmares.

Altered Autocad Floor Plan

taking the information from yesterdays session and the photos I took of our final layout in the card model I have altered my original auto cad floor plan of the rooms to the final design. This is not drawn to scale it is just a floor plan to refer to layout.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Model Set and final room layout

Today using the scale of one foot to one inch we created the small model of the two rooms as photographed below. This was our chance to see what needed to be taken out and altered to make more space. Both the rooms were rather cluttered so the love seat had to be moved to the other side of the room and one chair removed from the study. The heater in the study was too large so the depth was halved and the door on the study wall was got rid of as with the amount of

furniture there was just no logical place for it.

Corpse Bride concept drawings

While looking through my Tim Burton books I came across the concept artwork for the film Corpse Bride.. The following images are of the sets based around Baroque style of the late 1800's with the Burton gothic twist these images have certainly given me lots of inspiration for my own ideas and designs and even how to draw my ideas on paper. There is a beautiful use of lighting in these images. This is a very important factor of the concept drawing as it needs to show how you would invisage the finished rooms. The lighting in these images in dimmed enough just to enhance the shapes of the drapery or the shine/glaze across the marbel floors, picking up the tiny details in all the mouldings.

Monday, 28 March 2011

The Haunting Review

In 1963 Robert Wise directed the cult thriller "The Haunting". A film that over the years has gained remarkable reputation with it's restrained technique of building up the tension and terror.

The film sees Dr John Markway gather three other people with prior paranormal experiences to investigate the haunting background of 'Hill House'. The story of Hill House is relayed for us at the beginning of the film. The house was built 90 years before the film's present day by a man called Hugh Crain. He built it for his wife and daughter but it is told that the evil of the house killed the wife before she even saw it (her horses bolted smashing her carriage against a tree). Crain married again but she soon died in strange circumstances as she was startled by an 'aparition' and then fell down the stairs. Abigail, Crain's young daughter remained in the house, living in the same nursery room for her whole life until she was old and bedridden. She took on a young local girl as a paid companion. After Abby's death the girl inherited the house, Many of the locals wondered whether she murdered the old lady. Again the evil inside the house was to drive this young woman mad and she too died by hanging herself.

Now in the present day Hill house is empty but is under investigation by Dr Markway, a paranormal enthusiast who desperately wants to witness evidence of ghosts. He is joined by two women, Elenore and Theo and a young man named Luke who actually has inherited the house. During their stay a mixture of evil paranoral activity draws them closer to the building's horrific past. The film closely follows the experiences of Elenore and her belief that the house wants her and has chosen her as its next victim. This later comes true as she crashes her car into the same tree that was the fate of the first Mrs Crain.

It is important to say at this point that no ghosts or aparitions are seen in the film. The events are portrayed through strange use of lighting, diogetic sounds and uncontrolable movements of furniture. The architecture of the house is vitally important. Low angle camera shots enhance the house looming over the people destined to venture inside. with its, dark and gothic towers and large black windows it appears incredibly threatening. Elenore responds to this by saying that she thinks "It is staring at(me)".

"Silence lay steady against the wood... and whatever walked there walked alone." This is one of the first quotes in the film emphasising to the audience that every part of this house is evil and dangerous to it's inhabitants.

Mentioning before the use of low angle shots to make the house appear tall and threatening there are other uses of camera shots to build the tension and terror. Very high angle shots are used to increase a sense of vertigo The still to the left is a prime example of this. The scene when the companion hangs herself at the top of the spiral stairs. The shot is well composed to allow only the bottom of the victims legs within the mise en scene and the sudden drop to the floor with nowhere to break the fall.

Aswell as camera shots sound was also a very important in creating tension of an aperition of force that cannot be seen by the victims. Through certain scenes in the house dripping taps and the howling wind are regular (most likely non diagetic soundtracks passed off as diagetic sound). During the scene when Elenore and Theo have retired to their (ajoined) rooms a threatening thumping on the doors frightening the characters inside the rooms and again building up the tension with the audience as to what is going to happen next.

Elenore's character is deeply explored during the film. She comes from a home with her sister and brother in law. Her mother had reacently died after Elenore had spent many years looking after her. She recieves much anger and bitterness from her sister and it is insinuated that her sister believes that Elenore wanted her mother dead. In fact during the film the audience begin to question if Elenore murdered her mother. Because of her charcaters nature, very juvinille and innocent there is some debate over her mental stability. She needs stability and dependancy. Starting off by clinging closely to Theo. As she soon begins to believe that the house is focusing its attensions on her then her behaviour becomes even stranger. She goes from being a person who is looked over and taken for granted to the centre of importance. Her behaviour is very self centred and even endangers the others, for example when she is climbing the spiral staircase that is soon to collape she ignores Dr Markway's begs for her to come down and so he follows her in attempt of rescue. The end of the films sees Elenore sent away from the house for her own safty and against her own will, she wished to stay "forever" in this house that wants her and that she has beceome a part of. when driving away her car steers out of control into a tree. The audience questions whether the house took over the control of her car or infact it was Elenore who unknowingly tried to turn back to the house? whatever happened she succeeded as she now is part of the House's long and tragic history, she is one of those who walks alone within the silent walls

Friday, 25 March 2011

Final Auto Cad drawings

I have now completed three Auto cad drawings
one to show the view points
one to lable the dimensions
and the last one with the construction instructions

View points



Cardboard Screen

In order to get accurate dimentions and to see if the scale of the piece is not out I created a full scale screen out of thick cardboard. Because of this I now have a reference when making the final piece. I can use it to take any measurement I need It will also be very usefull to the group to help understand the scale of the rest of the furnature before they are made (as not every piece of furnature can be made from cardboard as easily as a screen can) Once made I have noted down all the necessary measurements (which there is a lot!) and so can add these to a seperate autocad drawing meaning I have one drawing with and without measurements.

Drawing and testing the screen size

Below is one of the first hand drawn pictures of my screen. Initially I intended the screen to be made of dark wood but from cost it may end up being made from lighter wood that is then stained or even MDF disguised as mahogany. The carvings and mouldings would be easily constructed from car body filler and applied to the wood, then painted to merge in. The two small screens have a rich slightly gothic inlay of red/crimson velvet or satin. This could possibly be pleated depending on time. The mirrors lay over this but if real mirrors turn out to be too costly then it may be sensible to look into rflective surfaces like mirrored plastics.

Even though I had scaled out the heights and widths of the screen onto my garage door it still wasn't entirly clear so using large sheets of white cardboard I recreated the dimensions of the screen onto the card to see for sure if these measurements were appropriate.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Auto Cad Drawings

I have finalised the screen design and have some hand drawn ones too but need to scan them in . I have also measured out the screen and drawn it up on the garage door (with permission from my dad may I add lol) to see if it is the correct dimentions. I also intend to locate som cardboard and create a scale model to make sure that it visually appears ok. The dimensions are not yet on the auto cad drawing but it is drawn to scale as much as possible and I will add the dimentions and construction instructions to the drawing now.

I have made some decisions conserning the design which I thought would help the size of the room. Usually screens stand in a consateena shape so it will pretrude into the room like a zig zag. My screen sits closer into the corner (as behind the screen is not seen then this doesnt really matter) if the screen stands in a U shape into the corner (see aerial design on autocad drawing) this will give us more valuable furnature space. Plus this means the mirrors will be angled towards each section of the room facing Ivan's death sofa.

The highest point of the screen in 6ft tall but the rest purposfully slopes down to a shorter 4ft 7 to fit in with our restricted room area. (Behind the screen I will/ or whoever is constructing it will create a small box on the back with two more legs.) I know screens would not have had this but because it woud not be seen it wont really matter It is purely for stability the other legs will add stability but also removable weights can be added to the box to ensure the screen stands up. Because the weights and the box are removeable this will help with transporting the piece of furnature.

The auto cad drawing (front side and aerial views)

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Designing the Screen

Before construction can start we have all been allocated a specific piece of furniture to research design and then finally draw on Auto Cad with construction instructions. The piece of furniture I have to design is the screen in the corner of Ivan's drawing room that is concealing death.

Folding screens originated in china eighth century records show that they were placed within tombs. The Chinese ones were constructed usually from heavy wood hinged together with thick leather or cloth thongs where as Japanese screens were much more dainty, used for ceramonies or as back drops for dances (sometimes with up to eight panels) they were very light and flexible using a lattice technique layering up wood and paper.

During the 18th and 19th centuries the panel screens had many uses , room dividers, draft excluders, or dress screens. With the spread of Baroque and the arts and crafts movement signature pieces of furniture like this became part of the specific interior architecture. The screens seen around the time of Ivan Ilych varied from heavy dark wood panels, plain virtical 6ft panels or far more decorative panels that stand on small feet with beautiful undulating mouldings crowing the tops of the panels. Some of the screens though the basic structure was wood others had fabric or paper inlays to add to their grand appearance. Gold leaf was also a popular finish. Because this is a dressing screen my design will have mirrors upon the panels but because this sreen is in the corner of Ivan's room distorted by hylusination and fear the screen itself must be a dark twisted formation incorporating Rob's ideas of the burning hole through the centre and the black paint leaking through. I will also have to consider:

the materials

the dimensions

the construction process

Some initial rough sketches of designs these will continue to develop. (the sketches are not up to my usual standard as I am recovering from a very horrible stomach virus)

Rear Window Review

Rear Window, Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 psychological thriller accounts the experiences of L.B Jefferies (James Stewert), a magazine photographer wheelchair bound with a broken leg. He begins to start observing his range of diverse neighbours from his window cataloguing their movements and habits. Soon he becomes entanled in a murder case when suspicious actions on the behalf of his neighbour Mr Thorwald lead 'Jeff' to conclude he has murdered his wife and packed her boddy off in a crate.

The film deals with the human reactions to imobility, isolation and bordom. Though Jeff has occasional company from his insurance nurse Stella and also his girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly). Jeff even states himself that he has "nothing to do but look at the neighbours". Though the habit of spying starts small it begins to grow as more time passes. Jeff becomes engrosed in the lives of the other tenants because there is nothing to interest him in his own presently. At some places in the movie he becomes physically involved such as a scene where he is watching 'Miss Lonely Hearts' have dinner with an invisible guest, as she holds her glass up to toast her 'guest' Jeff' holds his own wine glass up to respond, even though she is not aware he is watching her.

The film also deals with the differences between the male and female mind when dealing with suspiction. Jeff is stubborn in his judgement. He is determined his suspicians about Thorwald are true where as Lisa begins by finding the middle ground the compramise to assure Jeff that what he saw was indeed strange but there must be a 'logical' explination. Later on Lisa does begin to agree with Jeff and by the end of the film she is even more determined that Jeff to prove Thorwalds guilt (by breaking into his apartment) this could show more of the male dominants to the film how the femal character changes her own initial views to agree with the man. The whole film is a fantastic example of use of 'the male gaze' through use of physical camera shots and levels and how the character of Lisa is portrayed through Jeff's eyes it is portraying the woman as an attractive comodity. (photos below)

The neighbours as characters mirror elements of Jeff's own life. The Thorwalds: Mr Thorwald is nursing his ill wife who is bedridden to reverse this Jeff is being nursed and helped by his girlfriend Lisa. A newly married couple move in to the audience their marriage appears happy and successful but this breaks down towards the end of the movie relaying Jeff's own insecurities about marriage to Lisa.

Hand Drawn room plans (initial sketches)

a very rough sketch of the room layout through invisible walls

Monday, 21 March 2011

2D Auto Cad response to room layout

After deciding on the layout of the sets I have taken our group drawing and converted into auto cad as an arial view 2D drawing laying out the rooms one being 12 foot by 12 foot and the other 12 by 10 I have marked out the windows and doors and all the seperate pieces of furnature and their directions. Later I will take on some 3D designs by hand.

Next group Meeting : room layout

The next group meeting came prior to the group presentation to Andy, Simon and Colin. during this session we came together to feed back our research on our seperate areas of the room. Both Rob and I had come up with ideas to consider what would be behind the screen. Rob had come up with a fantastic small model (photo below) of the walls and screen his concept was much more simplistic but highly symbolic, using black paint to stain that corner of the room. The black paint also leaked through the centre of the screen like blood on bloting paper. Combining both our ideas we created a mood board to present later.

During the meeting with Andy, Colin and Simon each area of the room was discussed. In relation to our ideas it was concluded that there were several symbols that could be utilised to allude to the presence of a child, like a shoe or a toy/ trike... (sketch below) The use of the broken mirror was openly accepted but processes of construction were planned and Rhyan suggested using glass photographic transfers to print the facial reflection on the mirror?

After this presentation the group stayed behind to finalise the layout of the two rooms. This was done using a white board in order to regularly erase and alter ideas. Other members of the team held out a tape measure to give us some idea of how big the room will be. This was particularly useful for deciding on the size and position of the windows making sure they are equally spread and making enough room for larger pieces of furniture.

Review of The Tennant

The Tenant (1976) is the third film of Roman Polanski's Apartment trilogy. The thriller takes place in 60's/70's Paris. A quiet man Trelkovsky (Polanski) moves into a shabby Paris apartment that recently belonged to the recently diseased Simone Choule who commited suicide by throwing herself out of the apartment window. Trelkovsky soon discovers the hostility of his fellow neighbours towards any noise. He becomes psychologically wrapped up in Simones old life... going to the cafe on the corner and sitting in her seat, drinking her same order and smoking her same brand of cigerettes. Eventually he even dons her old clothes and secretly dresses like her at night. Convinsed the other tenants are manipulating him and trying to infact turn him into Simone he throws himself out the window in the same manner (twice) to end up in the same bed at the same hospital with the same injuries.

Many elements of this film all join together to build the tension and mystery of this thriller/drama. The opening title sequence with the grey tones used sets the atmosphere of the apartment we will explore further during the film. A readily used image is of poeple peering through their windows from behind the curtain also showing the audience that the building is reaped with paranoia and suspicion.

Trelkovsky as a protagonist is very weak, defensless and pitiful. Immediatly the audience empathise with him which is crusial to become frustrated by his impending psychological downfall. He is obviously haunted by Simone's story as told to him by the concierge, He regularly stares down at the hole in the glass roof beneath his balcony (where she fell) Other characters he encounters seem to all react in a similar fashion once he anounces he is living in Simone's old apartment, they treat him like Simone. The cafe owner gives him her order of hot chocolate instead of coffee and throughout the film insists that he smokes her brand of cigerettes instead of his own. His mental state crumbles under the pressure of the requirements of his demanding neighbours, they taunt him even through dreams and hilusinations.

Polanski uses a great deal of diagetic sound to enhance Trelkovsky's isolation and lonliness within this haunting apartment such as dripping taps, the moan of the water pipes and creeking floorboards.

One Image that haunts both Trelkovsky and the audience is the image of Simone's almost entirly bandaged face screaming in the hospital. An image seen a few times throughout the movie but ironically is is the last image seen in the film but of Trelkovsky in the same situation after his attempt at suicide. The bandaged face unnerves people because it is a lack of identity stripping the character of their recognisable features. The scream is a typical horror feature created to shock and strike fear into those watching (and listening)