Through a friend of a friend I met on set, I eventually ended up in the Art Department for this short film. Originally assigned to prop making, I was briefed with making the hero props for this fantasy inspired short film. Which is currently still in post-production (June 2020).
The hero of this story is a magical book, very much alive and with it’s one characteristics and abilities.
As with any other project you start with the script and your research and sketches. Although I did not have to look too far this one, as I was hosting creative community workshops in bookmaking at that time, as part of my role as artist, in residence and my studio practice at Beckenham Place Mansion:
And the making begun; sourcing various types of paper and sketching designs for various versions of the hero prop, as we decided to do some of the SFX in camera ( smoking pages, flying pages, glowing pages…) in the end I decided to dunk 55gsm newsprint paper into coffee for the desired aged effect. Simple and trialed – and it works.
And as always it is impossible to achieve your dream and optimum vision without your friends and contacts. So for this lovely artefact of a prop, it was only complete after involving yet another artist to do the calligraphy: by hand as directed for the desired story telling effect.
So thank you Marina, you have been a trouper, on brief and deadline:
So several versions and safe keep copies have been made and we got submerged into the story world of the writ, discussing story, sets and scenes, before the day of filming.
Early lessons in the world of the art department highlighted in this production: always have a safe keep copy – and rely on your team. Buckets of faith and it will come together ( is there such a thing as the movie gods !? – who ever listened to our prayers, did answer)
Rocking up on the day with the props, and in the world of independent filmmaking, there is always more to do. We had to set the scene to complete the illusion of make believe, for this alternative reality, with this magical book and its powers.
Against the odds and possibilities, within boundaries and aspirations, we got there in the end; and got the location ready to be stepped on for the principles – set to tell the story.
Once the set was secured and arranged it just looked like it always was like that ( which I learned is one of the biggest tell tell signs, if it looks effort less on camera it was probably hard to arrange.) Well, what does it matter what went into it, when you see the creation on screen , part of a bigger story- it was all worth it.
This production is currently in post-production and I am currently, working on the storyboards for a well organised pic-up production: in our emerging new world of 2020.
I am sure you will see some drawings later on on this blog, as the pre-production post Covit, deserves a little more attention.Time for the art department to shine.
Stay tuned .