In the four years I have spent studying production design, I have gained an understanding of the importance of world-building to the storytelling business. Scenography is never merely just a backdrop to the character action – while it helps to inform the audience of time and place, giving an important sense of context, it can also play the role of an independent narrator.
In my work, I look for ways to create a believable world in which fits seamlessly within its narrative and becomes an essential part of the viewer's experience.
Re-designing Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest for film.
I think that One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest never really fades from relevancy. It’s a timeless story for how it addresses the idea of rediscovering the value in life. The discussion around power and individual freedoms so strongly present in Cuckoo’s Nest can feel increasingly relevant in today's constantly connected world. The motivation behind choosing this text for the final project of my degree was largely in how this story reflects the mental prisons we sometimes create for ourselves.
In terms of what I wanted to technically achieve with this project, I focused largely on previsualizing the film through 3D AutoCAD renders and storyboarding. While many different mediums available, I think AutoCAD and other 3D modeling software can be exciting in the possibilities it holds, simulating lighting and textures that can look surprisingly true to life when done right. This medium allowed me control over an incredible amount of detail in the spaces I was designing for this project.
Renegade Costume; How elements of blue-collar and military uniforms from the early 20th century became signifiers of oppositional masculinity in American cinema from 1951 to 1955.
The images of “rebel cool” popularized by American stars Marlon Brando and James Dean in cinema in the fifties utilized items of clothing that had until then been primarily worn by blue-collar workers from the 1870s to the end of the Second World War. This clothing now commonly associated with the figure of the American rebel played an important role in major political and economic events of the thirties and forties – maintaining the image of American masculinity and indicating the favorable and necessary traits that embodied manhood. From Levi’s patented “waist overalls” and lumberjack dress seen on working-class men during the Great Depression, to the white t-shirts, various aviation jackets and combat boots worn by U.S. soldiers in WWII, American masculinity became visually tied to the clothes worn by blue-collar professionals as well as the muscular male form that was needed and valued in these jobs. In this way, representations of manhood in America were strongly influenced by the most commonly held jobs, and political attitudes of the time. In the conservative climate of Cold War America, these images of strong working bodies in rough textiles were no longer desirable and the grey flannel suit became the accepted signifier of masculinity, embracing conformity in the growing white-collar workforce. The social rejection of blue-collar and military clothing as expressions of masculinity and the embracement of a more metropolitan image created a sense of disillusionment to the mass of WWII veterans, triggering the creation of multiple films centered on male delinquency in the struggle to adjust to post-war American society. These films utilized blue-collar workwear to symbolize the social marooning of men who existed as outdated masculine figures; costuming could be used to mark male characters as dissenters in this fashion.