Monthly Archives: November 2013

Carcass: Machines, cyborgs and future cities

Here are two more pages from my sketchbook that are mainly scrapbook images of Futurism, androids, machines and architecture for inspiration.

sketch carcass cyber 1

Below is an image adapted from architecture in Valencia . I tend to work with cut outs and sketches at the start of a project as I find playing with photographs, altering the angles and shapes can reveal interesting designs that can then be drawn up or digitally enhanced.

Images are from Futurism-Movements in Modern Art (Humphreys, R., 1999),  History of the Future (Lorie, P., Murray-Clark, S., 1989) and my own photo collection.

arch sketch carcass 1

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Machine concept variations for Carcass

The original drawing of a concept, showing a view through the machine in Carcass. Below that are some colour versions. I may add some more colour to show the rivers of red described in the script later this week.

mach concept cont

mach concept cont spot blue2

mach concept cont spot red

mach concept cont spot redder

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The role of the production designer: The creative trinity

I have been researching the role of the Production Designer for both the Carcass project and my on going final project. Both use the skills of the designer in producing the sets, concepts, use of location and props design plus theoretically take on board the relationship between the Director, Director of Photography and Production Design known as the Trinity (LoBrutto,V., 2002,). I’ve broken it down into a simple form, showing the script/story at the centre of the creative process.

One of the main roles of the Production Designer is to assist the Director in their vision of the story and to provide various possibilities for filming i.e. camera angles, revealing the meaning of story, a visual representation of symbolism or metaphors that work on a subconscious level. For Carcass, we have to produce a series of designs without physical interaction with a Director who would probably have a definite idea of how they want to represent the story.  The designer would then discuss, re-design, accommodate the wishes of the Director within the constraints of budget, much like theatre.

On Carcass we have to make a lot of decisions based purely on the script and discussions within our design group. My personal project will probably be similar.

trinity 3

Notes taken from The Filmmakers Guide to Production Design (LoBrutto,V., 2002)

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Carcass: From photo to concept

Various stages of a concept adaption for the Carcass dream sequence  in which Lucy dreams of a box that opens and reveals the universe inside. The photos are of  a Scottish road and sky taken at different locations, then merged together and adapted in Photoshop. The final stage is the addition of the drawn/digitally enhanced box so that it appears to hover above the road.

highlands 1 141

sky 13

concept 1

concept 3

concept 4 box version

Textured boxes for above concept.

textured box for carc

text box 3

textured box 1

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Carcass: Pods, boxes and concepts

sketchbook carcass pods1

Above and below are selections of sketchbook pages from the Carcass project looking at Lucy’s sleeping pod/interiors that are inspired by modern pods and nest structures. Although the Carcass world contains no trees I think there will be a return back to nature in the design of man-made structures showing the conflicting relationship between technology and organic form. The pod doubles up as a prop and interior and may feature in my story board so I wanted to get to grips with the design for this as soon as possible.

pods sketch 2

carcass sketch boxes

Some box and Persecom (handheld device that displays images such as holograms) ideas from the sketchbook. These are still ongoing.

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Carcass: Organic verses technology/past verses the future

sketchbook scans carcass 2

Above:- sketchbook work that shows the struggle between organic and machine and some of the Futurism art that inspired my first week on the project.

The world of Carcass is one without trees or nature, of humans playing God and their ability to control what they want to be; taking todays body beautiful/technology to whole new level through gender change, body restructuring etc. Whether it is a future of dreams or nightmares depends on your point of view. For me, any world without nature in its organic form can only serve to separate us from what it is to be human. I see elements of Lucy’s Carcass world as an attempt to return to nature but using technology. Maybe the buildings  have some kind of organic form that represents the past, that is metamorphic; buildings, people, ideas etc. in a state of transformation or growth. The main character seems at opposition to herself and to the world. The main characters are pulling in different directions. But Lucy wants to find herself, physically, metaphorically, historically. What or who is Lucy? What are her building blocks and can she control these?

Early on I was drawn to the Futurism artists vision of the future as much of their artwork as they embody elements of change, loathing of the past, love of speed, noise and mans triumph over nature which was a severe departure  from the organic art movement Art Nouveau a few years before. In a way it was a form of rebellion.

From internet source:-

The Italian painter and sculptor Umberto Boccioni (18821916) wrote the Manifesto of Futurist Painters in 1910 in which he vowed:

“We will fight with all our might the fanatical, senseless and snobbish religion of the past, a religion encouraged by the vicious existence of museums. We rebel against that spineless worshiping of old canvases, old statues and old bric-a-brac, against everything which is filthy and worm-ridden and corroded by time. We consider the habitual contempt for everything which is young, new and burning with life to be unjust and even criminal.”
Powerful words from the artist that painted these following works. His painting embodies the new by the use of strong lines, bright colour and seems to show a struggle between the old and the new. However, they are strangely organic and provide some interesting contrasts that could be useful when constructing Lucy’s world.
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Carcass: Mind-mapping and ideas from the sketchbook

sketchbook carcass 3

During the initial stages of mind-mapping I looked at various thoughts and meanings surrounding the idea of the human V technology, dystopia V utopia, what is human?…etc. Looking at images from books that I own as well as reading a chapter of Science Fiction Cinema: from outerspace to cyberspace (KING, G., KRZYWINSKA, T., 2000.) from which the mind-map above was created. The images are from the book History of the Future (LORIE, P., MURRAY-CLARK, S, 1989.) top left, a painting by Enrico Prampolini- Extraterrestrial Spirituality (1932) a Futurism artist, top right and an organic wall painting in Valencia from my own photo collection.

This is to show where my thoughts were taking me on the first read through: images of the future that are often in confliction.

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Carcass:Metamorphosis and some mind-mapping in the sketchbook

A few mind-map notes and meanings of metamorphosis after the initial script read through for design inspiration.

sketchbook carcass 1 mediumlg



Biology . a profound change in form from one stage to the next in the life history of an organism, as from the caterpillar to the pupa and from the pupa to the adult butterfly.


a complete change of form, structure, or substance, as transformation by magic or witchcraft.


any complete change in appearance, character, circumstances, etc.


a form resulting from any such change.


Pathology .


a type of alteration or degeneration in which tissues are changed: fatty metamorphosis of the liver.


the resultant form.

Metamorphosis is a biological process by which an animal physically develops after birth or hatching, involving a conspicuous and relatively abrupt change in the animal’s body structure through cell growth and differentiation. Some insects, amphibians, molluscs, crustaceans, Cnidarians, echinoderms and tunicates undergo metamorphosis, which is usually accompanied by a change of habitat or behaviour

Source:   Wikipedia
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Carcass:-Beginnings of a scenic design project

This last week we were given our first DFTE scenic design project in which we read the script Carcass by Julius Ayodeji, break it down, design sets and concepts etc. then present our designs to the rest of the group. It’s a fairly big project to do in 4 weeks but it’s probably realistic in terms of what is expected in the industry.

First stage:- Reading the script several times; first sweep was to get a gist of the story as a whole and to break down into scenes/sets-external/internal-night/day, second sweep was to get insight into the themes, feelings and mind-set of the characters which will help focus my visual/contextual research for the coming week ahead. This stage was also for jotting down the props/furniture and some key ideas that came to me as I read. This will need to be written out in a way that is expected by the industry so I will check out this week exactly how to present the information. But, for now it’s in a rough format–just enough to allow me to move to the next stage as quickly as possible

Second stage:- Main research stage in which I gather visual and contextual research and start applying it to the script; I have started collecting images from the internet on my Pinterest page plus internet links to refer to. I also ordered some books from the library on dystopia and gender for inspiration. At the moment I’m focusing on the themes/inspirations of metamorphosis, transformation, gender, futurism art, architecture and dystopia which will give me plenty to fill my sketch/scrap-book. I see this stage taking up a fair bit of this week which means that I will have 2 and half weeks to do the designs/concepts/storyboards and model–a tight schedule–but necessary. This is the all important point in which the ideas start to form and it will allow stage 3:-design/concepts to flow more smoothly. This week will also be when I look up all the stages of film design that I’m less familiar with, such as storyboarding, soundstages, concept ratios and I will brush up on my technical drawing knowledge.

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