Posts Tagged With: scenic design

The Tube Riders Sketchbook: Corridors, rooms and lighting for the research centre

My first task is to design the medical research centre that houses various spaces including corridors, a lift, a lab area and an underground arena. I’m starting with the reception area and its walkways, gantries and the corridors leading off. It needs to be clinical and well-kept but I’d like to give it a sense of theatre with some height and levels to create interest. I’m also looking at the idea of introducing some industrial elements inspired the station photos I took in London.  At the moment the colours are going to be whites, muted blues/greens and metallic shades.

Below is a selection of mood board visuals that I used as inspiration.

corridors and stairs1


Sketchbook visuals


Above: an adapted corridor introducing some industrial detailing.


Above: Looking at spaces and shapes of the reception area.


Above: Possible reception design showing desk area and some height and lighting.


Above: layout of ceiling with opening and gantry. This could also be mirrored on the floor as a detail.

Below: A selection of photos showing a scale 1:50 figure on what could be a floor plan or ceiling detail.

DSC00150 DSC00151 DSC00152



The production designer needs to think of not only the general space and how it will be used for filming but also about the detail and materials that it will be made from. It needs to be believable as well as working for the story. Although the book does not mention the dimensions of the space I thought it might be a good idea to play around with the size of the room, maybe to give the impression of height. The reception is situated deep below ground so to show the depth of the complex the character can be shown looking up towards the upper levels.  A shaft of light could originate from some of the upper levels, casting parts of the reception in shadow and soft light. I  also need to look at Post production in regards to creating spaces in science fiction–how much is built and how much is or could be CGI?

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The MA Project: Designing for film

This is the stage  where the script gets broken down into scenes, internal/external, night/day, props, and special effects. Before I do that I am making choices about which sections of the story to focus on, ones that give me plenty of visual research and also  show as much as possible of the overall aesthetic of the film from the Production Design point of view.

Project Plan and Main Scenes

Rough outline of potential sets and locations

St Cannerwells :- abandoned underground station in which the gang meet and ride the trains(INT)*

St Cannerwells Park :- unkempt park surrounded by streets, with rubbish filled pond, boxes, overgrown with views of overpass in distance (EXT)*

School exterior :- The external area around the school gate is Victorian with alley ways, streets of burnt out buildings, looters and a view across to the east where a spacecraft is seen launching. (EXT)

Parliament Tower :- Government skyscraper building at Canary Wharf with external gardens/park land, walls, portcullis. (views from inside and outside) (EXT)*

The Governors Office/Room :- Office/lounge area inside the Parliament Tower with art on the walls, leather sofas, tinted windows and views out over central London. (INT)*

Medical research Centre :- Main experimental complex that is situated underground, beneath a warehouse. Houses multiple floors, lifts, corridors, a lab, reception area, an arena area, torture chambers, a bathroom etc. (INT)*

There are also many scenes of street locations and internal house sets that could provide further concepts. I have stared the main scenes/locations that will feature in some way as concepts and designs with the Medical Research Centre as the main set build for the model and technical drawings. I’m aiming to have a diverse choice of locations to show the overall look and feel of the film. In addition to sets there will be some prop and character concepts which will probably include the following:-

Marta Banks


The Governor

The Huntsmen ( hybrid/cyborg/animal/human hunters)

Props:- Claw boards (Skateboard without wheels but with hooks for riding the sides of trains)

Props list will be added to when I break down each scene further

Practical Work

To answer the MA question through case studies/Q & A with known Production Designers and through the exploration and realisation of a practical project (novel to film) to include:-

*Art department text breakdown (scenes/props/special effects)

* Sketchbook work/visual research/experimental design work

*A series of set concepts/designs to include at least 2 exterior adaption/locations

*storyboard of a selected scene

*a minimum of 2 character concepts, to include the Huntsmen

*Full white card model to scale of composite set with a rendered section

*Technical drawings of model set including elevations and plans

*Minimum of 2 prop makes with drawings

*Scaled up realisation of a part of set for Expo(small section) to show practical techniques (dependent on timescale)

*Scaled up realisation of Huntsmen to show practical skills in prop/model making

The next phase will be a detailed breakdown of main set choice and details for the exterior locations.

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Skills and Digital Design: Auto CAD


Above image is a screen shot jpeg of my computer screen.

The second practical session this week was Auto CAD. It provides a quick way to produce technical drawings for scenic design, but can also be used for architecture, product design and a number of practical applications. It’s a particularly important design tool for film and TV design as the role of the Production Designer involves a fair amount of technical drawing that has to be produced to a high standard for the construction team. The drawings have to be clear and to the appropriate scale, which is usually 1:50 for film and TV design.

I had a go at drawing some simple shapes, cross-hatching, adding a few measurements and then exporting the document as a jpeg just to get a feel for the basics. In my next session I plan to do a basic room layout with measurements and to have a go at importing an existing plan of a sound stage that I can add to.

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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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