Posts Tagged With: television

Case studies and films: Starting points

I’m compiling a list of potential films and television programmes with their Production Designers that will feature in my research over the next few weeks. Which ones that will become full case studies will depend on the amount of information I can gather and whether I can have contact with them in order to ask the relevant questions. This list is work in progress, so will be added to.


Gae S. Buckley:- The Book of Eli

Dom Clasby :- Derren Brown’s Apocalypse (TV)

Chris Kennedy:- The Road

Greg Melton:- The Walking Dead (TV)

Mark Tildesley:- 28 Days Later/28 Weeks Later

Grace Walker:- The Walking Dead (TV)


Jim Clay:- Children of Men

Andy Nicholson:- Divergent

Philip Messina:- The Hunger Games/Catching Fire

Other sci-fi

Alex McDowell:- Minority Report

Categories: dystopian film and designers, post-apocalyptic film and design | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Case Studies: Thoughts and practicalities

I now have to consider the next phase of my project which includes the gathering of research, information, skills etc that will inform my final project. My project is mainly about the role of the Production Designer in a technically advancing world, particularly focusing on the pre-production stage. It may well be that this progresses to include the changing role of the PD in regards to how much they are involved in all three stages–right through to post production, and possibly overseeing elements of the CGI process.  I may want to consider whether PD’s want to, or feel it necessary to do this? Whether budget would permit it? Whether what the PD does at pre-production is enough to visually guide the film later on?

Over the next month I will gather a selection of designers to study, focusing on my chosen genre of Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian film/TV. I will also look at the films/programmes that have been produced in the genre that will inform the case studies, my own design processes and see how they relate to the current contexts and trends in the genre.

After having a look for details of a handful of Production Designers it seems clear that contacting them may present some problems, particularly if I want specific designers that worked on my chosen productions. Some are on Linked-In, some are represented by agents and some don’t seem to exist on the internet or social networks.

With this in mind, I see the case studies/research films being split into primary and secondary sources. The first group being those that fit the criteria in terms of genre and that include contact with the designers through some kind of question and answer session. The second group will mainly rely on research sources such as films/behind the scenes documentaries, on-line articles and Q & A sessions initiated by others. I would like to have at least 3 case studies that include email contact with my chosen designers and possibly a further 3 that will give me other forms of information which contain less detail but will still be relevant for my practical work.

Categories: dystopian film and designers, General research, post-apocalyptic film and design | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The DreamWorks effect–initial thoughts on dossier

Last week we were given a dossier to read on historical film and television and the problem of presenting history in an authentic way. The dossier focused on Band of Brothers, in particular detailing the camera work used, CGI and the documentary style of the filming. It also touched on the issues facing the use of CGI which is something that is closely related to my own project, so I will return to this later in the term.

To me one of the key points being discussed was the idea of authenticity, whether it is possible for dramatization to be deemed to ethically portray true events (stories supplied by veteran testimonies) while still providing a story that’s engaging and seemingly real, given the technology that is involved.

But what is authenticity when dealing with stories?

The references of the piece discussed the ‘spell of imitation’ and continually referred to the idea that art in various forms should be treated with suspicion when claiming to represent reality (SUTTON,D., 2010). But all art is an extension of ourselves, so maybe a form of truth, and film and television are no different. With the use of CGI and colour manipulation for added authenticity, the dossier mentioned that we become more removed from the actual truth.

Surely true reality can only be experienced if you’re actually there? So not through books, film or even stories handed down to the next generation. These kind of stories and the memories of the Veterans for that fact can get altered, forgotten, blended with other memories, so change over time.

As artists all we can hope to achieve is that we touch on something–some element of reality–an emotion that is authentic and portray it as honestly as we can. CGI is a tool to be used wisely so to not distract. Combine that with the shaky documentary camera work shown in Band of Brothers that allows the viewers to almost feel that they are there, or with subconscious symbolism in the use of colour for example, we can aim to develop a satisfying end product.

Now more that ever we need to look at the amalgamation of the role of designer, director, writers etc. as visual story telling seems to be a holistic process that blends the actors, pre-production, post-production, writing, soundtracks etc. seamlessly. For me dramatisations that neglect one of these cogs in the machine even fall short of  imitated ‘authenticity’.

Reference:-SUTTON,D., The DreamWorks effect:: the case for studying the ideology of production design (2010) [Online] Available at

Categories: General research | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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