Tuesday, 10 November 2009

before i dart off to work

As i am well aware, this blog could be a bit 'denser' at this point, but never fear, as this point last interim, it was even thinner, and i still managed to get the job done. I've always been one to go through several options before driving straight in.

a lot of hand drawn sketches still need to be uploaded, as well as some photographic research.
as well as this, my prep drawings are being taken care of as you read this.
the essay question is as follows: What production techniques, if any, made the Twilight Zone a successful sci fi TV show?

any feedback would be greatly received


  1. Interim Online Review - Unit 2 : Space 10/11/09

    Hi Elliot,

    Thanks for the reassurances, but I suggest that you take a tour around Ruben's blog - you'll understand if I simply say 'keep on top of it, Elliot...'

    Perhaps you need to look at your working routine and amend it accordingly so that you're blog is as 'dense' and well-developed as it should be at this stage; it is tricky delivering feedback when there's no clear stated intention or body of research. That is not to say that you haven't been getting on with stuff, because it's clear you have been, but much as I'd like to feedback intelligently on the Twilight Zone, you haven't posted any information by which I might make an informed observation. I hope that you've managed to dig up some fascinating facts re, the production history of the programme... a second post will follow this one containing general advice re. the written assignment.

    In our discussions about the digital painting classes, Phill Hosking mentioned two things; 1) that he was impressed with your engagement, and 2) that you were a little resistant to the change of approach necessitated by using the graphics tablet to build up environments in a more free-form and impressionist way. The second image you posted, as created on the tablet, is by far the strongest - it is evocative and very atmospheric - so I encourage you to make the most of those classes and learn all that you can - with as open a mind as you can.

    Check out Richard Vosper-Carey and Leo's blog - and take a look at their thumbnail sketches; you need to develop many more of these if you are going to create dynamic scenes, the potential of which you have fully explored; you can work them up quickly and from the gut, but remember the 16:9 ratio - even when developing thumbnails - it will assist you in creating strong compositions...

    Also - AND THIS IS IMPORTANT - where are all the Elliot MacGregor reviews of the various films? I'm not just showing them for the good of my health! You need to refine your critical eye, or risk writing turgid, generic assignments; there's a reason I'm showing you stuff, and there's a reason you're being asked to discuss the content. I know you've got a brain and a opinion, so use it/express it!

  2. Written Assignment stuff…

    Some general structural advice regarding framing your essay in the more general context of ‘production design’ – by way of introduction to your specific case-study (i.e. the movie or game of choice), you’ll need to demonstrate your understanding of the purpose of production design/designers in enshrining certain ‘narrative values’ within the look of the production; you should discuss the general aims/objectives/definitions of production design – see below:

    “Before designing anything, the designer develops a "design concept," an overarching metaphor for the film's appearance that governs individual choices. This "concept" may or may not be established in conjunction with the director. Once settled upon, however, it structures all decisions made, helping the art staff to give an individual film visual distinction.”
    Read more: http://www.filmreference.com/encyclopedia/Independent-Film-Road-Movies/Production-Design.html#ixzz0WRjZ6wTX

    You’ll find alternative definitions that you may want to include, but your following analysis of your chosen exemplar should be an in-depth discussion of that ‘overarching metaphor’ that organizes all the various components of the production’s design; you need to be looking for recurring motifs, colour values, use of space, set-design etc. that, collectively, create ‘the look’ and be able to talk insightfully about the narrative contribution of ‘the look’ – i.e. – how does it assist in the audience’s understanding of the narrative or thematic framework.
    IMPORTANT; try and think of your written assignments as ‘complete worlds’ – i.e., that they must contain all information necessary for your reader to follow your discussion coherently. Never presume prior knowledge on the behalf of your reader; do not, for instance, presume that your reader understands or is familiar with ‘Production Design’ – you always need to define your terms WITHIN the essay; likewise with films and games; give their release date, their director etc. Use footnotes to give definitions or information that would otherwise interrupt flow of argument; for instance, if you don’t want to pause rhythm of sentence by giving reader additional information about a particular artist or designer, use a footnote to put this data into the ‘margins’ of the discussion. On Word, goto to Insert and then ‘Footnote’ to install footnote at bottom of page.

    AVOID DESCRIPTION – obviously, you will need to give some plot details to contextualise the scenes you want to discuss, but I don’t want a blow-by-blow account of the game/film; give a brief précis and get on with the ANALYSIS.

    Below is a list of useful websites; use them in addition to other sources of reference (books, docs, making ofs) to SUPPORT your observations; you need to gather EVIDENCE to corroborate with your analysis. GENERIC observations (i.e. ‘stating the bloody obvious’) are to be avoided at all costs. Tell me something I DON’T know!



    The gloves are coming off; the brief asks you to produce 1,500 words… and that’s what I want; shortfall assignments will be penalized accordingly – or failed.

    Good Luck! ☺

  3. Hi Elly,

    in regards to what Phil has said, I shall go into a bit more detail as to what you should have in your blog by now.
    1.An analysis of the 3 scenes you are illustrating with sketches and annotations.

    2. Research into the genre and examples of how others have tackled this subject.

    3. Numerous thumbnail drawings, sketches and notes.

    4. Visual research to identify and justify the "Look" of your universe.

    5. Preliminary drawings that are starting to focus your research and experimentation to a starting point for your 3 final images.

    Ideally this needs to done and up ASAP.... Remember scan don't photograph sketchbook pages and reference material.

    Hope that helps as a checklist.

    I would second Phil's commentsabout your digital painting the latest one is definitely heading the right way.