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Shawn Philip Nelson
03-22-2009, 10:14 PM
I've bought some of the books on Amazon, meh, they deal FAR more with on-set protocol and process then in actual techniques.

I'd love websites or books on how to work with plaster, foam, clay, etc. to make things, how to age stuff, etc.

Any resources are appreciated!!

Btw, when is DVXUser going to get a subforum dedicated just to things like art design, production design, costuming, etc? This is an area of HUGE potential improvement among the indie crowd.

Jim Brennan
03-22-2009, 10:32 PM
Shawn, check out the theatre department section at the library. Lst time I was in there was a bunch of stuff about making sets and props. Might be a good place to start.

I always try to get a book from the library if I can before I buy it. Saves me money on books I don't need.

Shawn Philip Nelson
03-22-2009, 10:43 PM
Li-bra-ry? What is this strange building you speak of? :-)

Lol, so bad, I haven't even stepped into one in years. I tend to just review Amazon reviews then buy whatever other people liked :-)

Sad Max
03-23-2009, 08:53 AM
Btw, when is DVXUser going to get a subforum dedicated just to things like art design, production design, costuming, etc? This is an area of HUGE potential improvement among the indie crowd.

I floated the idea a few months ago, with a poll attached.

It didn't meet with very much enthusiasm. Which may reflect a certain indie philosophy; I don't know.

A lot of aging/dyeing/set carpentry/foam sculpting, etc is stuff that's really learn-by-doing. At least, that's how most of the people with whom I work, learned it. Most of the books I have seen on the subject tend to focus on the studio design process, which is less suited to small-budget indie work than it is to more generously-funded projects.

Larry Rutledge
03-23-2009, 10:34 AM
Hey Sad Max, I've been wanting to ask you this for a while. I was reading in that other thread about the "look" of indie vs H-wood films, and you made a comment about smaller budget indie's not having money for construction.

And, that made sense. But I was wondering, what in your estimation is a minimum budget where it would be feasible to bring in construction?

I ask because that's what I had been noticing over the last 5 or 6 months while comparing films that didn't seem to "have the look" with those that did. One of the biggest things that jumped out at me (and so I read that other thread with great interest, as it lined up with what I was noticing) is the art direction/set dressing/ whatever it's called was off.

I'm in the very early stages of a prepping for a feature and I want to do what I can to overcome those failings.


It's very apparent to me, that you can't use an existing home for a film home. There is a marked difference between how an average home looks on film compared with how an average home on film looks, just as an example.

In fact the scene that sparked this realization in me was when someone had an office, I think it was a church or school office, and it looked like someone's living room that they drug a desk into and filmed it against a wall with a door in it. But the walls had home wallpaper, not office wallpaper and the furniture looked like something you'd see in someone's home. I know some small offices look that way, but in a film, it looked wrong and really stuck out in a bad way, IMHO.

Sad Max
03-23-2009, 10:59 AM
In fact you can successfully use real homes, offices, etc as locations; most commercials and a lot of tv shows/features rent private homes and various professional spaces, for the purpose. The difficulty is not so much the nature of residential or work spaces as the need to have total access and the ability to get everybody in there to do their thing on the necessary schedule (plus as often as not crews tend to destroy the location on their way in and out). Of course there's always a structural wall that everyone wants to get rid of, but you just have to shoot around that kind of thing...or cut a camera port, hang a picture over it on the way out, and hope the owners don't get curious...

So far as the minimum budget for construction, I hate to give you a weasel answer but it depends upon what you need to build. One single-faced 10'x10' wild wall to close off the end of a location space? 1/2 of a police interrogation room? The entire hangar bay of the USS Nimitz? You get the idea.

Re: the sort of thing you describe with the office set - that sounds like something that could have been addressed with the right low-tack wallpaper or painted flat to cover the wall, plus the right choice of dressing etc to sell the space in its desired role. But this isn't the kind of thing that can be effectively addressed on an as-you-go basis; your art director needs to be in the loop as soon or sooner than your DP so as to start anticipating these things with enough lead time to actually do something about them.

Larry Rutledge
03-23-2009, 11:08 AM
That makes sense ... and no, it's not a weasel answer. It makes sense that it really depends from film to film, but you gave me some great things to think about.

I definitely think this is something that needs to be considered on every shoot, and it is probably the one area where we small time indie's fail the most (at least I do). I need to find some people with these talents going forward, and definitely need to bring them in from day 1.

Thanks

Shawn Philip Nelson
03-23-2009, 02:06 PM
That makes sense ... and no, it's not a weasel answer. It makes sense that it really depends from film to film, but you gave me some great things to think about.

I definitely think this is something that needs to be considered on every shoot, and it is probably the one area where we small time indie's fail the most (at least I do). I need to find some people with these talents going forward, and definitely need to bring them in from day 1.

Thanks

So how about a Production/Art/Set/Costume Design thread where those of us concerned about such things can start discussions, sharing resources, etc?

Sad Max
03-23-2009, 02:45 PM
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=136802

If you want to refloat the idea, go for it. Maybe you'll raise more enthusiasm on the board for it, than I did.

Larry Rutledge
03-23-2009, 02:59 PM
I'm just the tech guy ... can't make those decisions. But I'll pass it along and see if it has feet this time around.

I'd be curious how many around here are just interested in finding people that do this versus those that actually do it. I know I'd be interested in reading the info, but it's not an area I feel inspired to take on as an ongoing role. There are far better suited folks to the task and I'd rather pay them to do what they do best, then to botch it up myself :)

Larry Rutledge
03-23-2009, 03:07 PM
Ok, passed it on ... looks like they'll set up a sub-forum in the filmmaking section and see how much interest it garners.

Shawn Philip Nelson
03-25-2009, 03:18 PM
Ok, passed it on ... looks like they'll set up a sub-forum in the filmmaking section and see how much interest it garners.

I'm still not seeing it, is this still happening?

Larry Rutledge
03-25-2009, 03:20 PM
Yea, we just are in the middle of fest madness. Loss Fest wrapping up, Quest Fest launching, Script Fest IV viewing starting ... and we do have day jobs outside of this site :)

Sad Max
03-25-2009, 03:34 PM
People have lives outside of DVXUser?

I heard about some old DVXUser member who claimed to have climbed the highest mountain and found that he could touch the sky above, but he was kind of eccentric and dropped dead shortly thereafter, anyway...

HorseFilms
03-25-2009, 03:44 PM
I definitely think this is an overlooked aspect of indie flicks and I'd love to learn more about it. Luckily, we have someone hanging around here who knows a thing or two about the topic.:beer:

Jim Brennan
03-25-2009, 05:51 PM
this is one of the parts of filmmaking that almost every indie overlooks, and it makes a HUGE difference.

pixelated
03-25-2009, 07:33 PM
Li-bra-ry? What is this strange building you speak of? :-)DUDE. You live in Portland. Forget the library. You have POWELL's ! Pack a lunch and be sure to leave intended route with friend lest you not surface for a week . . . (Actually the little coffee shop @ SW corner's not bad).

For the unitiated, Powells is the country's largest independent bookseller with tons of used titles. See http://www.powells.com/

Drew Ott
03-25-2009, 07:38 PM
I'm excited for an art direction forum. May my interest be noted.

pixelated
04-08-2009, 07:24 PM
Ok, passed it on ... looks like they'll set up a sub-forum in the filmmaking section and see how much interest it garners.

Hope this wasn't forgotten, I've been looking forward to it. Add my vote if we're counting . . .

Sad Max
04-28-2009, 11:24 AM
If anyone has questions regarding art dept.-type pre-production, surveying, resources, standards and practices, etc with which I might be able to help out, go ahead and pm me.

HorseFilms
04-28-2009, 04:32 PM
That's really generous of you, Karl. Thanks, man!:beer:

Shawn Philip Nelson
04-28-2009, 04:38 PM
Sad Max, PM'd you!

And for this thread...crickets? If DVXUser declines to do it, can I get a reference for another good online forum that has a thriving props/sets/costumes section?

Sad Max
04-28-2009, 04:48 PM
That's really generous of you, Karl. Thanks, man!:beer:

Sure.

Maybe the questions will be good blog-grist.

Mmm.

Blog-grist.

Capt Quirk
04-28-2009, 05:42 PM
In case any of the muckety mucks are reading, I'm interested in some of the finer points of art and set production as well. I have a decent head and can figure most stuff out on my own, but actual reference sources are always a big help.

Shawn Philip Nelson
04-28-2009, 07:20 PM
Awesome :-), we're now in our own subforum!

ChrisHurn
04-28-2009, 07:32 PM
This is awesome! :beer:

Reith tv-films
06-08-2009, 10:46 AM
At last, an art dept. forum! for something as creative as film making, it is a shame how
much of this side of it is over looked, especially in the indie and budget areas.

When there's money available though, it does make it a LOT easier, especially
for the more surreal stuff that I enjoy.

Have a look at the superb steampunk world created in set/props for 'City of lost children'
as an example.

Theron.

Sad Max
06-08-2009, 11:14 AM
Yeah, City of Lost Children was damned brilliant.

Reith tv-films
07-03-2009, 05:18 PM
Okay then kids, here's a little treat for You, if You ever wondered where Dr. Frankenstein got all the stuff to fit-out His lab. then here You go;

It ain't Radioshack, and btw DO TAKE NOTICE OF THE WARNINGS!!
http://www.electricstuff.co.uk/

I searched specifically for details of building the Jacobs ladder in particular,
and came up with this site some years ago. I realise the need/relevance of something like this is limited for most productions, but if You're doing any 'retro sci-fi', then Your Designer/propmaker needs to look here.

Cheers, Theron.

Sad Max
07-03-2009, 05:49 PM
Thanks, that's a good one.

Here's something in the Los Angeles area -

http://www.apexelectronic.com/

Now, all that's there is a placeholder page with some information. But take it from me, if you're looking for electronic bits and pieces, switches, tubes, wiring, parts for al kinds of equipment medical and scientific and broadcasting big and small, it's worth visiting their yard to have a look. Virtually every heavy-duty technical-stuff show I've done, we've found resources to suit our needs there.

Other nearby businesses with smaller operations but still full of interesting technical odds and ends are Norton Sales http://www.nortonsalesinc.com (http://clicks.superpages.com/ct/clickThrough?SRC=comwp&target=SP&PN=1&FP=listings&T=Burbank&S=CA&C=electronic+surplus&CID=546744&PGID=yp473.8081.1246668296955.2074890611&ACTION=log,red&LID=0103774619&bidType=FLCLIK&relativePosition=6&RS=84&FL=url&TL=off&LOC=http://www.nortonsalesinc.com)and Luky's Hardware http://www.lukyshardware.com/.

Reith tv-films
07-06-2009, 12:28 PM
Max, all those links worked okay when I tried them, some very useful sources there. I wish lukyshardware would open a branch here in the UK - that's My sort of hardware store! (I remember loads of 'army surplus' stores like that - though not as big - in the 60s and 70s, but by the late eighties, they were becoming rare, and are now virtually extinct over here.)

Going back to Shawn's original post, I have a couple more links that give more info. re: art and design rescources/tips which could be useful;

More information and advice for achieving various looks and textures;

http://www.studioarts.co.uk/links/hintsandtips/acrylicsliquitexhintsandtips.htm (http://www.studioarts.co.uk/links/hintsandtips/acrylicsliquitexhintsandtips.htm)


Will Wright’s ‘The Ultimate Guide to Production Design for No-Budget Movies’;
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/130668/the_ultimate_guide_to_production_design.html (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/130668/the_ultimate_guide_to_production_design.html)

Cheeres, Theron.