By working in film and television, producers create an extraordinary visual landscape to which the characters in the film can adapt and in which they live. This is done on the basis of a ready-made scenario that shows us the essence of a certain region, a certain era or a certain time (past, present, future) in which the story takes place.
My journey as an industrial designer began at a very young age. I come from a family of filmmakers; my father is a film producer, and he took me to the film sets. As a teenager I started developing artistic concepts and storyboards for various film projects. My first feature as a storyboarder was The Mighty Heart starring Angelina Jolie. I played a crucial role in this process and worked with the visual design team on the design of the sets that will be used in the film.
As a child I always had a great interest in design, because I often drew conceptual art and illustrations. I was particularly interested in industrial design because it involves strong visualisation, and it was the best way to combine my design skills with the film production environment. I think production designers should study all the principles of design from A to Z: for example graphic design, conceptual design, storytelling and especially the principles of art direction.
This is a very time-consuming process. That’s why the more time I spend on the pre-sale scene of the movie, the better. I have to be firm and have faith in my vision as a visual artist. First I read the scripts without taking formal notes, because I have to imagine the world of the story in my imagination; only when this process is finished I can continue with the practical side of things. The production designer is a key figure in all phases of shooting and one of the first members of the film crew.
After reading the script, I make the first notes and think about the number of sentences I need. For example: How many sets are needed for construction? v/s, how many practical ready-to-use places can be used? Or even if we need special decorations, how long will it take to film? It is important to have a detailed list of the different art departments and the right team for each department.
Because everyone in the art department is actively working on creating realistic sets, I do my best to follow this process and make sure everything is done exactly as the script requires. For example how the settings are described in the different scenes and which objects are suitable for this setting or which color palette is suitable: Usually I try to familiarize myself with the thoughts and feelings of the author when writing the script. In this way I can adapt to any change in production, which is common for most germs.
First I hire an art director to supervise the art department and then I appoint a decorator to supervise the decorative aspect of the decors. This team is then expanded with graphic designers, decorators, assistants and coordinators. Every department of the art department directly employs auxiliary staff – they are designers, tailors, carpenters, decorators, welders, etc. – and they’re all trained in the art department.
I then work with the director and the cameraman to determine the character, tone and palette of the project in order to achieve a unique, unified vision that remains unchanged throughout the film. This means that we study the conceptual art of films with similar themes and decide whether we can do something new to visually contrast our film with existing films.
The whole team then discusses the nature of the designs and compares them with the sets that have been built – to see how close we are to our original vision. It is a standard that ensures that we have what we need and that we can do anything. As far as the production process itself is concerned, only the execution and subsequent changes that take place during the process remain. I would say that most of the preparatory work is dedicated to the launch production. After that, there is little more to do in the field of visual design; this process is completed before the actual filming begins.
I am grateful that as a designer I contributed to the production of many films and television commercials. Some of the most famous TV commercials include Jaguar – Land Rover, Nutrela and jockey clothing.
But the most remarkable project I worked on was the Trump Towers, where I played a leading role in the production design team. At that time we had the privilege of working with Mr. Donald Trump – the announcement was to present the newly built Trump Towers in the heart of Mumbai. I also do peripheral graphics; I make graphics for film and television. Some of the remarkable works I have worked on include Driving Netflix with Bella Tron, Broken AF Amazon Prime, the feature film Polybius with veteran actor Ron Atkins, the feature film Losing Grace with Logan Paul.
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