Tuesday, 2 August 2011


Hi, sorry I haven't posted any updates in a while. The last few weeks have been pretty busy. I finished my third year at Uni, went on holiday, had my graduation ceremony and I'm currently interning on a film in London. But don't worry, 'Opening Night' hasn't been abandoned, it's just on hold for a few weeks, and we will continue production soon.

Until then I have lots of pictures documenting the construction of the sets that I can share. I'll be starting with 'The Alleyway' set. This is the first scene in the film and takes place in an alley next the the Theatre. This is where the stage door is located and a mail shoot.

Above is a concept image made my Josh. It shows the look we're trying to achieve. The Mail Man will need to walk down part of the alley and interact with the door and mail shoot.

The alley is very long and narrow with several tall buildings in the distance that would take a lot of time and money to make. Since we don't have much time or money, we cheat.

Above is a picture of the stage I made earlier. As you can see we don't have a huge ground surface to work with. The amount of work space is an important factor to consider when designing sets. Our solution was to make a small section of alleyway and digitally extend it later using green screens. I'll explain more about that later. In the limited space we do have, we made the parts of the alley that our Mail Man Puppet will need to interact with.

We started by cutting a large MDF flat that will represent the wall of the theatre. We cut out a doorway and a square hole for the mail shoot, making sure they were in scale with our puppets. (we need our puppets to be able to fit through the doorway). To create the brick texture we spread a thin layer of  multi purpose filler over the surface of the MDF.

When the whole board was covered with a 3mm layer we pressed lines into the surface to represent bricks. We used rulers to ensure the lines were straight and had to work fast because the filler is air drying. While we were working we used a water spray to keep the filler damp. After about 3 hours the filler had set.

The next stage was to paint the wall. We sprayed the whole surface with grey primer to create the grey concrete colour between bricks. Next we mixed up a terracotta colour in cheap poster paints and sponged it onto the surface in a 'dry brushing' technique. The idea was to colour the top surface of the bricks while leaving the gaps between them grey.

Finally we painted lighter and darker colour variations to select bricks to make them look more diverse. These were painted with a brush in a random pattern. While painting we made sure the colours looked ok while they were under the studio lights. Different lights and bulbs can change the perceived colour of the wall. That's why is some of these pictures the bricks seem to change colour

Here is the wall after it was painted. as you can see it has a purple-ish tint, which matches our design art. There is still a lot of details to add to the wall at this stage such as the door, door frame and mail shoot. I'll continue with that in my next post, as well as the wall on the other side of the alleyway.
P.S I'll try and get Josh to update his blog too.

That's all for now,
Until next time.