Monday, 25 April 2011

John Macfarlane's Set Designs for Cinderella

Here is a link to another video showing how the clock moves and animates.

I've been meaning to write this post ever since I since I saw this production of The Birmingham Royal Ballet 'Cinderella' at Christmas. I think this post is even more relevant now after Gillian Blease offered the advice of visiting theaters and inquire about set design.

What stood out most to me was the huge clock that was part of the set when Cinderella was dancing at the ball which is probably the most iconic moment in the story 'when the clock strikes midnight'. I thought it was hugely effective mainly due to the huge scale of the clock compared to everything else on the stage. It was dominating, and it represented the time ticking as the cogs were slowly rotating in sync with the music. Which was a constant reminder for the audience, emphasizing the tension in this scene.

The colours really worked in this production as well, for example, the clock acted as a silhouette and was lit from behind, so the shapes stood out and were a huge contrast with the rest of the drop cloth. The different scenery was quite simplistic throughout but still held an overall element of fantasy and authenticity. The use of neutral colours were ideal for vibrantly coloured lights projected onto almost blank canvases. The plain set was appropriate for the production because it put most of the emphasis and focus onto the dancers.

I've also found out what type of process set designers have to go through in order to demonstrate their ideas and designs for the set, they make smaller mock ups (models) with plenty of detail which is similar to what I do. Plus I think I'm a lot more comfortable with designing environments rather than characters.

I think researching into this has given me a direction I could choose to go in. I think it would definitely be worth taking Gillian Blease's advice by approaching a theater company and perhaps asking for a brief or some work experience.

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