Thursday, 16 December 2010

A look at prosthetics

After being told I need to think about what kind of warehouse is going to be my scene and with a few helpful suggestions, I have decided to make the warehouse a place where prosthetics are stored. So here is a quick look at some prosthetics. :D

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Film Review: Repulsion

The fifth film we watched from the ‘Unhomely’ film programme was Repulsion, which was directed by Roman Polanski and was released in 1965.

Fig. 1 Repulsion Poster
Repulsion is an interesting way in which Roman Polanski explores the psychological state of the human mind through the main character Carol, a French woman living in London.

One particular theme used that Polanski would later go on to use in both The Tenant and Rosemary's Baby is the use of a confined flat which slowly begins to play host to the characters insecurities and paranoia. One instance would be the cracks that begin appearing on the walls of the flat in which Carol lives. As 366 Wierd Movies describe:

"Cracks recur throughout Repulsion, and obviously symbolize Carole’s deteriorating mind.  Early on, Carole looks at a developing fissure in the apartment wall and muses, “I must get this crack mended”; much later on, a crack in her bedroom wall breaks open and draws her into a particularly nasty nightmare." (366 Weird Movies, 2008)

In Time's review it states:

"The crisis point is reached when the lovers leave for a holiday in Italy, abandoning the sexually repressed girl to her fantasies." (Time, 2008)

With her sister gone on holiday, Carol's already fragile mind is slowly deteriorating further as she stays in the flat by herself. At this point her insecurities of being a foreign girl in foreign country are likely taking root. When she mentions that she needs to fix the crack she may be inadvertently referring to herself, revealing she knows she needs help or for someone to be with her, particularly her sister. As the film progresses though she begins to seclude herself from life outside the flat and the cracks grow larger become more frequent revealing she is verging on being clinically insane.

Something that does peek interest is the difference between Repulsion and The Tenant and Rosemary's Baby particularly in the main character. As Kim Newman states:

"...Polanski locks us in with Carol from the first, forcing us to share her warped perceptions." (Newman, -)

What is interestingly different between Repulsion and The Tenant and Rosemary's Baby, is that from the start when we are introduced to Carol it is clear she suffers from her fears and paranoia whereas in the other two films this gradually builds up from the main characters normal lives. In repulsion we see Carol's state of mind worsen to a point where she kills two men. The fact that Carol starts of with this paranoia suggests she may have had a troubled or disturbed childhood which has resulted in her acting this way.

List of Illustrations

Figure 1 Polanski, Roman (1965) Repulsion Poster. At:
(Accessed on 15.12.10)


366 Wierd Movies (2008) Repulsion. At:
(Accessed on 15.12.10)

Time (2008) Cinema: A Maiden Beserk. At:,9171,842218,00.html
(Accessed on 15.12.10)

Newman, Kim (-) Repulsion. At:
(Accessed on 15.12.10)

Film Review: Eraserhead

The fourth film we watched from the ‘Unhomely’ film programme was Eraserhead, which was directed by David Lynch and was released in 1977.

Fig. 1 Eraserhead Poster
One of the most grotesque and disturbing films to watch, Eraserhead pulls upon the fears and consequent horrors that come with world of deformity. If you can look past the painfully deformed and suffering creature that is the child of the main character Henry, we realise that Henry is experiencing a sort of severely disturbed yet rather fascinating, psychological journey.

The opening scene to Eraserhead has to been one of it highlight moments. Before we even know what the story is about we are shown puzzling images with no explanation of what they are or even mean. As review from That guy with the Glasses felt:

"The opening scene where we see Henry floating in space seems to me to be a surreal sex scene, the orientation of Henry, being horizontal across the screen, and the release of the sperm like creature from his mouth is rather suggestive." (That guy with the Glasses, 2010)

The way this scene is portrayed, without any prior knowledge to what is happening, would strongly suggest that this is indeed a very surreal sex scene, one that only director's such as Lynch could create. But because we aren't specifically told what is happening this interpretation would best fit the scene and for that matter the entire film which deals with the life of this horribly deformed child of Henry's. Although not mentioned, the presence of lone and deformed figure is also seen within the opening scene in which he operates levers. If this were to be related to the idea that this scene is in fact a Lynchian sex scene, it could be suggested that this figure is an essence of Henry's mind that controls his sexual interactions.

A particular element about this film that pushes it deeper into the realm of the strange is the use of sound, or lack thereof. As Lucy Reynolds says:

"Sound in Eraserhead is always present it could be said, even if you count the roaring silences which threaten at the sidelines of the story. In the background there can almost constantly be heard a low atonal hum, resonating and emanating an uneasy mixture of discordant noises and off pitch screeches." (Reynolds, -)

The background sounds of humming machines provides a very mechanical and unnatural feel which immediately becomes unsettling. This combined with the human cry from something that in no way resembles a human and the painful silence that runs as consistently running theme only deepens these unsettling feelings.

One may question as to the significance of the girl in the radiator of which several interpretations can be drawn upon. In one aspect she could be a figment of Henry's psyche, a visual representation of his feelings and dreams of being rid of the thing that lays crying on the table. Rumsey Taylor points out:

"A theory (not my own) underlines this image, and forces an interpretation of the film. This lady in the radiator is death. She intrigues Henry because she is a form of escape from his existence. To further secure this claim is her soothing anthem “in heaven everything is fine.”" (Taylor, 2004)

This is a rather interesting take on who she is and why she is there and it definitely seems to have its place within the film. In one instance she is seen squashing the sperm like creatures on the stage, which would be a likely hint of  who she is but also what she intends for Henry to do to the thing in order to be with her and escape.That and the song she is repeatedly heard singing crystallises what could very well be an accurate interpretation of why she is there.

List of Illustrations

Figure 1 Lynch, David (1977) Eraserhead Poster. At:
(Accessed on 15.12.10)


That guy with the Glasses (2010) Eraserhead:A Critical Review. At:

(Accessed on 15.12.10)

Reynolds, Lucy (-) Eraserhead. At:
(Accessed on 15.12.10)

Taylor, Rumsey (2004) Eraserhead. At:
(Accessed on 15.12.10)

Thumbnails Continued (25-52)

Monday, 13 December 2010

Alternative idea

Just in case the idea I'm going with isn't quite right I have a secondary, back-up idea just as a precaution. So far this idea is only in a mental stage but it is similar to my current one.

Instead of the set being an abandoned warehouse illuminated by an exterior light through a collapsed roof, I was think of patching the set up and making it look like a working factory at night. Replacing the majority of the larger objects would be industrial machines all of which would be inactive due to worker having left which still keeps the sense of abandonment. There would be a light emitting from one of the distant machines and the lights above it would be on but be quite dim.

I'll get a few drawings of what I have envisioned for this idea up asap just so it explains things a bit clearer and shows what I'm trying to get at.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Initial Concept

I have finally created an initial concept from the research I've gathered. It's a start but there definitely so things I want and need to change in it.

For starters the angle in the piece isn't really satisfying me; it feels a little cliche so I'm going to have a little play around with it, try and make it look more dramatic, maybe use an unusual place to view the scene from like atop the shelves or even under them.

As for the objects in the scene, I want to have less shelving units, maybe restrict it to 2 or 3 and have some of them falling apart and collapsing. There aren't any degraded box or crates in this as of yet but I plan to include some to make the scene feel more abandoned but no so much that the scene feels too empty. As for the light on the ceiling, I'm thinking that could be hanging a bit lower and a little tilted.

In terms of lighting the main source will be coming in from the caved in roof. I want the scene to be somewhat reminiscent to Hopper and Degas' 'caught in the moment' idea so I want there to be some 'mangled' debris dropping from the hole and around it's edge which I hope will also create so interesting shadows. I'm not sure whether to add a dim light coming from the light on the ceiling because it might play havoc with some of the shadows I want from the hole in the roof.

Influence map: Set ideas and components

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Thumbnails Continued (10-24)

More thumbnails for my set design also looking at the possible designs of boxes and crates that i want to use in it.

Photoshop tutorial: Textures

Here are a few texture pieces I made during the photoshop session on Friday. Overall i'm pretty pleased with them even though a little confusion managed to strike me at first.

If you can't figure out what this is, it's supposed to be a rust texture although I'm getting the feeling it looks like a rock or tree texture.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Something festive!

Really enjoyed using the fur textures just simply because they're great to play around with. And applying them to a festive santa hat (as it is santa hat Friday) is a good way to show them off and of course suits the christmas festivaties.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Film Review: The Tenant

The third film we watched from the ‘Unhomely’ film programme was The Tenant, which was directed by Roman Polanski and was released in 1976.

Fig. 1 The Tenant Poster

An interesting and rather odd film to watch, The Tenant is another of Roman Polanski's classic horror films. However this isn't the kind of horror film you would usually expect to find, and in fact it's not a particularly horrific film but rather a disturbing film that plays on the paranoia of identity. Steve Biodrowski states: 

"THE TENANT is short on typical horror movie action: there are no monsters, and there is little in the way of traditional suspense. That’s because the film is not operating on the kind of fear that most horror films exploit: fear of death. Instead, THE TENANT’s focus is on an equally disturbing fear: loss of identity." (Biodrowski, 2009)

As stated before, this film plays with the paranoia of identity and as the film progresses it is revealed to us that the character Trelkovsky is beginning to relate his identity to that of the women that previously owned the apartment before committing suicide. Unfortunately though this spoils the ending in which Trelkovsky sure enough reenacts many of woman's habits before falling prey to the same act in which she died.

The cause for the eventually suicide attempts is evident and honestly I can see why Trelkovsky would have been pushed to this point. As with Polanski's 1968 Rosemary's Baby the neighbours are somewhat to blame which further reinforces his ability to identify with the female tenant. Kim Newman writes:

"Trelkovsky is either subtly bullied by his neighbours or succumbs to extreme paranoia, and gradually comes more and more to identify with Simone." (Newman, -)

This subtle bullying is pretty much living with the neighbours from hell. The ones that complain about noise, or having guests over. And we've all had them or know someone who does and Polanski exploits this in a way that keeps the main character identifying with the female tenant.

But one of the most prominent scenes of this film has got to be the bathroom scenes. If there is any element of fear or discomfort shown in this film it would have to be this. As Roger Ebert describes it:

"And it has a haunted bathroom; every time Polanski looks in through the bathroom window (which he does quite frequently, come to think of it) there's someone standing there motionless, looking straight back at him." (Ebert, 1976)

What is more chilling than to look into a mirror and not see your own reflection but rather of what could just as well be a mannequin with creepy eyes. These scenes really do give that sense that Trelkovsky is under constant watch, that someone could be spying on him. but who is watching him is another question. These motionless people could just be figments of his imagination or even his growing paranoia but it is never explained.

List of Illustrations

Figure 1 Polanski, Roman (1976) The Tenant Poster. At:
(Accessed on 09.12.10)


Biodrowski, Steve (2009) The Tenant. At:
(Accessed on 09.12.10)

Newman, Kim (-) The Tenant. At:

(Accessed on 09.12.10)

Ebert, Roger (1976) The Tenant. At:

(Accessed on 09.12.10)

Film Review: Rosemary's Baby

The second film we watched from the ‘Unhomely’ film programme was Rosemary's Baby, which was directed by Roman Polanski and was released in 1968.

Fig. 1 Rosemary's Baby Poster
A very interesting film to watch, Rosemary's Baby is a film built up around paranoia in which Rosemary, the focal character, must fight to save her unborn child from an unknown evil. The film is very psychologically based and builds up horror around this as Film4 states:

"...Roman Polanski's classic psycho-horror,.." (Film4, -)

However, as the film progresses it soon becomes involved in a form of physical horror, child birth and so appears to balance somewhere between a psycho and physical horror. What this film does in terms of physical horror is expose Rosemary's unpleasant period in which she is pregnant creating an atmosphere of fear and pain that sets the stage of real life at its most extreme.

The characters of film are all performed convincingly as though they were real people however one particularly interesting character, although very annoying, is Minnie Castevet, the overly interested but secretly evil neighbour to Rosemary and Guy. The Time Magazine describes her as:

"The film's most memorable performance, though, is turned in by Veteran Ruth Gordon as the coarse and cozily evil Minnie Castevet—sniffing for information like a questing rodent, forcing Rosemary to drink her satanic tonics of herbs, dispensing that old Black Magic that she knows so well in a voice that sounds like a crow with a cold." (Time Magazine, 1968)

Ruth Gordon's character Minnie Castevet is your typical neighbour from hell, which in some ways is ironic because she is a satanist. How the character is portrayed however is very clever. On the outside she appears to be a very talkative, intrusive, loud and somewhat forceful women, but as the film progresses her motives, as well as her husbands, become clear and the facade of an overly interested neighbour peels away to reveal the scheming and tainted soul that is the real Minnie Castevet. Throughout the film Minnie is constantly on the frontline, forcing her way into Rosemary's life and 'helping' her during the pregnancy, and in some ways she shows unwavering care towards the unborn baby, so long as it helps push her and her husbands goals that much further. Having said that though she still clings on to some of her elderly woman innocence right until the end which, in light of her satanic beliefs, is somewhat sickening and frightening. 

One of the most emotionally hard hitting scenes in this film would be its inevitably sad conclusion which would change Rosemary's life. Roger Ebert says:

"When the conclusion comes, it works not because it is a surprise but because it is horrifyingly inevitable. Rosemary makes her dreadful discovery, and we are wrenched because we knew what was going to happen --and couldn't help her." (Ebert, 1968)

From early on we can see how the plot of the film is likely to unravel and how it will end but as an audience all we can do is sit there and watch as the poor Rosemary is preyed upon by the satanic vultures that are her neighbours and soon enough her own husband. This unfortunate event creates an overwhelming despair within the audience that concludes with a mortified Rosemary being given the choice to care for her new 'devil' son or forget he ever existed. A tough choice to make indeed. What throws the conclusion into further despair is when Rosemary she her new borns eyes. Piercing, evil eyes isn't what a mother wants to see on her baby and at this point both Rosemary and the audience feel no hope is left. 

List of Illustrations

Figure 1. Polanski, Roman (1968) Rosemary's Baby Poster
(Accessed on 09.12.10)


Film4 (-) Rosemary's Baby. At:
(Accessed on 09.12.10)

Time Magazine (1968) Rosemary's Baby. At:,9171,900239,00.html
(Accessed on 09.12.10)

Ebert, Roger (1968) Rosemary's Baby. At:
(Accessed on 09.12.10)

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Research: Collapsed Roof

Ideally I want my scene to have light filter into the building from the outside and at first I thought of using and window but that's just cliche, so I've had a think about some alternatives and the one that took my interest was having a small section of the ceiling collapsed so the light can get in from above rather than from the sides.

Research: Objects for a warehouse

A few bits and pieces that could go into the warehouse scene such as shelves, box, creates and so on.

Life Drawing: Week 12

Our last life drawing session before christmas :( but a rather enjoyable one. A few quick superhero poses and some 15 minute drawings are just what I in life drawing. And I think the proportions are starting to become a little more accurate now

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Research: Edgar Degas

Continuing this idea of close ups and cropped out scenes is the work of Edgar Degas.

His paintings such as those depicting ballet performers, all appear in an unusual style that very few other artists. Degas has a very 'capture the moment' quality in his work, almost like his paint brush is taking snapshots of scenes as they unfold. But he doesn't capture the whole scene. Instead he focuses on a particular moment take for instance in Blue Dancers, where the women are removing their costumes and this in its own sense provides a reality to the painting the idea that yes there are other things going on around these women but it shows where Degas' focus is, as if onlookers are  to see the events through his eyes.
Fig. 1 Blue Dancers
The way in which Degas crops and selects his focus leads his paintings open to the interpretation that there is a much larger world surrounding the events within the paintings. In the painting Ballet hall of the opera in Rue Pele, there are half cropped, open doors on either side of the room in the painting that suggests the events are continuing outside the scene but we cannot see them. Again with the dancer on the far right, she appears to be looking at something, possibly out of a window again of which we can't see.
Fig. 2 Ballet hall of the opera in Rue Pele

Set illusion

This image caught my eye while I was at work and the picture quality is a bit bad I know, but this was a very spur of the moment idea. I thought it was pretty good example of turning a set into an illusion. The illusion is supposed to be a close up of a face focusing on an eye and nose. I was thinking that including something like this in the final set would be a good idea because it lends itself to the idea of ambiguity; in one way it is a simple photographed set and in another a close up of a face.

(If you're having trouble seeing the illusion then take the hanging light in the foreground as an eye, the chair in the background as the bottom of the nose and the window to the right as another eye.)

Monday, 6 December 2010

Friday, 3 December 2010

Research: Interiors

More research looking at the interior spaces and layouts for warehouses and factories.