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Initial Research

Initial Research

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Published by Jake Bryant

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: Jake Bryant on Oct 01, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Space & Environments
Cinematic Spaces: Initial Research
Jake Bryant
Project Introduction
Concept artists produce the illustrations that help production designers realise their vision for films,television and computer games.Concept artists work on big budget sci-fi, fantasy, or historical films/projects where visual and specialeffects are required to create design spectacles, or fantastical creatures, or other invented elements.Concept artists may also be involved in the development process, producing a series of illustrations thathelp to sell the film to potential financiers and/or distributors. Concept artists are requested by theproduction designer in the earliest stages of pre-production and together they begin to conceptualisethe visual content of the film. They work on a freelance basis. The concept artists' role is highlyspecialized. Big studio based films usually employ a number of concept artists who each work on aspecific element, e.g., a fantastical creature and/or scene. If the screenplay is an adaptation, conceptartists may analyse the original source material to gather as much descriptive information as possible;they may also work with specialist researchers who source and supply supplementary information andmaterials.Concept artists work in the Art Department studio alongside the draughtsman and specialistresearchers, and often produce their drawings on a computer. After approval by the productiondesigner, drawings are presented to the Producer, Director and Visual Effects coordinator for furtherdiscussion and development. The challenge for concept artists is to produce illustrations that are strikingbut also accurate and clear. Concept artists continue to work on illustrations throughout the shoot andmay often be required to change and adapt their original ideas as filming progresses.
While ‘concept artist’ is a relatively new job description, artists have always been
called upon to informthe look and feel of filmic spaces, as in Robert Wiene’s
Cabinet of Dr. Caligari 
(1920) – whosefamously skewed, neurotic sets were designed by the expressionists Hermann Warm, Walter Reimannand Walter Röhrig. Likewise, when Alfred Hitchcock was required to evoke the surreal dream spaces of his tortured protagonist in his 1945 film
, the director collaborated with Salvador Dali. WhenRidley Scott desired something truly ‘other-worldly’ to contrast with the gritty utilitarian ‘blue-collar’future devised by concept artists for his 1979 science-fiction classic,
, the director turned toanother surrealist, H.R. Giger, whose nightmarish psycho-sexual designs still impress and disturb.The importance of space, whether naturalistic, speculative or metaphoric, is one of the most significantconcepts a designer needs to understand. Using
Photoshop and
tablet, you are required toinvestigate ways in which space can be
through the design, development and production of 3 original concept paintings.
Aldous Huxley
"If we could sniff or swallow something that would, for five or six hours each day, abolish our solitude asindividuals, atone us with our fellows in a glowing exaltation of affection and make life in all its aspectsseem not only worth living, but divinely beautiful and significant, and if this heavenly, world-transfiguring drug were of such a kind that we could wake up next morning with a clear head and anundamaged constitution-then, it seems to me, all our problems (and not merely the one small problem of discovering a novel pleasure) would be wholly solved and earth would become paradise." 
Aldous Huxley
About Aldous Huxley
Aldous Huxley was a born into a ruling class family in England to Dr. Leonard Huxley and JuliaArnold. His Grandfather, Thomas Henry Huxley, was a leading biologist whose work helpeddevelop the theory of evolution, and his aunt Humphrey Ward was a very popular Victoriannovelist. Being part of a successful academic family, it was said that his ancestry had “broughtdown a weight of intellectual authority and a momentum of moral obligations.”
Huxley was unfit to join the army due to an eye illness which nearly blinded him during WorldWar 1. He instead worked as a farm laborer, which he felt left out due to his colleagues fightingfor their country.
With an appetite for science, he was very interested in scientific theories such as the one of hisgrandfather. Although he never managed to work on any big scientific projects, Huxley had avery large range of ideas related to the subject which can be seen and analysed in his book‘Brave New World’.
He was a humanist, pacifist, and a satirist and was deeply interested in spiritual subjects such asphilosophical mysticism and parapsychology which later led to him exploring his interest bytaking psychedelics.Influences & Themes
From Huxley’s upbringing, it is obvious that one of his biggest influences on his work was hisfamily considering the success they had had before him in different fields. It is also said that hisgrandfather’s work sparked his interest in science which is also a huge influence in his work andone of his recurring themes.
Because Huxley grew up in a strong intelligent household, heritage played a huge part in his lifeand class structure was greatly important during his childhood which can also be seen in someof his works especially in society’s he represents within some of his works.
His mother died from cancer at the age of 14, where just 6 years later his brother committedsuicide. These were a huge impact on his life and which really reflect the themes of loss withinhis work. These loses gave him a sense of transience of human happiness which led to thebreakup of the family home.
I also think that the World War also has underlying influence within his work as his personalexperiences of rejection and loss during this time period really bleed through with his creationsof utopias that are crushed beneath his dystopian genres.
Aldous Huxley was well travelled and his experiences in different countries led to aid him in hiscreations of these fictitious worlds. For example; in a fascist Italy, Benito Mussolini led anauthoritarian government to fight against birth control in order to develop enough manpowerfor the next world war. Experiences such as this helped provide materials for his dystopianworks.

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