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Cinematic Spaces: Initial Research
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 special effects 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 that help to sell the film to potential financiers and/or distributors. Concept artists are requested by the production designer in the earliest stages of pre-production and together they begin to conceptualise the visual content of the film. They work on a freelance basis. The concept artists' role is highly specialized. Big studio based films usually employ a number of concept artists who each work on a specific element, e.g., a fantastical creature and/or scene. If the screenplay is an adaptation, concept artists 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 and materials. Concept artists work in the Art Department studio alongside the draughtsman and specialist researchers, and often produce their drawings on a computer. After approval by the production designer, drawings are presented to the Producer, Director and Visual Effects coordinator for further discussion and development. The challenge for concept artists is to produce illustrations that are striking but also accurate and clear. Concept artists continue to work on illustrations throughout the shoot and may 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 inform the look and feel of filmic spaces, as in Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) – whose famously skewed, neurotic sets were designed by the expressionists Hermann Warm, Walter Reimann and Walter Röhrig. Likewise, when Alfred Hitchcock was required to evoke the surreal dream spaces of his tortured protagonist in his 1945 film Spellbound, the director collaborated with Salvador Dali. When Ridley 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, Alien, the director turned to another 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 significant concepts a designer needs to understand. Using Photoshop and graphics tablet, you are required to investigate ways in which space can be represented through the design, development and production of 3 original concept paintings.
"If we could sniff or swallow something that would, for five or six hours each day, abolish our solitude as individuals, atone us with our fellows in a glowing exaltation of affection and make life in all its aspects seem not only worth living, but divinely beautiful and significant, and if this heavenly, worldtransfiguring drug were of such a kind that we could wake up next morning with a clear head and an undamaged 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 Julia Arnold. His Grandfather, Thomas Henry Huxley, was a leading biologist whose work helped develop the theory of evolution, and his aunt Humphrey Ward was a very popular Victorian novelist. Being part of a successful academic family, it was said that his ancestry had “brought down 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 World War 1. He instead worked as a farm laborer, which he felt left out due to his colleagues fighting for their country. • With an appetite for science, he was very interested in scientific theories such as the one of his grandfather. Although he never managed to work on any big scientific projects, Huxley had a very 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 as philosophical mysticism and parapsychology which later led to him exploring his interest by taking psychedelics. Influences & Themes • From Huxley’s upbringing, it is obvious that one of his biggest influences on his work was his family considering the success they had had before him in different fields. It is also said that his grandfather’s work sparked his interest in science which is also a huge influence in his work and one of his recurring themes. • Because Huxley grew up in a strong intelligent household, heritage played a huge part in his life and class structure was greatly important during his childhood which can also be seen in some of 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 committed suicide. These were a huge impact on his life and which really reflect the themes of loss within his work. These loses gave him a sense of transience of human happiness which led to the breakup of the family home. • I also think that the World War also has underlying influence within his work as his personal experiences of rejection and loss during this time period really bleed through with his creations of utopias that are crushed beneath his dystopian genres. • Aldous Huxley was well travelled and his experiences in different countries led to aid him in his creations of these fictitious worlds. For example; in a fascist Italy, Benito Mussolini led an authoritarian government to fight against birth control in order to develop enough manpower for the next world war. Experiences such as this helped provide materials for his dystopian works. 3
Huxley’s interest in politics also aided his works in various ways as did his reading of critical books, articles and essays of the Soviet Union. This was also a reflection of his interest in a lot of the western civilisations. F. Matthias Alexander was a strong influence on Huxley’s work, whom of which had traits developed into characters in some of his novels such as ‘Eyeless in Gaza’ In the foreword to ‘Brave New World’, which was written in 1946, Huxley stated that he intended to find a sane society, and that he believed that it existed even though he was worried about dangers which might have caused societies to fall into insanity.
A Brave New World
Synopsis: Chapters 1-3 • ‘Brave New World’ is a novel centered on a utopian society with a dystopian science fiction genre, where a world of unidentified, degraded people are over ruled and dominated by a government who are overwhelmed with power through the uses of technology. The introduction of the novel is set in a laboratory called ‘The Central London Hatching and Conditioning Centre’ where the center’s Director is giving a tour to a group of young males. The boys learn about the different processes which allow the hatchery to create thousands of nearly identical human embryos. They further discover that these embryos belong to different classes of groups which are destined for different jobs. For examples; Alphas are produced to be the thinkers for the world state and Epsilons are produced for labor. Chapter 2 then has the director leading the boys to the nursery where they observe a group of delta infants being programmed to dislike certain objects. This is revealed to be conditioning which helps make these infants docile and eager consumers. The director also refers to sleep learning through hypnopaedic methods to teach humans the morals of the World State. The third chapter introduces the facilities gardens where the director reveals to the students hundreds of naked children engaged in both sexual play and games. This is also the introduction of a new character, Mustapha Mond, who explains the history of the World State and expands on the success of removing both emotions and desires from the relationships they have with human society.
Contextual Information, Influences, Themes & Genres • I have conducted research into the historical events between the time periods of 1910 and 1930 due to the relevance of both scientific and technological advances of my novel extracts. ‘A Brave New World’ was written in 1931 published in 1932, subsequently having possible influences from historic and scientific events. A key feature within Huxley’s novel is his timeline in which his utopian world is set. The unit of time is referred to as A.F; meaning ‘After Ford’ which further refers to the years post the production of the Ford T Model (i.e. 1AF will be the equivalent to 1908 AD; the year of the first Ford automobile). The production of Henry Ford’s first automobile then later allowed mass production on the assembly line which in turn lead to mass consumerism which both have underlying influences within this novel. I believe these influences created the idea of a dehumanized society in which mankind has developed into a repressive shell where personalities are non-existent and work is commissioned to people as if they were robots. 4
Huxley suggests within his novel that beauty is a result of pain where society’s desire to eliminate pain limits the human ability to thrive both emotionally and culturally. I believe this to be another huge impact on Huxley’s novel as World War 1 was prior to the writing of his novel which inflicted huge amounts of death over multiple countries due to the lack social control over a single continent. Events that occurred which could have influence on his work include; - Henry Ford creates the Assembly Line  - World War 1 starts  - Russian Revolution begins  - Treaty of Versailles Ends World War 1  - The Kellogg-Briand Treaty Outlaws War  - Penicillin was discovered in  - St Valentine’s Day Massacre  - The discovery of Pluto 
From my contextual research, I have established various ideas and concluded on multiple influences which I either know or believe to have been a direct source of which Huxley had gained his inspiration and ideas.
• • •
Firstly, one of the biggest influences was his draw to science and its theories, which came from his grandfather. Without this Huxley’s novels and ideas wouldn’t have the same effect and wouldn’t be as strong as they are to this day. His interest in science helped him dig deeper into his own ideas. The appeal of the assembly line and what it represents was another element that had impacted his work and thought process with the ways in which he created his fictional work. The assembly line was created by Henry Ford who was such a key figure in history. Ford had influenced Huxley in such a strong way that he decided to create an imaginary time measurement in one of his most famous works ‘Brave New World’. I feel that the keystone in Huxley’s utopias is his experiences from the First World War. During this time the world was fractured, and utopias would have been an imaginary escape even though the real world was reflecting the characteristics of a dystopia. Additionally, I think that Escapism built on his experiences of WWI and mirrors some of his emotion in ‘Brave New World’ as his society is oblivious to what emotion and feelings are, and that they can’t fathom the thought of pain. Huxley’s interest in the Soviet Union also has reflection in his novels. His travels also gave him his critical view on his interest of the western civilisations. Travelling also allowed him to experience different politics where he took influence from the way different governments were being run, and the way different politicians and ruler’s had running a country. His experiences of loss are also something I believe to be a crucial benefit to his work due to the way his worlds had been created.
Huxley Interview (1958)
Part 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGaYXahbcL4 [26/09/12]
Part 2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUTEOY1hre4 [26/09/12]
Part 3 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iDPnwkU9DA [26/09/12]
Influenced Work & Similarities
‘Brave New World’ influenced a lot of other works in different ways regarding similar themes, genres or with similar ideas or representations of utopian or dystopian worlds. I looked into a few sources for my initial research, but am going to look more closely at other works after my initial ideas to gain fresh ideas. • The most infamous work which was based on ‘Brave New World’ was another novel Huxley had wrote based 30 years after his 1932 novel called ‘Brave New World Revisited’. This book reflected on Huxley’s thoughts on whether or not the world had moved towards or away from his visions described with in ‘Brave New World’ and received as much attention as the first. George Orwell’s 1984 took inspiration by Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ but has differences within the way it is written and the author’s beliefs. Even though the views expressed aren’t necessarily identical, they share a similarity about the kind of dystopian themes portrayed through the works. A television film that was loosely based on ‘Brave New World’ was produced in 1998. Even though the film had taken on the same name and gained influence from the original novel, the plot depicts a looser storyline and modernizes it.
Brave – Ready to face and endure danger or pain, to show courage New – Not existing before, OR made, introduced, or recently discovered Utopia – An ideal society, place or state OR a visionary system of political or social perfection with ideal conditions for humans eliminating pain, hate, and the other evils of the world. Dystopia – A society present with misery, oppression disease and overpopulation Science Fiction – Fiction which is based on imaginary future scientific or technological advances. Other characteristics of science fiction include environmental changes, time travel as well as space and other planets. Mass Production – The production of large quantities of a standard product to be sold cheaply (often using assembly line techniques). Mass Consumerism – Buying large quantities of a product in even greater amounts. Assembly Line – A series of workers or machines in a factory by which a succession of identical items are progressively assembled. Over Population – A condition where an organism’s numbers exceed the carrying capacity of a habitat. Habituation – The decrease in an elicited behaviour resulting from the repeated presentation of an eliciting stimulus. Narco-hypnosis – Hypnotic suggestions made while a patient or subject is narcotized Sleep-learning – A process which uses various methods to convey information to a person whilst asleep. Dehumanisation – The act of degrading people with respect for their best qualities and attributes. Hypnopaedic – The formal name for the process of sleep learning.
[24/09/12] - http://education.exeter.ac.uk/dll/studyskills/harvard_referencing.htm - www page [24/09/12] - http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/bravenew/facts.html - www page [24/09/12] - http://history1900s.about.com/od/timelines/tp/1930timeline.htm - www page [24/09/12] - http://www.gradesaver.com/brave-new-world/study-guide/about/ - www page [24/09/12] - http://www.sofia.edu/about/aldous_huxley.php - www page [26/09/12] - http://somaweb.org/w/huxbio.html - www page [26/09/10] - http://mural.uv.es/mifepra/biohux.htm - www page
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