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Common Film School Questions:

Q1. How do we know what kind of story we are embarking on as a project or film?

After the narration of script or scene sequence immediately first job to imagine some sequences of scenes. Making films or advertisements is a process that starts with the idea for the script and culminates in the exhibition of the product, although in making advertisement films brand priority is first over the script but for the production design procedure is the same. The production designer scrutinises the script, developing a look and style for the production in terms of place and evocation of atmosphere through the setting. The creativity involved has specific boundaries, such as the budget and time-scale. The designer interprets the director’s vision through sketches and models, which are eventually realized, constructed, decorated and dressed. In the words of John Terence Marner, ‘the designer has to tame his imagination into the hard and fascinating task of making all things physically possible for filming’.

Q2. Should we take events seriously? Or see the humor in them?

It totally depends on the mood of the scene. Production designer is responsible for developing a look and feel in terms of place and time. It should be very evocative according to the mood of the scene. Screen images are set in time and situation of the story, the choice of which can change the interpretation of the narrative, in other words the same story can be told, set in different time frames and as per the different situation.

Q3. When should we be concerned for the characters in the story?

Proper portrayal of the characters is the responsibility of the director and the performing actors itself. A production designer only creates what possessions different characters surround them with, either intentionally or otherwise, it can add depth to the story while providing visual interest to the screen. Whether it is a kitchen scene from ‘3 Idiots’ ( it might be director’s view to shoot in Black and white and feel of 70’s 80’s or 90’s to more dramatize and make feel of sincere thing into comic way) the entire room designed for the lower middle class family use of jars and boxes in kitchen, use of single stoves, cupboard, steel plates and the Raju’s father lying next in the kitchen itself, all these things are the proper portrayal of the characters economic and their psychological values of life. Even one more example I want to take from Raju Hirani’s ‘3 Idiots’ ‘the intro scene of Virus’ or every scene in his office use of bell watch, Opera on Phonograph, big office having bookshelves all tells the psychology of genius and emotionally stubborn professor.

Q4. When should we feel relaxed and confident that all will end well?

According to Murphy’s law “if anything can go wrong, will go wrong” so according to ace ad filmmaker Prahlad Kakar “there is no hope for the best instead of it prepare for the best”. So in a simple way production designers should have to be prepared for all the consequences regarding the look, style and feel of the scene or precisely remove all chances of any consequences and prepare for the best. Only best research can give the best sense of the best preparation and basically more details you are, there are better results. Only detailing and preparation and the proper execution give the confidence to the production designer and then he/she will feel more relaxed.

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