Once I had analysed the story’s key themes, the resulting final design consisted of a series of individual window frames, with both roller and Venetian blinds being used separately.
The image of a blind, not only suggested the concept of shutting out the outside world, but it also highlighted the resolution and obsession of the characters to remain detached from it. It is within their power to open the blinds and reach out to others, however, it is their deliberate choice to remain secluded, shut off from each other and the community.
The shape of the frames also resembled a type of blockade to the characters. Relationships within the play are severed, and those trying to mend relationships are met with disinterest.
Masks also feature prominently throughout the play, in several guises. The blinds could also been interpreted as a filter, another type of mask for the characters and their situations.
Above: Final Photoshop drawings of set design.
Inspired by the artistic style of Lou Romano, I created these illustrations to highlight the core elements of each scene in the performance. Unlike my additional storyboard, which provided a broad overview of the set design, these colour scripts not only highlight the most recognisable elements of the set, but also place the focus on key elements of the story.
For example, Scene 3 tells the story of a woman who is irritated with her co-worker. The colour scripts enabled me to focus on this element by creating a close-up shot of her face, while her colleague is depicted in silhouette.
One of the artists whose work inspired the next stage of the design process, was the American animation and production artist Lou Romano. Known for his work and collaboration with ‘Pixar Animated Studios’, Lou’s work came to mind the instant my director compared the target audience of ‘Instinct’ to that of a Pixar animated film. The playful style and storybook quality to Romano’s artwork helped to inspire the look of the final design.
The simple, geometric style of Romano’s artwork, strips down each scene of the film to its core elements and characteristics.
Lou Romano, colorscript, “The Incredibles,” 2004. Digital painting.