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29 NOVEMBER 2013

Prime Cuts: London's Annual Motion Arts Festival

"Prime Cuts is unique graduate motion arts organisation which is focused on supporting students of moving image in the UK through; events, festivals, work placement opportunities, national screenings, press articles and free advice.

The 2013 festival was our first venture with New Designers, Europe's leading graduate design show. The festival was a great success, and we are all very happy to have found a new home with New Designers."

[This originally appeared here: http://www.primecuts.org.uk/ however this URL now points to somewhere quite unrelated]

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
24 MAY 2011

The Purpose and Focus of Research for Costumes

"One of the greatest challenges for any practitioner in the performing arts is to create a believable and completely honest 'world of the play,' no matter how abstract or obscure it might be to the modern eye. A costumer's overarching objective is essentially to create forms of clothing that are appropriate to any and every type of character, taking into account not only the obvious variables of nationality, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, gender, sexual orientation and creed, but also those of geography, climate, occupation, familial and/or marital status, physiology, personality, psychological state, ideology, historical milieu and so forth. ...

Evocative research, the most liberating form of research for a costumer, is found all around us. This form of research, includes the visual arts but expands to encompass highly abstract art, music, nature, fantasy, film, language, demography and sociopolitical perspectives. Used by directors, actors and designers alike, it creates a basic vocabulary of concept and style upon which to begin discussions of production design. For example, one of the first discussions regarding a play or opera might be the director bringing to the table a piece of music or a painting that to them conveys the mood and spirit they are looking to evoke in the production. For example, a painting by Gustav Klimt might have a specific palette and a detailed use of texture and pattern that evoke key emotions from the director and serve as an excellent springboard for a stylized concept. A director could even bring in a list of adjectives that describes his or her response to the play, and a production team would be expected to visually interpret these words. It is the combination of evocative and factual research that brings focus, cohesiveness and consistency to a production design. Finding fundamental themes or through–lines upon which to base the clothing of the characters therefore allows the designer to create a more controlled environment and a more unified aesthetic."

(Linda Pisano, Timeless Communications September 2010)

Fig.1 Gloria Swanson in the ruins of the Roxy Theatre. Eliot Elisofon. New York City, October 14, 1960. © Time, Inc.

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TAGS

actorsartistic practicearts practitioner • basic vocabulary • believability • brings into focus • characterclothingcohesiveness • colour palette • consistencycostume design • costumer • demographydesignerethnicityevocative research • factual research • fashionform of research • forms of clothing • fundamental themes • key emotions • list of adjectives • nationalityoperapatternperforming artsproduction design • production team • response to the play • socio-politicalsocioeconomic status • sociopolitical perspectives • stylised concept • texturetheatre designer • theatre director • theatre productiontheatrical play • through-line • unified aesthetic • visual artsvisual interpretation • world of the play • world of the story

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
24 OCTOBER 2008

Dogville: artificial and claustrophobic

"Von Trier begins by casually rejecting a fundamental tenet of the cinema. Even the most minimalist storytellers are obliged to place their actors in a physical space: back lots and painted sets may be deliberately artificial, but they always have walls and doors. Dogville is set on a pitch black sound stage with minimal props and schematic chalk outlines on the floor in lieu of walls. (It's like watching The Phantom Menace at a nascent stage, the actors adrift against bare blue walls before the backgrounds and animation are grafted on.) Whenever the camera pulls back for a wide shot, every inhabitant of the tiny hamlet is clearly visible, miming their daily tasks in their 'houses.' At first this archly theatrical staging, with its deadpan narration, ironic chapter headings and characters knocking on non–existent doors while we hear the thumping on the soundtrack, seems to be Brechtian alienation run amok. Yet as the story grinds grimly forward the inescapability of the townspeople in each shot shifts from a clever metaphor for small town claustrophobia to a palpably oppressive reality."

(Gary Mairs)

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TAGS

2003artificeBertolt Brecht • chalk outlines • cinemaclaustrophobiacoherent space • Dogville (2003) • film designfilm stylisationLars von Triermise-en-scene • Nicole Kidman • production designset designsound stageterritorytheatrical staging

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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