I spent today looking at some existing logos out there that contain the phoenix bird in their design. There are lots already out there so I know that I’d had to do something really different if mine was to look unique.
It will be hard though as there are so many different types of designs. Here are a few of the ones I’ve found:
As you can see, they all have a different design to them. Some are quite simple and some are extremely detailed. I will need to really think about which I’d prefer to do.
As everyone knows the Phoenix is a mythical creature which rises from their ashes after they burn. This is why it is the bird that represents coventry as Coventry rose from the ashes of the Blitz during the 2nd World War
I think the text should represent this or at least have some sort of relevance to this concept. Although saying that, the film company isn’t anything to do with flames or rising from ashes. It’s named Phoenix because of it’s connection to the city so maybe thins could be relevant to the flames and the connection beween the two.
On the otherhand, most logos that I found had a quite gothical look to the text that was written with it. Again this doesn’t really have any relevance to the city. I’m going to try to design a logo with a modern feel to it, completely contrasting the stereotypical gothis feel most phoenix pictures/logos have.
I was asked today to be a part of a Production Crew called Visionary Phoenix Films. It’s a group that consists of about 90 people and we discuss film topics and particular films that we would like to make. Then people put scripts up online and we all vote as to which film gets made, then we make it.
I have been asked to design the logo for the company as they’ve only just started out. This is the brief that I have been given:
“A blue phoenix rising from fire and ashes. Close attention should be paid to the eyes. The lettering will be used worldwide so you can be creative with that. The letter placement can be put under the fire and ashes.”
This is all I have been told to work with so I have quite a bit of freedom to play around with the ideas. I am quite fond of Phoenix designs anyway as I’m from Coventry and he Phoenix bird is the bird that represents the city. This will also be seen by people from the other side of the world as there are members of the group from America so I’m quite excited to have been asked to do this.
I studied Graphic Design for a year so I know the basics of logo design but I love developing my skills and so I see this as a learning experience as well as a Professional Experience.
Being a Production Designer isn’t all about being creative. You need the ability to manage a team. Normally the Production Designer will need to manage a really large team as they are Head of the Art Department. In my case though, I only have 3 people in my team.
I promised to them though that I would keep them all informed of any changed or amendments to the script or prop lists or locations etc because It’s my responsibility.
The Prop list is something that took quite a while to collate. It is a detailed list of all props in the script listed under different scenes. It took me about 2 hours to go through the script and highlight all props making a list of them with a small description. This wasn’t only for my reference but I was going put it on the Facebook group so that everyone in the crew could see what we needed then if they could supply it then it would save us some money, but only if it 100% fitted the description.
Once I’d finished the prop list, I was informed that the script had been changed and so therefore, so had the prop list.
So once again I printed the script out and marked the scenes in and highlighted ALL props in the script. I put them into a word document and added them in scenes. This way it’ll be easier for them to be referred to at a later date. The prop list was then put up onto the Facebook group to which people started replying to saying which props they could supply. If these props are suitable for the scene then then like I said earlier, this will save us quite a lot of time and money.
Also I appointed Sara-Lee with the responsibility of continuity. She will be on set with me most days so I’ve asked he to do this for me because there is quite a lot to take care of interms of the Art Department with props, clothes, set etc so at least if I know that Sara is taking care of this then I know I can get on with the other things.
Sara and Scott are my Artistic Directors and I’ve told them that I’ve put up a prop list so what I’ve asked them to do is take a scene at a time and start researching into the different props. For example if there is a radio in the kitchen of a specific style, I’ll need them to look into radio availability for that particular style and prices etc. I will also be doing this as there are 129 scenes in the film which is a lot of props.
I think I’m doing a good job as a Production Designer. I seem to have everything under control and I’m lucky to be working with people who know their jobs such as Director and 1st AD. I also think I’m managing my team really well. They seem to find me quite approachable and easy to get on with which I think is a good trait to have as someone in charge just as well as being able to advise and direct your team.
Today I decided to focus my attention on the costume for The Boogeyman. I know how I want it to look and I think that Chris and I have a very similar vision for the Character. We don’t want it to look too ‘horror’. I think that horror characters that look more similar to human than monster are much scarier, so I want to take this on board in my design.
As I’ve always had a keen interest in Art and Design, I found I could use my creative side to develop the character. I also have a few books that I bought a while ago to help me draw figures etc.
I started off my finding images on the internet that I felt were similar to what I wanted the character to look like. I always imagined the character to be wearing a gown or a full body cloak, so this was what I wanted to stick with.
Here is the final drawing of the The Boogeyman costume. I will need to show it to Chris and Seb to get their opinions of it to see if they want anything changing. The design in which I have created will require quite a bit of material and skill. Luckily, my Mum and Nan are very skilled when it comes to materials and have said that they will teach me the skills I need to put this together if necessary.
Now, I just need to show everyone my design then alter if necessary.
I’ve learned more about this role while designing this costume because designing a costume isn’t just about drawing something that looks great. You have to think about the logistic side of the design and if it’s actually doable. I honestly think that with the help of my team, we could get this costume made within 2-3 days and make it look great.
We decided it was best to have a meeting the day after the test shoot so the things we wanted to discuss were still fresh in our memory. We met early in the morning and discussed things such as the actors. I wasn’t the only one who was concerned about Dawn’s acting ability and it seemed that Chris as well a few of the others had picked up on the same kinds of things as I had.
Chris suggested that we recast Rita but kept Maddy as Lester which I agreed with. Luckily this was only a test shoot so we now do have the option to recast the actress if necessary, which I think is.
We also discussed the budget and how important it is to start getting it together. I just need money to buy the materials for the costume and I don’t want it to be a quickly rushed job. I want it to look professional. We also decided that maybe if we didn’t make the costume from scratch then we should buy a cloak to start us off that I can add too. I think it’ll be better for the cloak to be delivered to Seb’s house as it’s his uncle who is playing him so that he can try the base cloak on and see if it fits him before we start changing bits to it.
We also realised that it cost Maddy £80 to travel down to Warwick yesterday so this might also be a problem in terms of the budget because we’d have to give him some money towards it. He was ideal for the role though and so we need to make a final decision on what we’re going to do.
We then talked about the ‘making of’ film and briefed the camera operators of that about what Chris wanted from it and what he wanted the audience to see.
Now, we have to see what Chris and Seb decide to do in terms of the actress and whether we are recasting. Apparently Seb already has two back up actresses for the role of Rita so maybe Chris could go and see them and audition them.
Today we had our first test shoot at House #1. This was also the first time we’d met the actors apart from Seb who’d met Dawn and Allan who were Rita and Dr. Lawrence.
At the test shoot was:
Ally (1st AD)
Me (Production Designer)
This way we managed to get most areas covered in terms of departments.
We arrived at the house and unpacked the equipment that we’d bought with us. We only really bought a few cameras just to test out the space and how the actors performed on camera. Dawn and Allen arrived first and so we started to test dawn on camera. We told her that we were going to be trying out the scene where she’s cleaning out the house.
Chris and Ally talking through script with Dawn and Allen
Dawn set herself up to get into character by putting her slippers on etc but as soon as she started acting, I wasn’t 100% sure if she was right for the role. Acting just didn’t seem to come naturally to her. We then asked if Dawn and Allen could act out the scene where Rita is being seen by her psychiatrist. This seen didn’t go too well. I don’t think that their acting ability was great and as filmmakers, you want the best actors in your film otherwise you won’t be able to pull it off.
Maddy then arrived. He was the actor who was playing Lester. He was a really nice guy and really friendly so we instantly felt at ease with directing him. There was one big problem though. Maddy and Dawn did not look like a married couple at all. He looked about 15 years younger than her so I knew we were going to struggle to pull this off. Maddy was really good at acting. He struggled to do an English accent as he was Irish but this can be changed around in the script in necessary.
As he was acting, I could really see him as Lester. He acted him out really well and once he had learned his lines, I think he’ll be great.
The children then arrived and they were brilliant. I was a bit wary about using family members as the actors, but I was wrong. They were so confident and professional. I was really happy they’d been chosen. I just couldn’t see a connection between the kids and Dawn though. I don’t know what it was but something just wasn’t right.
Chris then came up with a great idea or improvisation. He sat all 5 actors at the dining room table and gave them different scenarios to act out. This really agev us an insight as to how the actors worked together and their acting ability.
As a Production Designer, I was looking at these actors to see if I could change certain aspects of them in terms of clothing styles or hairstyles to better fit the characters but I think Maddy looks like he could be the children’s Dad. He bonded quite well with them on set and it showed when he acted with them. The age gap popped up again when I realised that even if I straightened Dawn’s hair or changed her clothes she just didn’t fit the role for me. It wasn’t up to me though as I don’t have the authority to cast the actors, so all I can do is have a talk to Seb and Chris in the meeting tomorrow.