So here goes… my first blog post… ever.
I used to work in the theater within the Niagara Region all throughout high school and college. When I moved to Toronto to pursue my filmmaking dreams of becoming the next Scorsese or Bergman, I found myself curiously propelled towards the art department. It felt very natural. So natural in fact that I had wondered why I hadn’t thought about this as my professional goal back in high school.
In high school I understood that there was someone who built sets and procured props for films but I didn’t think about it much. After all, the books I had read touted the film director as the ‘be all and end all’ of any film. The auteur theory made me think that if you weren’t the director then why even bother. Of course it takes people to make a film but I must have naively thought that all the people involved were somehow working their way up to being a director just like me, mind you, I was only fourteen years old when I fell in love with filmmaking so I was very naive about everything. Anyhow, I wish I had known then what I know now because I would have taken those drafting classes I thought I would never need.
Low and behold, I finally got on my first film set as a production assistant and they were short-staffed in the art department. The production designer was also woefully inexperienced and aesthetically misguided. So I started helping out in every way I could in the art department because that turned out to be the most fun and exciting. It also helped that I was skilled in drawing and painting and my Dad used to teach me how to use tools and build stuff because he had always wanted a boy but sadly received two girls instead. Even after this film I continued to think I should pursue the production department so I could learn how to produce and direct.
Luckily, fate took over as the art department kept creeping back into my life taking it over project by project. Now when I wake up some mornings, having dreamed up a cool set overnight, I wonder how I ever lived without the art department. Film, art and design are now my obsessions and I know I’m not the only one and this is why I’m here.
I’ve created this blog just to ramble about my work, experiences, insight, inspirations, and tips I can give but also just to talk about the art department and production design in general. A lot of people don’t realize the amount of blood, sweat and tears it takes to build the perfect environment for a character to live and resonate with its audience.
I want to make it clear I am no expert or leading authority on the subject but I have been through a lot in the short time I’ve been doing this and I have picked up a lot along the way. I love my craft and I am good at my job for someone so young. I still have much to learn myself but I make the effort every day to learn as much as I can whether I’m on a project or not.
This blog is about sharing the knowledge I learn along the way, working hard, educating and inspiring both myself and the art department community around me. There is no excuse for mediocrity. Resources are everywhere. Yet somehow I have searched far and wide and I seem to be the first person to take on the art department in any real way. There is a production designer, set decorator, and standby painter blog out there but most are not that informative, interactive, or updated with the exception of The Standby Painter.
So… anyways… I hope you enjoy my blog or at least come out knowing a bit more about film, art, and design and how these subjects intertwine and become inseparable in the art department. They certainly don’t tell you much about it in film school.
If there’s anything you would particularly like to see on this blog please let me know in the comments below.
Rose Lagace | @artdepartmental