Evgenia Kalyabina

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Art Direction Project – Cloud Atlas Vyvyan Ayrs’ House 1936

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We’ve just started working on an Art direction project this week and I couldn;t decide for a while what I what design I was going to chose for it. The idea came pretty much 2 min before the first tutorial with Kerry 0 Cloud Atlas (2012) – one of my favourite films ever. There is quite a complicated storylyine in this film as it consist of 6 unconnected stories of different ganres happening in different tymes with different people. Although my favourite story is a 22nd century science fiction one, the best set as I think of it, in this film was created for a period drama – story of a composer, Robert Frobisher happening in 1936 Britain.

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The set I have chosen is the living room of Robert’s musical mentor Vyvyan Ayrs’ house. Quite a few scenes are happening in this room, however, when I chose that set I did not realise how complicted the structure would be. I spent about 3 days just trying to figure out the initial layout – none of the walls is completely straight – there are dark wooden panels creating complicated angles that are hard to understand also because none of the camera angles used are straight. I also suspect that for some of the shots the furniture was moved around to create semi-right perspective and this makes my life even harder.

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Of course, I’ve started with rewatching the film and specifically the scenes happening in my chosen space. Because of the complicated structure I suspect that it might have been a location shoot. There also an exterior for the place shown in the film – the actual location would be the Overtown House near Dumbarton (Scotland). I tried to find some images of the interior of the house and realised that I was no lucky with the space as it looks completely different from what is in the film and the designers did not take much inspiration from the real house architecture, meaning everything but the window and a bit of the corner is very different.

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Well, here is where I am so far:

Vyvyan Ayrs' house Cloud Atlas

There are some udgustments to the floor plan to be made as there are quite a few columns within the space and still cannot understand how they are placed (especially their basements). There is also a bit of the cealing that I should try to figure out as it was cought up in a shot once.

I think I will be working on my SketchUp model this week, keep figuring sized and I sould try to put some furniture in. I also looked up the actors in this scene and their hights as well so I guess that might help for the measurements. I also looked up the measurements for onr of the biggest features in the room – the grand piano and it turned out that it varies quite a lot.

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I’ve also decided to work in inces this time as I think I am still not quite handy with those so I would practice more during this project.

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