Evgenia Kalyabina

A myblog.arts site

16th January 2016
by Evgenia Kalyabina

UNIT 5. Collaborative work. Conclusion.

I think the most interesting thing that I learned while doing this project is the difference between how people precieve things. I know it must sound really simple and obvious but… Throughout the whole project I just kept being put into groups with so many different people from completely different pathways and this was a very interesting experience. Enjoyable? Not always. But very interesting.

So, the biggest diversity that we can get in Wimbledon is Fine Arts pathways and Theatre and Screen one. It must have been a great challenge for Fine Arts people – the whole project when you actually work in groups. As a Set Design for Screen student the idea of collaborative work is not new to me, but it was quite difficult to communicate with fine arts people as they work with ideas rather then stories and think of things in more abstract way then us. Especially in film I guess practicality is the this as every single object on set, every single camera movement, every single character feature convey the story. It is always about the story, about people (human-like creatures, whatever), about somone specific (I am talking about feature films, not even about independant cinema). In fine arts it is definitelly about something else. It is just more abstract, more transparant, more shapeless in terms of final product.

I don’t really know how to describe that exact difference but it is very noticable in person. Well, I am afraid that I did not communicate as much with art people within this project as I only had met 3 of them within all this time. I think I just didn’t have a connection with those exact people but I would definitelly be interested in future collaborations (and I think we do have one with PTBM people later this year). May be the thing this time was that the topics we were working with were not as interesing to thoseparticular people as they were to me. So, there is one good thing about it though – I had a chance to make the final installation for the final show very personal which is a very unusuall thing within my pathway for example. And, speaking of the installation, baring in mind those differences in how Theatre and Screen people and Fine Arts people think, made me change the installation – the final look of it, the design itself so I think it was rather interesting work we did back then.

Oh and the show was absolutelly great with so many interesting things and so many different ideas being shown in different media. It was a great fun to go arounbd college and see things.

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16th January 2016
by Evgenia Kalyabina

Greedy Pig. Construction and painting 14.01 – 15.01

Thursday 14.01

So on thrursday I was mostly doing the lampshades (the lampd on the wall for the reseption room) which is not much as it was just cutting out triangles and squared of different materials. I’m going to put them together over the weekend so it sould be ready for monday to ship to LCC.

I also did some experimentations on painting as I’m doing the painting within the production. So, I thought that the most complicated part would be the marbling therefore I talked to Kerry about it earlier this week. She send me some picture from one of the books on painting she has and I also watched some tutorials on youtube. The interesting thing that I learned when I was doing the experiament is that the material you paint onto is very important and the paint dries out completely diferently on laminated card and on laminated wood for example. However, with the marbling, it is had to actually see if it looks good untill the varnishing is done as it is changes the whole look completely.

Well, the other thing with the marbling is that we are doing black and white marble which is really hard to find a tutorial for…

So here are some experiments that I did…

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And I also wanted to try out how the red to balck gradient would work (we are painting flats for the receprion room as well) and I actually found out the the paint (especially red) dries out really quickly so I would have to mix different shades of red in advance and then paint the flat starting from black.



Friday 15.01

I feel like that was a very productive day in terms of construction. Rufus and Mustafa finished building the desk in the first half of the day and Alekko and I could finally start painting it! However we were doing it outside as the desk is just too big to fit in the studio so as it was really cold and windy not even mentioning the scale it was not the easy job. Plus we were really worried about the the black base as the paint that we got turned out to be blue for some reason and we had to paint a few layers to actually make it darker.

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By the end of the day we were not finished I’m afraid. We still have to do the right side of the desk and the top of it. The thing was that it got dark and we were afraid that our perseption of what we are painting is not very right in the dark. The plan is to come back monday morning really early and finish it as the whole construction should be shipped to LCC by lunch time. And the glazing should come later when we build it back together at LCC.

14th January 2016
by Evgenia Kalyabina

Greedy Pig. Construction work 11.01 – 13.01

Just a little visual update on the amount of work we managed to do within last 3 days.

Monday 11.01

So tecnically we had this idea for the chair at the show for Rupert on sunday and we made something like that on monday! Wow! That was really qiuck and I was really proud of the results and timing (and the budget because we pracically got that material for the chair for free!).

So we needed the chair for the show and we wanted it to look futuristic and uncomfortable. Sara has found that reference picture and Adele seemed to like it so we we trying to figure out how to make that. We went to the metal workshop to talk about the material and the process and it turned out that Tech Arts Technician had some of those steel sheets which he was willing to give us. We used one of the chairs in our studio as the base, borrowed some gloves and started to shape the steel mesh around the chair. we also used some cable ties to hold different steipes of material together. We wanted to create a metal frame underneath because the structure itself still couldn’t support a human and Rufus had that brilliant idea of just unscrewing the frame from the original chair (we promise to put the thing back on after we finish filming).

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So, conserning the chair what was left to do to finish it was to paint the frame and the cable ties silver.


Tuesday 12.01

That day Rufus, Mustafa and I went to the WImbledon Homebase to get some paint and some other things we needed for the construction of the sets.


The colours we were looking for were reds (specific types that co-work with Rothko’s painting we are putting in the set). We managed to fing amazing paint on discount and to save something like 50 pounds which was fantastic. We also bought 2 lams for which we going to make the triangular lamp shades and bamboo sticks for this purpose.

The other thing was that we got the canvas onto the frame with Mustafa and Rufus be the end of the day.


Wednesday 13.01

With Unit 5 in the morning we only had a half of the day to work at the construction. For today our job with Alekko and Sara was to try out making the cardboard chirs for the reseption room. Well, this did not work the way we wanted it to meanin it doesn’t worth the time we spend on one chair. We will have to think about something elve very soon. The other option was amking those out of MDF, which I think sould work and we’ll try to do that tomorrow.

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The other bit that I was working on today was finishing touch for the Rupert’s chair at the show with some silver paint. Now it looks more unified and shinier. With the proper lighting (there’s going to be a spot light) I think it should look even better.


Plan for tomorrow

  • The chairs for the reception room – to make. If possible, start painting those.
  • Do some experiments for the marble painting the desk and for the red-black gradient on the walls (buy different types of panting rollers


13th January 2016
by Evgenia Kalyabina

Greegy Pig. LCC Collaboration project

With the actual filming comming up I think I might actually write about LCC Collaboration project and how it’s going so far.

Initially I’ve signed up for 3 different projects – Greedy Pig, The Big Smoke and Cinema Francais, though I’m only working on one of the projects now.
The thing was that for The Big Smoke the team has never contacted me and I figured I have 2 more projects to work on – no problem. Cinema Francais people asked everyone from Art Department to read the script and to create a moodboard for the film. That was the week when I found a job and I was so busy with the production design project and at work I could not phisically make that moodboard. Well, I still do not get why everyone was supposed to do the same thing – there can never be 10 production designes or 10 art directors, someone has to take the lead role, right? Well, I still wanted to work on that project and I asked the director if I can be helpful not on the designing stage but may be of some help with the construction or set dressing (as they definitelly did need a lot of people for that). However, I missed the first meeting as I was at work and it turned out that they only want people who made the moodboards in their art department team.
So, the only project I was left with was Greedy pig and in this project I am to be a head of Set Dressing team and I’m also willing to work on the construction and prop buying (however, I don’t know about the prop team – I’m not on the list for now, but I really want to participate more).

So, Greedy Pig.

The story is set in not so far away future. There is the word that all corrupted and immoral and where everything is about money. The main character – Rupert is a father who lost his job and now has no money to pay for the college for his only son – Sam. They both has just moved in a smaller flat but the financial situation is really bad as noone wants to led them some money. There is one solution to all their problems – to participate in a Greedy Pig Show which has been on TV for 90 seasons and where participates need to comlete 3 tasks that question thier morality in order to win huge sum of money or to surrender for medical experiments. Rupert really want his son to get an education so he decides to go. He completes an application and he wins that chance! 3 tasks ahead. 2 completed and the last one is to burn his dog (a beloved member of the famity) or loose all. Rupert makes his choice and he is a winner!

So, the main references for the film while LCC people were pitching the ideas were The Hunger games trilogy and the BBC series Black Mirror which I actually think to be the best reference for our film. Hunger games – a bit too big and there is just too much of action in it. Greedy pig story is much more about morality and how the world might change in the future – so as the Black Mirror! And visually and budget-wise I think it is close to what we are going for.


We had quite a few different versions of the script. Well, the art department team, including me, we had to get a lotof the script changed because the original version was just not working! As Alekko, Sara and I are living together and as we are working on the same project we just had a very productive discussion within as and then we had another talk with Rufus who is our Art Director (authority to who Adele, our Director and script writer) would listen to.

The main problem with the script initially – were the tasks. So basically we had a problem the main visual scenes in the film.

The task initially:

  1. To drink the spoiled milk
  2. To choose between 2 pills (one of those was suppose to be placebo, the other one was supposed to make him sick)
  3. To burn his god alive

Being honest and realistic, noone would watch the show (especially for 99 sesons) if the tasks were all connected to vormiting… And it would look like nothing visually.

Our suggestions were:

  1. Electrifying another preson (all the main character would have to do would be pressinng the button)
  2. Beating up a homeless person
  3. Making a child cry

So, after discussing it with Rufus and Adele later on at the proper meeting we desided to go for the idea of sort of “vialation against the human nature” with 3 tasks escalating:

  1. To hurt a stranger
  2. To hurt himself
  3. To hurt someone he loves (a dog in thise case)

And what the tasks are in the end:

  1. To feed a homeless person magget lasagna
  2. To get a tattoo with an inapropriate image – swastika (which was Adele’s symbol choise, we don’t really agree with that artiastic desision to be honest)
  3. To burn the dog – still stays the same


10th January 2016
by Evgenia Kalyabina

My notes. Working on Production design project

I actually have been making some notes while working on research and technical drawings for the Production design Romeo and Juliet project though I’ve necer actually posted those in here – I simply forgot about those. I know it wing be a bit too late and irrelevant at this point but better late then never…

  1. Period research for Romeo and Juliet (1920’s Nerw Orleans). Me in the library
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  2. Script breakdown tutorial
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  3. More research.
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  4. Production design elements.
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  5. Production deisigner visit – working on TV (adverts, TV shows, series, etc)
  6. Technical drawing questions to ask David and schedule for the week.
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  7. Art direction lecture with Kerry.
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8th January 2016
by Evgenia Kalyabina

Le fabuleux destin d’Amelie Poulain (Amelie) 2001 Film review

For some reason all I’ve been doing this week is watching movies and writing about them (instead of working on a project apparently) but those films I’ve been watching lately are all so good I can’t stop watching those! And almost each film I watch I love so much I’m willing to add to the list “my favourite movies” which did not happen that much before.

Just now I watched this fabulous iconic film – Amelie (2001). I knew about this movie exhistance I just didn’t want to watch it to be honest. I knew it would be a bit weird and it will be romantic but I didn’t know that it would be that brilliant.

The general style of the film reminded me of Wes Anderson’s films and Monrise Kingdom in particular. Exept it was french. And about adults. I think this film has just a bit more elegance to it then Wes Anderson’s ones (not like they are bad, I love those). This film was cute. I had to concentrate quite a lot in the beginning but by the end I was absolutely in love with Amelie and Nino (and the glass man artist, and his student who worked in the grocery shop whatever their names are). French did make the following of the story a bit comlicated but I loved the thing anyway.

The best part of it is the colours and cinematography of course. Well, camera angles and movements were also good but I am a big fan of the colour sceme they did in the film so… Everything ion the film works on the contrast between reds, yellows and greens. I loved the interior sets and the viabrancy of the colors there. Especially Amelie’s flat. I think that set is the best for me but other flats in the building were nicely designed as well.

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Some of the shots, camera movements and narrative remind me of The Royal Tenenbaums, another Wes Anderson’s film.

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The colour sceme rimind me of the film Penelope (2006) of course in there the colours are not that exadurated.

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There are some interesting camera angles as well with the character actually looking at the audience which doesn’t happen all that often. Plus lots of behind the sholder/back type of shots, mid shots and close ups for the characters.

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6th January 2016
by Evgenia Kalyabina

The Danish Girl (2015) film review

I really feel like watching films this week (well instead of working apparently). Still it is a good practice for me to watch different genres (and they were very different films I’ve been watching recently). I just feel that this month there are a lot of interesting and beautiful movies comming out (Academy awards nominees probably, I’m really into the whole thing since last year) and there are always movies that are absolutely fantastic and that I have not yet seen.

For this one I decided not to wait untill it is online but to actually go to the movies. I know it is not a very good reason but I went there for the actors. Eddie Redmayne (last year Oscar winner, Best actor) and Alicia Vicander (who I’ve just recently seen in Anna Karenina (2012) in the period (my favourite 1920’s) movie about the first trasgender man (very controversial topic for me). Well, I was curious. I just had to go. And the film is just absolutely beautiful visually. And, I will not be surprised if Eddie Redmayne will get nominated for oscars again…

The sets for the Danish house.

I knew the nane ispiration was some sort of the painting! I did feel it while watching the movie and I belive that athmosphere was magical though really simple. I love that in the film when the simple set with one main colour and almost no decoration works the best and it provides the best stage for the action to take place. This time I really felt it and I sware I felt that “being inside the paiting” thing!  The change in colour is also very visible when the couple travels to Paris – the sets become morecomplicated and mre viabrand and here we finally get some 1920’s art deco style!

And of course my favourite colour combination in the film – blue and orange. It just kept repeating (especially in the danish scenes) with the buildings/dresses, flowers/sets interraction.

The ballet dancer is quite a character in terms of colour as well. I loved the combination and that brightless and contrast she brought into the room every time. Especially in comparisson to the Eddie’s character Einar while he is still a man with super tight and stict suits. This is the opposition of that freedom of being a woman (in this case) and the status of being a man with a sertain reputation.

I really liked the type of shot used for the film – very symmetrical. I did get this amazing feeling as I was looking at the painting all the time with the balance being gust right. To be honest I haven’t even realized who Tom Hooper was and what he has made until I started writing this post. But yes, I see now the same (ish) aura in this movie and in King’s Speach. Anyway, it was a beutiful period film and I love perioud films!



5th January 2016
by Evgenia Kalyabina

“The Walk” (2015) Film review

I watched The Walk something about 2 weeks ago and I absolutelly loved it! Robert Zemeckis is, as usual, on top and this time it is almost literal.

I don’t even know where to start if listing all the things that I liked about this film. Colours, narrative, acting, CGI, directing, camera angles – everything was absolutelly beautiful.

  1. Narrative.
    Usually for me, narrative is a thing you should be really careful with. The narration in this film was absolutelly amazing. As it is a real story that has acctually happen the narrator is the main character. I feel as there is something about it quite similar to the narative in Moulin Rouge. A bit of fun and positive attiturde towards the story I think. I also liked how the presentor is not just a voice behind the screen but a real human telling the story. And the setting for it – the Liberty Statue. Is it a coincidence that Phillippe Petit is french and the Liberty Statue was also made by French? Mmm, don’t think so. And he view – New York in 1970’s. Beautiful period representation.
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  2. Well, because the narrative is actually happening in the future, the first thing that we see is a flash back. And here I actually do have a question about the creatice choice. Black and white? Not like it’s bad, but why? I think that was the only moment I dont’ understand in the film….
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  3. Again, period representation is absolutelly amazing. In terms of set dressing as well. I can’t say that 1970’s is my favourite period but even I fell some sort of nostalgia because of this movie. There is a distinctive difference between picture quality and the colours of photography of 1970’s and now and I like how the colour viabrance was dulled down to create that period look.
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  4. CGI. The amount of it is abviously enormous in “The Walk”. The main action, the main event that the movie is about is that walk between the Twin Towers that no longer exhist because of 9/11. The thing about this film is that it takes us before it has happen and it watching it doesn’t make me think of the tragedy. it makes me think about the beauty and the exhitement people might have had looking at something like that at the time. Thank you CGI for making all of us see that that does not exhist anymore. Usually I am against it as so many things could be done in reality which would create much better look, but in this movie the usage is completely rational and apropriate.

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  5. The geometry in the shot. I absolutely loved it. Again – wire walking is obviously CGI, the towers are absolute fake, but to work the geometrical features on the ground, all the parallel and perpendicular lines – oh Gd what an amount of work it might have been. And even me knowing that the whole image is CGI doesn’t stop the chills I get while watching the movie and it is because of that beautiful geometry in shot. Well, I watched the film at home not really realizing that it’s supposed to be in 3d, what an experience it might have been…
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  6. Colours. I loved the periodic effect as I’ve already mentioned. But! The best part for me was the interraction between the costume and the set. I’ve noticed the repetition and similarity between the int/ext scenery and the clothes the actors were wearing.
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    I feel that it is actually one of the best works for costume department that I’ve ever seen despite the simplicity of costume. But simple is always the most complicated isn’t it?Oh and the scene of the actual walk is my favourite in the whole film because of the colours. It happens at the sun rise. The colours and that fog effect they added in post – magic. And this is the vision of Pillippe Petit himself which everyone’s able to see now. Love it.
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  7. Music. I think it added something a bit extra to to feel. It made it so positive and optimistic as the actual character of Phillippe and I just couldn’t help falling in love with that crazy guy. Well, wasn’t that the intention of the film?

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5th January 2016
by Evgenia Kalyabina

Anna Karenina (2012) film review

I finally watched it! My goal was to read the book first and then to watched the film I’ve heard so many critisism about. And I finally did it! Well, my general oppinion the film – it was funny. Really really funy. And I don’t think Anna Karenina ia the story that is supposed to be funny. I did know that the whole film would be like a stage play and that most of it was set up in a theatre due to financial circumstances but I didn’t expect to see what I saw.

It is so obvious that this movie was made by Joe Wright. I was writing the post about Martian today as well and I was saying that I have no ide what Ridley Scott’s main tricks are. Here I do know. The thing is that Pride and Prejudice (2005) of Joe Wright’s is one of my favourite movies ever and I do see much of it in here – same camera angles, same scenes, same colour schemes at some point. The dancing scene when everyone stops is a replica of the dancing scene in Pride and Prejudice when Elizabeth and Darcy seem to be alone in the room. The carrage scene, the dining scene, the talk and the emotions are the same. The proposal seen (Levin and Kitty) is emotionally similar to the proposal scene in Prode and Prejudice (the last one). And yet, this film doesn’t make me feel for the characters the way I did in Pride and Prejudice. I think the pacing is wrong. The idea of the whole thing being a theatrical performance, sort of a dance is interesting but everything is happening too quickly. I think that if I didn’t read the book first I would not understand what’s happening really. And the other thing that I didn’t really like in the film that it mosly focusing on Anna when in the book there are actually 2 main stories happening at the same time – Anna’s story and Levin’s story. And, to be honest, I like Levin much more than Anna, as a character and I would want to see more of him (well, this might be purely my opinion of course).

And, of course, dinning scene

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I liked the vibrant colour sceme in this movie. I liked how theatrical the whole thing is and at the same time I didn’t like it.

I think my biggest problem with that whole filming in the theatre thing was the outdoor scenes – they looked just too fake and I really like the realism of the films. And not all the outdoor scenes were filmed in the theatre. Why is that then?

Well, I feel that this adoptation is interesting. And when I’m saying interesting I don’t mean I really didn’t like it and I have no idea why they even do it interesting. I think it was interesting because noone has ever thought about doing in this way before. Though, I think that the film doesn’t show anothe depth of the characters or their feeelings. But it is a great challange to fit 2 volumes of the book in 2 hour’s film…

5th January 2016
by Evgenia Kalyabina

Он Дракон (He is a Dragon) (2015) Russia

Well, I never write about russian films because there is not much to write about the new ones really. I tend not to like them either visually or in terms of the story or even both. For some reason I feel like writing about this one. I’ve just watched it yesterday and I still have some issues with it as casting, dialogues or even those really pretentious posters but I really liked the sets, cinematography and the CGI in it (well, not all of it).

I think I will just add some frames of the scenes I liked the most however I did like the way they we shown – the camera angles and the motion were surprisingly good!

I think I should describe what’s happening in the film first. It is a fantasy film the action of which it taking place in something like 10th century Russia. This is a small kingdom where people have to give away their beautiful women to the dragon. Noone knows what the dragon does with them but they are never seen again. One of the victums of the dragon was loved by a brave man who promised never to stop looking for the dragon untill he avenge his beloved. When the worrier finally got to the island it was too late and his fiancee was gone. The worrier slayed the dragon and returned to his village. Years passed and the ritual turned into a wedding ceremony. The king’s youngest daughter was about to marry the grandson of the dragonslayer. At her wedding the dragon song was sung and the dragon came. Miroslava (Mira) is in dragon hands now and she despiratly trying to excape when she meets Arman who turnes out to be the dragon. Being a dragon is like a curse to him and he was avoiding tunring untill they sang the sacret song. Every time Mira touches him the dragon wakes up. Mira’s not giving up hope and tries to teach Arman how to be human. He tells her that the dragon worrier would only be able to find the island if she truly loves him. But the marrage was arranged and Mira does not love Igor who’s lost at the see trying to get to the island. Mira falls in love with Arman but she is scared of the dragon and she starts packing up just in case. Arman finds out the boat she has hidden and in pain loses control of a dragon. Mira tries to help but he sends her away in fear that he’s going to hurt her. Mira sailes away in thr see where Igor and his crew find her. This time she is ready to become his bride. The ritual is repeated when Mira realises she cannot marry the man she does not love. She refuses Igor and sings the dragon song for Arman to come litarally saving him from death as he has decied to commit suiside because he couldn’t live without Mira and be a monster anymore. The dragon comes and takes his bride. This time noone follows them. The dragon takes Mira to the cave and when he is just about to burn her alive she kisses him and says that she loves him. Her love gives Arman control over the dragon. Years pass and it is revealed that Mira and Arman have a daughter and lived happily ever after since.

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Two different world are opposed here – the human world: winter, white, black and red. The representation of it is seen in the ritual scenes and the scenes of the wedding. I really like the dulled colour sceme with cold greys and the red berries standing out on the snow.

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The other world is almost tropical world of the dragon – the island made out of dead dragon itself with intence pouring rains, tropical fruits, beaches and flowers.

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Here there is a contrast between the blue of the sky, the white/yellow of the sun light and the rich red/purple fabrics that the charactes find on the ship.

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This set and the scenes in general remind me of King Kong (2005) and Jurassic Park (1991). It is allabout magic of unreal world of the dragon (King Kong’s island, Jurassic Park – the scene on the tree), it is the romantic part of the fantasy, the dream.

And this is actually mu favourite set from the entire movie – Mira’s bedroom inside of the dragon’s head. The place which transformes from scene to set by usage of dressing and light. And this place is absolutely magical. I really like the textures and the holes in the walls. Well, the place itself is sort of the scull of a giant reptile so this is suppose to be some bones inside the scull of the creature. The function those wall do really well is providing light. It is like being a wall and a window at the same time. And I really like how the light goes from everywhere at the same time and how I’m not asking myself what I would see through the wholes. It is so high up that I would only see the light. Magic! I have no idea of where it was filmed and I’m guessing it was made in the studio with a magical green screen and lot and lots of light. Cinematography here is absolutelly great because I know that immitating the day light is one of the hardest jobs to do in the studio.

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Just some more examples of exelent cinematography here…

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And one of the most beautiful things in the movie, of course – the  costumes. Especially the wedding one. Detaild and embroydery. The thing is that it is all white and it looks like something from a classical Russian fairytale to be honest. The beausty of it is in layers and textures, or course. And it feels completely authentic to me.

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