关于PRODUCTION DESIGN

这是九十年代的北美的电影教科书中的第一章.在一本电影制作的教科书中把美工设计摆在第一章,这是值得我们注意的.它所谈的是总美工设计师(PRODUCTION DESIGNER)的工作.在我国的制片制度中的美工师是在他们的总美工师的下面,属导演领导的工作人员.
在这之后,我还将介绍另一篇文章”场景中的叙事性”.这两篇文章都值得电影学院美术系的学生一读的.

PRODUCTION DESIGN 生产设计(现代的美工)
PRODUCTION DESIGN
Whethere or not the director is the main visualizer for a film, the development and implementation of the visual plan is the responisbility of the production design er and his staff. This organization of the creative forces is necessary whenever storytellers hope to control the time and setting of a picture, even when the subjects are simple events set in the present. The notion of designing the mise-en-scene of a film, rather than photographing available reality, first evolved in part because of the needs of fiction, but also because of the economic cinsiderations of production– the twin engines of evolution and change in the Hollywood studio system from its very beginnings.
The emergence of the art director as a creative and key organizational position began early in the silent period when movies were still greatly influenced by the theater. Typiucally, the art director was a scenic designer, and the early sets were little more than painted backdrops and some furniture. The move from stage flats to constructed sets was inevitable–Griffith, with his refinement of multiple viewpoints, had seen to that. But it was the short-lived influence of the Italian cinema that challenged Griffith and the rest of the American movie industry to match Italian production standards.
Two Italian productions, Quo Vadis?(1912) and Cabiria (1913), were the most ambitious and technically sophisticated films of their time. Both used fully consttucted and meticulously detailed sets, artificial lighting effects and limited moving camera. Their enormous success briefly overshadowed Griffity’s work during this period. But inspired to a considerable extent the scope of his most innovative mature films, Judith of Bethulia (1913), Birth of a Nation (1915) and Intolerance (1916).
The rapidly increasing complexity of the physical production of a movie during the nmid-teens, including constructed sets and the greater mobility of the camera, required greater cooperation between the art director and the cinematographer. Art directors discovered that the graphic illusions they were expected to provide were dependent on the camera.
The rapidly increasing complexity of the physical production of a movie during the mid-teens, including constructed sets and the greater mobility of the camera, required greater cooperation between the art director and the cinematographer. Art directors discovered that the graphic illusions they were expected to provide were dependent on the camera. They learned to use partial sets to exploit the camera’s limited view, and matte shots and models to replace scenic backdrops. By necessity, art directors were involved in the photographic decisions required to implement these new cinematic techniques and in so doing made the transition from theatrical to screen design.
As the feature became the dominant from in the movies, survival for any company meant producing films rapidly and efficiently. The practice of shooting scenes out of sequence became common, and craftspeople might work on several movies simultaneously, making props, sets or costumes in the newly built studios at Universal City, Inceville or Culver City. Following nineteenth century principles of mass production, jobs became specialized, and departments were established for each phase of production, including scriptwriting, set construction, properties, costumes, cinematography and editing.
By 1915 scenery, props and costumes built for one movie were being stored for later use on another. The departmental system in the studios required greater organization and communication between departments, and because the most complex, expensive and labor-intensive areas were related to construction, the art director became the logical choice to administer much of the production process. Unlike the cameraman and director, and art director possessed a language in the from of blueprints, concept sketches and models that the craftspeople in other departments understood. At the same time, the pictorial possibilities of the frame suggested in the work of Griffith and a few other leading directors, raised the visual ante in the industry. Always on the lookout for new talent, the studios began recruiting magazine illustrators and architects to inject new idea into the fledgling art departments and handle the increasingly ambitious production that audiences expected. It was because the art department was able to plan a production that Hollywood became a successful movie factory capable of turning out hundreds of features an shorts throughout the silent period.
The next stage of development in the art department occurred in the ?0s with the rise of the German cinema. During World War I several of the smaller production companies in Germany were combined into Ufa(Universum Film Aktien Gesellschaft), a single studio with mammoth stages and considerable state funding. This support, and the magnificent studios at Postdam-Badelsberg, made technical and stylistic innovation driven by German Expressionism and the Kammerspielfilm possible. These two movements, one featuring fantastic subjects and the other naturalistic and somber subjects, were both darkly psychological and dependent on highly stylized settings and camera technique. In many ways Ufa, and its most important directors, writers and craftsmen — Karl Mayer, Karl Struss, Fritz Lang., F. W. Murnau, G. W. Pabst and A., E. Dupont — set the pace for film design in the ?0s, contributing advances in mobile camera, subjective viewpoints and more sharply angular compositions.
Ufa incorporated the staging tradition of Wagnerian opera with its colossal and complicated sets in many films, not only showcasing the talents of the art director, but establishing that an artificial setting could add enormously to the emotional power of a film. It also proved that movies, even those with considerable exterior scenes, could be shot entirely in a controllable studio environment, which, when sound arrived at the end of the 20s, became an even more important factor in art direction.
Hollywood wasted no time in borrowing the aesthetic innovations of Ufa, first in coproductions, and later by importing the best European directors and cameramen while moving closer to the total studio environment approach to movie-making. By the end of the silent period the studio system in Hollywood was fully in place, with the art director now the head of a department that was largely responsible for the mise-en-scene of every film produced at a given studio. This resulted in the highly recognizable visual styles of the major studios during the sound period, each style generally attributed to the tastes of the supervising art director. the Twentieth Century Fox look was shaped by William Darling, Richard Day and Lyle Wheeler; Warner Brothers had the gritty realism preferred by Anton Grot; MGM had the luxurious, high-key look of Cedric Gibbons; Paramount had the European sophistication of Hans, Dreier; Universal, the moody darkness of Herman Rosse and Charles D. Hall. And at RKO, Van nest Polglase oversaw the styling of the Astaire-Rogers musicals and Citizen Kane.
The ascendancy of the art director continued throughout the sound period until a new title was invented for his expanded responsibilities. In 1939 William Cameron Menzies accepted an Academy Award for the newly created position of Production Designer for Gone With The Wind. Only ten years earlier he had received the Academy Award for art direction at the first Awards ceremony.
Though the production designer抯 specific responsibilities may vary slightly from film to film, he has a far more comprehensive role than that of the art director. In addition to designing the overall style of the sets, props and costumes, he is also intimately involved with the shot flow and dynamic elements of film design as well. A good example of this is Menzies?contributions to Gone With The Wind, for which he drew thousands of elaborate continuity sketches detailing the composition, staging and editing points for each shot of the film. Menzies helped elevate the production designer to the inner circle of the production team, joining the director, cameraman, editor, and, in some instances, the writer, as one of the prime shot and sequence designers of a film.

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