Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Reveal Your Butt : A Giveaway

A common problem in hallway shots is overhead lighting. Often, the design calls for deep headers, so that the elex can hide their lighting behind. I have worked in a few abandonned institutional buildings that are common filming locations; often set pieces are left behind from other shows.

I noticed alot of bad header joints on surveys. I thought, wow, I hope I've never done that by mistake... I thought about it. It would be an easy oversight.  It is common for an Art Dept to measure locations, and for a set designer to design the set pices for the location installments. A pilaster gets measured as 16", and the header often, therefore, becomes 16" to tie in to the location.

This creates a messy joint. In reality, often an Architect would set the architectural back, to create a reveal. An obvious plane shift is alot tidier to finish than a butt joint. A plastered finish is almost impossible to recreate on location. The joints often crack, are uneven, and look bad. The audience may never get a good look, but the crew will.

The best way to cover your butt, (wasn't intended) in drafting is always do all the necessary sections and elevations to really get the whole picture. Headers are easy, they get whipped out on the fly, I guess it happens really easily, often, and no one ever says anything. Stuff like that annoys the hell out of me. I don't care if ultimately the audience doesn't get a good look. The crew does, they spend hours sitting, staring at the walls.... and it looks sloppy.

And unrealistic. A building that is cracking at the beam intersection is questionable.  Its a Set-giveaway.

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