Thursday, 26 May 2011

over view

We had been given a Metamorphosis by Kafka to use to create a set. after two and a half months I am very impressed with what we have finished with. I have learnt new skills and am able to use a wider range of tools since I started this project. I now know how to build and put up flats, I know how to build pieces of furniture and how to paint them so they look realistic. During the project we had a bit of problems with people coming in but with the people who did come in we worked fast and well as a group. I did my best to keep organised and make sure that everyone had something to do and was as up to date on what was happening as I could be. I did make a few mistakes like building one to many flats and loosing track of who was making what windows but I think I kept on top of everything else and tried my best to communicate with my group.
Group one as a team worked well together, when we got to the building stage not only did people work hard on their own personal projects but when others needed help we were able to do as much as they needed doing. I am very happy with the final out come and the images at the end show just how well it all looked together and how realistic the props were.

The shoot

Today we had the shoot for the final images. We all arrived early so we could finish setting everything up, some of our stuff had been borrowed by the other group and we had also asked if we could borrow their mirror but when we went to get them we were told we weren't allowed them and we had to wait quite a while until were were allowed to go and retrieve the things that had been taken. Once we had them we were able to dress the set, we spent an hour or so moving furniture around, arranging the table and putting the food on a tray and in the bedroom, until we were all satisfied with the layout.
We then went next door to meet Fergus who would be helping us with the shoot, he took us through the lighting being used the rigging we could use the filters and safety. He also went through they type off effect we could make and what we needed to think about when we came to creating our shots.
Once we had cleared up in the room and laid out what we needed we started setting up lighting and set up cameras. For the shoot we could use our own stills cameras but as a group we would be using a video camera and from that we would take stills as our final image. A video camera creates a different image to a stills and as the sets were built for filming in and not for stage it would be best to have the final images in the form the set was designed to be seen in.
When everything was set up we started taking film and we were able to play around with the lighting, with the effects we could make. we used gels, blinds, a smoke machine and a piece of cardbored that was moved in front of the light to break it up. I was very happy with the shots that I got and even though I didn't use the video camera I took lots of images on my own camera.
when we had shot a little the videos were downloaded onto a computer and we could see what we had done this gave us a chance to see what worked and what didn't. Unfortunately some of our early ones were not in focus so we practised with that and the second lot we did were much better.
By the end of the day we had got lots of shots and I was very impressed by what we had been able to do as a group but also the pictures I had taken myself.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Week 4 of build: 2

Today was the last day for decorating we wanted to be finished by the end of the day so all we needed to do would be by the last few props. In the morning I helped Emily put paper around the wood that would be the stone slab in front of her fire place making sure that all the surrounding area and the rest of the fireplace was covered and wouldn't be covered in the spray paint she was going to use. She had been given a stone style spray that after a few coats looked quite real. I had a go at spraying a few areas that had been missed but we found very quickly that I have very bad aim and so I left the spraying to Emily. When it was dry Emily smudged in some black paint to make it look as if the great had been a working fire and had been used before.
When Emma got in we were able to build the bed in Gregor's room. It was very heavy and took a few of us to hold it in place while it was screwed together. When it was done and we had it on its feet it was a little wobbly so Adam suggested putting blocks of wood either end to stabilise it, this was done then Emma put of the foam which would be the mattress and went out to buy sheets to finish it off.
Stuart had been trying to age the handles he had bought, he found that button polish didn't work so he was experimenting with different techniques. I offered to help and he let me scratch up the handles that would be on the double doors on the bedroom side. I used sand paper and the back of a hammer to create the scratches and when I was done Stuart aged them using dirt and hair spray. When they were aged they were then put on the doors.
when the bed was built we started placing the other props in the two rooms and found that the sets were much bigger than we had originally thought they would be, but its all about where you place the items. We also went through the props we did have and I made a list of them against the list of stuff we had originally needed and found some things were needed. I and Eleanor agreed to get the majority of the items, I then asked group 2 if we could use their mirror which they agreed to and I ask Colin if we could use one of the costumes made earlier in the year by the second years for the moth eaten suit hanging on the back of Gregor's door, which he also agreed to.
While we were doing all this Karen was building the cross section for one of the windows and asked if some one could build the others I asked Katerina and Hannah if they would mind doing that. The cross sections were made from very thin MDF, in two parts inside and outside one being wider than the other. and they were then pinned to the window from the outside. I helped Hannah pin her cross to the frame as the pins weren't going in because of the wall wobbling.
Once that was all done all that was left was to dirty Gregor's room and attach the curtains. The rooms were now finished and ready for the shoot in two days.

Week 4 of build: 1

As it was the beginning of the last week we went straight into our work, The doors were now at a stage that they could be put into place, Stuart put the first door on only to find that the hinges made it to big to fit into the frame so he had to take it off and where the hinges were going cut into the wood. using a chisel and hammer he made the holes and when the door was put on the next time it fit perfectly, the same had to be done with the double doors but when it was all put in place it looked fantastic, then Stuart went out to buy some door handles for the rooms.
Once John had painted the majority of the door liners he and Emily started dirtying the ceiling by flicking paint at it. Before they did that Sarah and I were given a pot of gloss and asked by Ben to apply it to areas of the wall to make it look like slime in the light and in certain areas we needed to make it drip down the wall a little which meant that we did get quite a bit on the floor and some on ourselves.
The window frames which had been partially painted were completely painted and varnished before the paper around them was taken off. They would then need crosses fitted in them and the curtains attached above.
The skirting was put down in the bedroom by Adam and as in the living room by the others who had come in. Though in the living room we had to stop half way round so that the floor could be finished as we had had to leave it the Friday before. While we were waiting I found more masking tape and put it down on the lines that had not been finished. When Ben got in he painted the floor boards and I helped put the black paint on as we had before. When it was dry varnish was applied and then we were able to attach the last of the skirting. Now all we needed to do was the fire place stone slab, scuff up the skirting bored and put the bed pieces together inside the set.

week 3 of build: 5

at this point the fire place was finished with all the pieces in place all that needed doing was putting a stone slab in front of it. The fire places looks incredible realistic, Emily did a great job on it making the entire thing out of wood, its the first thing you see when you walk in the door and its the focal point for this room.
Karen began putting the framing for round the windows in the living room, they should look great once there painted though we are running low on all colours, now they look very good. The double doors were varnished and Stuart aged and stained them using techniques showed to him by Henry earlier in the week. One he had done this Adam helped him to put the first door in place. The skirting that wasn't glazed the day before was glazed and the order they were to be put down in was sorted out. We planned to put them in place until it was pointed out that we needed to put lining round the doors, so the skirting was taken off and Emily and Sarah started making the ones for the double doors while Adam and I measured the one for the front door. When we had done that Adam did the one in the bedroom as well and the rest of us pinned the lining to the door ways.
we also started on the floor in the living room, in the morning we cleared everything out so in the afternoon Ben, Eleanor, Jo and I could mark out where the lines were. The Ben and i masked out the lines and where the carpet went so we could start painting, we would have finished but we ran out of masking tape. We finished what we could.
The biggest thing for the day was putting up the ceiling which had been painted the day before. For this Timber was laid over the top and the ply was drilled into place under them so the timber didn't show through and so the ply didn't bend in the middle. When it was all in place Adam went around the outside with duck tape sealing of any gaps in the walls so no light shone though. The room became very dark even with the window and no door, it suddenly felt much smaller and with the walls and floor as they were it was quite like a cave.

week 3 of build: 4

When we came in for the day we found that some of the wood for the door we had cut the day before was missing so we quickly measured out and had some more cut, Eleanor and Katerina took the panelling we had cut the day before and sanded the edges down so they all looked identical and fitted in the door perfectly, while they were doing that Stuart and Adam carried on building the doors, they worked all day and both doors were finished and aged, one side of each was ripped like the other door and the table because that would be the side in the bedroom.
We also needed Skirting for both rooms so Hannah, Sarah and I got the 18" which I had had ordered in and had it cut to 15cm thickness, it made more than enough skirting we then measured out the walls and worked out how theses needed cutting to turn them into the accurate sizes. Then they were painted and most of them were glazed.
The wall fixtures were brought in and put on the walls.
When Ben got in I started helping him with the floors, now that they were dry we painted them, we had to do them in sections of strips at times so there were no gaps between the lines. when the paint was dry we ran down the sides with a dark brown which was almost black smudging as we went along creating definition between the slats. For smudging we used a bit of sponge and after running the paint brush along the edge we ran the sponge along the same line blending it in. When all the slats were painted next was to create the wood grain effect, unfortunately we only had one tool so I went to help Stuart and Adam who had also stayed late at university to paint the double doors, while Ben worked on the flooring. The doors were painted the same as all the others but we found that we were running out of paint and by the time it came to doing the second side with the lighter paint it was very watered down giving the wood an almost purple look, but once the button polish was applied over it they were a rich brown colour. While Adam and I finished the second side Stuart went to help Ben with the floor, using a nail to put scratches down a few of the slats highlighting the edges, I didn't think it would do anything but just a few lines creates a 3D effect along with the shadow lines. then a few scratches were applied near the door.

week 3 of build: 3

We have now finished the sofa, the desk, the dining table and chairs, Gregors chair, the chairs for the living room, the coffee table and we have a range of props to dress the room with. All that needs to be finished is the Doors, the walls in the living room, the floors, the fire place, the ceiling in the bedroom, the windows in the living room and the Bed. so Stuart started building the double doors, these are a bit more difficult because they have to be paneld on both sides, After lunch I start helping him with the doors, getting the main frames for the doors cut, then me and Hannah take the left over MDF and start measuring out the strips and panel's that will be used on the door, When the strips are cut Stuart and Adam start pinning them on while we get the panel's cut.
I also helped Ben mark out in chalk where the lies for the wood panel's on the floor, which will be painted on. Once the lines were marked out Ben lay down masking tape and glazed it so the next day they could be painted.
While we were doing this John covered the walls in the living room with a very watery brown wash making the wall paper look old and discoloured from years of using gas lighting. from a distance it just looks like the wall paper has been there for a long time.