And the winner is…..
Another year and another class of talented Production Design students are making their mark at the National Film and TV School and Francesca and I had the very great pleasure in meeting them last week at the annual Joe Farley Award judging. After only five months on the course, the first year students begin the ten week fantasy project that is submitted for judging. It’s hard to believe that some of them are completely new to technical drawings, drafting and model making as the work is of such a high standard. We are always suitably impressed and this year was no exception, in fact, we think the standard is getting better each year.
We were assisted in the judging process by veteran of the industry, Stephen Scott who has credits such as Hell Boy and Indiana Jones to his name. Despite having ‘been there and done that’ on just about everything, his excitement for his work and thirst for new challenges shows no sign of stopping and brought an infectious enthusiasm to proceedings. Though never easy, judging was made even harder this year by the high quality of work and great personalities of the students.
Needless to say it was a very tight race but after much deliberation, myself and Stephen were very pleased to award Rosalind Gregoire with the Joe Farley Award for 2016.
Rosalind was the last of the students to present their work and it was certainly a case of saving the best until last. From the suggested books, Rosalind chose to design a set for The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman. She talked us through this modern take on the classic fairy tale and the way in which she had interpreted the story. She was eloquent and concise and had clearly thought of everything. Spiders play a big part in the story and Rosalind had been inspired to use the natural designs associated with them in the detail of her imaginary world. Spiders webs, legs and eyes were all used as the basis for the designs of the Gothic style architecture and her exceptional model showed them off to great effect. Her ideas were imaginative but had been well thought through and the practicalities of camera angles, space for crew, lighting and equipment had all been considered. Along with her model, Rosalind produced some exceptional detailed drawings and plans for her set and characters which helped to make her presentation so well rounded. She had even commissioned a composer friend to compose music to accompany her chosen scene. It was hard to believe she’d had no previous experience in this field having come from a furniture and graphic design background. Impressive stuff. A very worthy winner and definitely one to watch in the future.
Though Rosalind was selected as the over all winner, the rest of the applicants were hot on her heels. Below are some images of their work so you can see just how hard it was to judge the award.
Alessandro Aglietti came from an Architecture background and put this experience to good use on his designs and model for The Norka. He incorporated classical architectural details and perspective to create a set that would give plenty of shooting possibilities and beautiful imagery. His passion for history and design shone through and he gave a clear explanation of his project. No detail had been missed.
Kristina Kovacs’s project took us in a different direction, to more contemporary surroundings, with her interpretation of Tiger’s Bride by Angela Carter. Her set was well conceived and were it ever to be made, it would make for very interesting viewing. She designed shops, neon signs and even had a working elevator!
Next up was David Tinto who had re imagined the classic tale of Jack and the Beanstalk like nothing we’d ever seen before. On paper, a giant with a passion for Elvis, guests being fattened up and then set in to jelly, an enabler wife, and nods to brutalist architecture, it sounds like madness but David was able to make all of his wild ideas seem entirely possible and actually very stylish. He gave us great drawings, a very well executed model and witty and original ideas. Very impressive.
Ian Crossland did not make life easy for himself. He also took inspiration from The Norka but after feeling disappointed with his first model he set about making a second one! Though some bits here and there went unfinished as a result, it didn’t take away from the overall project and we were still suitably impressed. His drawings and concepts for his characters and creatures were also particularly beautiful.
Fiona Guest took on The Fall of The House of Usher as her chosen text and produced a very elaborate set design. She had certainly made use of every available space on the stage but had allowed for the practicalities of filming with the inclusion of several false walls and plenty of variety of shots. The project was also very thoroughly researched and illustrated beautifully.
Judging the Joe Farley Award is a highlight for me each year but this year really raised the bar. Should you come across any of the talented and personable students above then snap them up for your art department. You won’t regret it!