Before the Lights, Camera, and Action, There's Set Design...

image from oscars.org


Last evening, I was watching a documentary about the history of the Academy Awards,
and observed that a part of the older ceremonies was to describe the category being recognized.

For example, before "In recognition of Art Design, the nominees are..." was uttered,
something along these lines was offered:

"Production and Set Design is the practice of turning ethereal words and ideas into a very real and controlled environment, one that encompasses the history of the characters while providing a space for them to grow and evolve before our eyes as the story unfolds. It is the crafting of 'place', the creation of new unseen worlds and times, and the visual representation of the mood of the story using lumber, paint, fabric, and furniture..."

Great production design can bring the past back to life - France during the Revolution, in 'Les Miserables'.
It can speed us forward into an unknown future world - Los Angeles in 'Demolition Man'.
It can take us completely out of our world - space in 'Gravity' and 'Alien'.
It can create a world that will never exist anywhere else - Gotham in the 'Batman' films, and the planets of the Empire in 'Star Wars'.

Through vision, knowledge, and understanding of various elements and concepts, Art and Production Designers can manipulate materials to make them appear as anything they want the viewer to see.

Believe it or not, the environment where you sell your merchandise can be created to support YOUR story
.
 The description above also applies perfectly to the design of retail store space and exhibitor/vendor booths at shows. It's the purposeful design and creation of the setting where you do business.

So let me ask you this.... 
If your store, booth, or showroom were the setting of a film, what would it be?
Have you created a chic cityscape feel, worthy of 'Sex and the City', for your fashion-forward boutique?
Does your tea salon embrace the bucolic English charm of 'Pride and Prejudice' or French elegance from 'Marie Antoinette'?
Are your customers transported to a far-off land of European castles or Texas farmhouses when they walk into your antique booth at a show?

Or are you looking at a horror flick with zombies ambling around searching for fresh blood?!

YOU get to choose the story you tell about your business, and the way it is told.
When you are watching the Academy Awards this Sunday,
take a closer look at the way Production Designers create a whole world to support their stories.
You might end up with inspiration for your own award-winning design!

FYI: Over in my sidebar, you'll find links to several posts where I review 'Stores On Film' - 
which are pointing out the details of select retail 'sets' where the action in films happens.
It's rare to find good images of retail stores in films, but I am always searching for them. 
If you know of any films set in retail stores that I haven't covered yet, let me know!

1 comment:

tim watson said...

Nice post.