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    production design blog-a-thon: call for participation

    At this stage in the development of the discipline, I think we're all prepared to recognize the benefits that auteur theory has bestowed upon film studies. However, critics of auteur theory are quick to point out that any theory that champions the director as "author" also has the unfortunate tendency of eclipsing the deeply collaborative nature of film production, and will inevitably underplay the contributions of other people such as the screenwriter, the editor, and the cinematographer.

    Perhaps even more maligned in this hierarchy is the production designer: the individual responsible for the overall "look" of the film, coordinating set designers, property masters, and costume designers to create an overall visual "feel." With a little effort, it isn't difficult to think of films where we have been delighted by the product of production designers' labor and aesthetic, but they have nevertheless received a saddening lack of sustained appreciation, even from the most attentive of critics.

    Film bloggers may not be able to change this state of affairs permanently, but I'd like to call for us to take just one week to focus our collective attention on the role of these under-recognized creators. So for the week of May 19-25, I am inviting your participation in the Production Design Blog-A-Thon. During this week, I will use the Film Club blog to collate posts in which you write on any aspect of production design or art direction. Use this week to celebrate your favorite production designer (or lambast one you can't stand). Inspect your DVD collection for the most striking costumes and sets. Look for recurring interests in a production designer's overall body of work. Have fun with it.

    If you're thinking about participating, either comment below or send me an e-mail at projects [at] imaginaryyear.com so I know to check your blog during the week; if you could also ping me once you've got something up that would be helpful.

    Here are some banners I whipped up today (while at the laundromat), including a tall one for sidebar use:

    If you wish to display these images on your blog (as well as a link to this post), and you aren't too hot with the HTML skillz, just follow one of these links and cut-and-paste the snippet of code:

    The red one (Hero, 2002, production design by Tingxiao Huo and Zhenzhou Yi)
    The blue one (Punch-Drunk Love, 2002, production design by William Arnold)
    The green one (Alien, 1979, production design by Michael Seymour)

    Looking forward to seeing what people come up with!

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    Thursday, May 01, 2008
    4:36 PM


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