Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Design Lesson:
Mood and Experience
Part II - Cool and Hard

Yesterday morning, I met with Clayton Rodney, technical manager for the Edmonton Opera. Clayton graciously agreed to answer my questions and chat about lighting design and how light, texture and colour can be shaped to effect a particular mood. He was so sweet and engaging that our "quick coffee" turned into a 45-minute long conversation.

Besides enlightening me on how to use my Roscolux swatch book, and warning against using green to light people (in the language of light, green equals dead), Clayton did a quick and dirty tutorial on how to light people and backdrops, and we talked about focal areas given a limited budget, how silk and frost filters work, modifying light with a filter vs. in the fixture itself, the beauty of #99 chocolate, and hard vs. soft lighting, among other things. As we wrapped up the meeting, he also told an entirely my style joke that I very gullibly believed. It made me wonder if we might eventually be friends, and not just colleagues, some day.

I knew he wouldn't have a simple answer for my last question, as there are rarely simple answers to conceptual creative problems (everything gaining meaning by its relationship to many other things, like threads in a tapestry), but I asked him anyway: are there guidelines or rules for light and what it says, e.g. hard vs. soft or blue vs. gold? He said, of course, that there are no hard and fast rules, but if he was lighting a production that was very modern or contemporary, perhaps New City Suburbs-style Gothic or dark in mood, that he would likely think to use very high contrast light and dark lighting with a cold, hard edge, whereas, if he was doing a vintage-style production with antiques and lace, he would more likely use a warm colour palette with softer edged light.

So, while Part I brought you warm and soft, this collection brings you cool and hard. Enjoy!
  1. Alexander McQueen's Fall/Winter 2006 runway show - A hologram of Kate Moss

  2. KM3D-1

  3. If you have blue and red 3D glasses, now is a good time to break them out.
    Created by AnOther Magazine with artist and filmmaker Baillie Walsh, KM3D-1 is an experimental, multi-dimensional image-movie, first seen at Alexander McQueen's autumn/winter 2006 fashion show.

    Using state-of-the-art Phantom HD cameras, the film was an experiment in 3-D technology. Although you can't watch 3-D on You Tube (at least, not yet), the short back then was a remarkable achievement in filmmaking, way before Avatar hit the movie screens.

    The film starred the beautiful supermodel Kate Moss, and was also groundbreaking for it's use of holographic technology, making Kate appear on stage almost from thin air and giving her a three dimensional appearance.

    Here is the film as it looked on screen.

  4. The Knife: Silent Shout: An Audio Visual Experience

My friend Scott is teaching me how to drum. After 8 years of classical piano training, adding in feet is quite the challenge! Una corda and damper pedalling just can't compare.

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