I hope my followers in the U.S. had a nice Thanksgiving holiday. Today, I have another interview to share. The interview was conducted this summer by me with Three Horizons Productions Art Director, Jim Aiken. Here is an excerpt:
James Aiken was interviewed by Colette Finkbiner, writer/blogger with Three Horizons Productions – Summer of 2012
Jim Aiken, Art Director on Out Of Focus
As time rolls along ‘til the first screening of Out of Focus, I have had the opportunity to interview Three Horizons Productions’ own Jim Aiken. Mr. Aiken served as the film’s art director/production designer. For the casual moviegoer, production design is not something that is normally given a thought. You just accept the choices that have been made and go with the story, action and march to the denouement. Therein lies the power of production design, especially when it is done well and as part of the visual formula calculated by the director, the cinematographer and the production designer. Working within this incubator of visual acumen, filmmakers like Mr. Aiken brings us viewers the world of the characters by furthering the verisimilitude of the physical world of the characters.
Mr. Aiken graciously explained his vital role.
What is production design and art direction?
On a larger production, you have a production designer who works closely with the director and director of photography and sometimes the script writer to create the entire look, feel and vision of the film. They often have an interpretation of the script based on their own vision of what they see or the vision of the writers. It is the job of the production designer and the art department to help create that stage where they’re going to shoot that film.
So it’s like a pyramid? You have the director who brings the vision and the storytelling together as well as working with the production designer and cinematographer. Is that correct?
Yeah, it’s really a collaborative type of a process that goes on there. I guess it is a pyramid. It’s a very structured type of situation on a film set when you get down to who is in charge and whose vision it is. Some directors are very adamant about what they want and don’t give the art director or production designer much latitude to put their own visual stamp on it. But other directors are very open to allowing the entire team to contribute to that. I’ve worked with directors who come from a totally different perspective. I think the project itself determines the approach. You might have the same director with totally different approaches project to project.