Part Three

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - Reflection

Project Proposal Final Draft

Section 1: Review (Approx 150 words)

This year has been a huge learning curve for me for at the beginning of this course, despite having the passion for performance design and practice my skills were limited to drawing. Yet now I’m confident creating 3-dimensional designs and thus bringing my ideas to life. Areas in particular where I have learnt skills which I had previously struggled with was building models to scale, pattern making, model drawing, sustainable design, ageing clothes etc. I now also instinctively document my research, work and any progress/ development. In learning these new skills the inspiration of many artists and designers (such as Rebecca Horn and Marie Blaisse) my interests have been directed towards costume designs.

Section 2: Project Concept – Aims and Realisation (approx 250 words)

What attracted me to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest is its exploration and understanding of freedom, which in turn explores the effects of repression on one’s impulses and desires e.g. Kesey draws parallels between sexual repression and freedom suggesting that a lobotomy and castration both result in the removal of a man’s freedom, individuality and ability for sexual expression. I’m also interested in the portrayal of women as oppressors over men as it demonstrates destructive and strenuous relationship.  Overall I want to create two costumes (in the context of a film) that express a relationship between a dominant oppressor and vulnerable victim.

 

My initial research is an in depth analysis of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. In grasping a concrete understanding of the novel, film and play’s themes I can investigate how I could portray its message and atmosphere. I will also research the effects of mind altering drugs (a constant theme in the novel) as Kesey was a heavy user and believed LSD was beneficial for society.The Euphoric vs the destructive nature of drugs is something I am interested in illustrating in my Costumes. Thus I will research first-hand accounts of drug use such as Thomas De Quincy’s “Confessions of an English Opium Eater” as well as the science behind how drugs work and their effects- such as Leslie Iversen’s book “Speed>Ecstacy>Ritalin: The Science of Amphetamines”. Naturally I will explore the history of Asylums; from Henry Hering 19th Century photographs of Bentham patients to first-hand accounts such as Susanna Kaysen’s autobiography “Girl interrupted”. Knowledge of mental health will be vital research in order for me to sympathise and understand the internal battle of sufferers, thus creating an insightful, thought provoking and atmospheric final piece. Useful books include Kate Bornstein’s “Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws”, Jeffrey Kahn’s “Angst: Origins of anxiety and depression” and Steven Levenkron’s “Cutting: Understanding and Overcoming Self-Mutilation”. Lastly I will explore different materials and processes’ for creating costumes which will include visiting  the V&A’s exhibition “Curtain Up: Celebrating 40 Years of Theatre”.

Section 3: Evaluation (approx 100 words)

Naturally I will document my work using photographs, videos, my sketchbook, notebook and workflow to log my ideas, research and class discussions throughout the proposal’s progression. Furthermore I will test my designs in order to see if my objectives are being reached e.g. impact and atmosphere. Firstly I will test my work by modelling them to an audience and asking for their feedback on the design and the effect it had on them. I will also ask for feedback from the models wearing the costumes in order to assess whether they’re practical to perform in, as well as their fitting and overall aesthetic. I will also take multiple colour test shots and experiment with lighting in order to see the way it affects the appearance of the costume. I will repeat each evaluation at the different stages of creating my project.

 

Proposed Research Sources and Bibliography (Harvard Format)                              

Books:

  • Bornstein, Kate “Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws” (2006) Seven Stories Press
  • Conrad, Joseph “The Secret Agent” (1907) Methuen Publishing

De Quincey, Thomas “Confessions of an English Opium-Eater” (1800) Oxford World's Classics

  • Gilman, Sander “Disease and representation: Images of illness from madness to Aids” (1988) Cornell University Press
  • Iversen, Leslie “Speed>Ecstacy>Ritalin: The Science of Amphetamines” (2006) Oxford University Press
  • Kahn, Jeffrey MD “Angst: Origins of anxiety and depression” (2013) Oxford University Press
  • Kaysen, Susanna “Girl interrupted” (1999) Random House
  • Kesey, Ken “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962) Penguin Group
  • Levenkron, Steven “Cutting: Understanding and Overcoming Self-Mutilation” (1998) W.W.Norton & Company
  • Scull, Andrew “Madness in Civilization: A Cultural History of Insanity, from the Bible to Freud, from the Madhouse to Modern Medicine” (2015) Princeton University Press
  • Showalter, Elaine “The female Malady: Women, madness and English Culture, 1830- 1980” (1985) Virago Press

Films:

  • Control (2007) directed by Anton Corbyn, Momentum Pictures, 122mins
  • Girl Interrupted (1999) directed by James Mangold, Columbia Pictures, 127mins
  • I Believe in Unicorns (2014) directed by Leah Meyerhoff, Gravitas Ventures, 80mins
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) directed by Milos Forman, United Artists, 128mins
  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) directed by Robert Wiene, Sfinks,80mins

Plays:

  • Wonder.land (2015) directed by Rufus Norris National Theatre 150mins

Exhibitions:

  • Bethlem Museum of the Mind (2015) “YOUTOPIA: Visions of the Past, Present and Future” Kent
  • The Victoria and Albert Museum (1852)  “Curtain Up: Celebrating 40 Years of Theatre” London
  • Welcome Collection (2007) “States of Mind: Tracing the edges of consciousness” London
Details

Action Plan

Project Action Plan and Timetable

Date

 

Activity / What you are intending to do - including independent study

Resources / What you will need to do it - including access to workshops

 

8th – 12th Feb

Shakespeare is dead, get over it 

 

 

17th –19th  Feb

 

Reading Week. Shakespeare Deadline 16th Feb

 

22nd –26th Feb

 

- Go to the Welcome Collection “States of Mind: Tracing the edges of consciousness”

- Continue with in depth study of mental Health and asylums.

Use resources in the library i.e books and articles and visit galleries.

 

29th Feb – 4th March

 

Progress tutorials

- Continue with research of Mental health and asylums

- Begin initial concept designs

Use resources in the library i.e books and articles and visit galleries.

 

7th – 11th March

 

- Go to Bethlem Museum of the Mind “YOUTOPIA: Visions of the Past, Present and Future”

- Research Mind altering drugs it’s effect and dangers.

-Draw costume designs

Use resources in the library i.e books and articles, visit galleries and visit archway to do a workshop.

 

14th – 18th March

 

- Go to the National Theatre’s production of Wonder.land

-Research Materials and processes.

Go to Goldhawk road to research fabrics, visit archway to do a workshop and make notes of NT use of costumes.

 

21st – 24th March

 

- Go to The Victoria and Albert Museum “Curtain Up: Celebrating 40 Years of Theatre”

- Create pattern designs

- Select fabrics

Go to Goldhawk road to select fabrics and visit archway to do a workshop.

 

 

27th March – 9th April

 

- Begin to build costumes

Workshops closed

 

11th – 15th April

 

 

- Finish constructing costumes

- Test the designs.

Use resources in the library and at Archway.

 

 

18th –22nd April

 

 

- Film short film

- Edit Film

Use the film editing software in the library.

 

25th – 27th April

 

- Finish editing film

Wednesday April 27th

Deadline for Unit 7 submission 2pm

Use the film editing software in the library.

 

Details

Project Proposal Second Draft

Section 1: Review (Approx 150 words)

This year has been a huge learning curve for me for at the beginning of this course, despite having the passion for performance design and practice my skills were limited to drawing. Yet now I’m confident creating 3-dimensional designs and thus bringing my ideas to life. Areas in particular where I have learnt skills which I had previously struggled in was building modals to scale, pattern making, model drawing, sustainable design, ageing clothes etc. In learning these new skills it has directed my interests towards costume designs. Through out all the previous projects I was always drawn to costume designers such as Paul brown and Marie Hackman and understanding the concept behind them.

Section 2: Project Concept – Aims and Realisation (approx 250 words)

What attracted me the most to Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest is the concept and exploration of freedom and thus the effects of repressing one’s impulses and desires. I want to explore the way Kesey draws parallels between sexual repression and freedom- particularly in the way he suggests that a lobotomy and castration have the same result, both operations remove a man’s freedom, individuality and the ability of sexual expression. I also want to illustrate the way kesy portrays all the women as oppressors who have complete dominance over the men. Overall I want my final piece to express a relationship between a dominant oppressor and their victim. The way in which I want to portray this is with two costumes within the context of a short film showing their interaction. The research I will need to undertake for this project would be in the reading and analysis of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest (with its play and film counterpart) in order to fully capture the essence of the novel in my final outcome. Also I would need to research into mental health and asylums- In particular during the time when the novel was written. This also leads me into needing to research the effects of mind altering drugs as Kesey was a heavy user and believer in LSD being beneficial for society. Lastly I will need to research different materials and processes when creating my design.

Section 3: Evaluation (approx 100 words)

It goes without saying that I will document my work using photographs, videos, my sketchbook and workflow. I will also be using my notebook in which I will log my ideas, research, analysis and class discussions throughout the process of bringing my proposal to life. Further ways in which I will evaluate my process is by testing out my designs in order to see if my objectives are being reached in terms of the overall message and atmosphere of my costumes. Firstly I will test my work by modelling them to an audience and asking for their feedback on the design and the effect it had on them. I will also ask for the feedback of the models wearing the costumes in order to assess whether they’re practical to perform in, as well as if they fit and move well. I will also take multiple colour test shots and experiment with lighting in order to see the way it affects the appearance of the costume. I intend to repeat each of these tasks throughout each stage of bringing my designs to life.

Proposed Research Sources and Bibliography (Harvard Format)                              

Books:

  • Bornstein, Kate “Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws” (2006) Seven Stories Press
  • Conrad, Joseph “The Secret Agent” (1907) Methuen Publishing
  • De Quincey, Thomas “Confessions of an English Opium-Eater” (1800) Oxford World's Classics
  • Gilman, Sander “Disease and representation: Images of illness from madness to Aids” (1988) Cornell University Press
  • Iversen, Leslie “Speed>Ecstacy>Ritalin: The Science of Amphetamines” (2006) Oxford University Press
  • Kahn, Jeffrey MD “Angst: Origins of anxiety and depression” (2013) Oxford University Press
  • Kaysen, Susanna “Girl interrupted” (1999) Random House
  • Kesey, Ken “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962) Penguin Group
  • Levenkron, Steven “Cutting: Understanding and Overcoming Self-Mutilation” (1998) W.W.Norton & Company
  • Scull, Andrew “Madness in Civilization: A Cultural History of Insanity, from the Bible to Freud, from the Madhouse to Modern Medicine” (2015) Princeton University Press
  • Showalter, Elaine “The female Malady: Women, madness and English Culture, 1830- 1980” (1985) Virago Press

Films:

  • Control (2007) directed by Anton Corbyn, Momentum Pictures, 122mins
  • Girl Interrupted (1999) directed by James Mangold, Columbia Pictures, 127mins
  • I Believe in Unicorns (2014) directed by Leah Meyerhoff, Gravitas Ventures, 80mins
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) directed by Milos Forman, United Artists, 128mins
  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) directed by Robert Wiene, Sfinks,80mins

 

Exhibitions:

  • Welcome Collection (2007) “States of Mind: Tracing the edges of consciousness” London
  • Bethlem Museum of the Mind (2015) “YOUTOPIA: Visions of the Past, Present and Future” Kent
Details

Proposal Draft- One

Section 1: Review

This year has been a huge learning curve for me for at the beginning of this course, despite having the passion for performance design and practice my skills were limited to drawing. Yet now I’m confident creating 3-dimensional designs and thus bringing my ideas to life. Areas in particular where I have learnt skills which I had previously struggled in was building modals to scale, pattern making, model drawing, sustainable design, ageing clothes etc. In learning these new skills it has directed my interests towards costume designs. Through out all the previous projects I was always drawn to costume designers such as Paul brown and Marie Hackman and understanding the concept behind them.

Section 2: Project Concept – Aims and Realisation

What attracted me the most to Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest is the concept and exploration of freedom and thus the effects of repressing one’s impulses and desires. I want to explore the way Kesey draws parallels between sexuall repression and freedom- particularly in the way he suggests that a lobotomy and castration have the same result, both operations remove a man’s freedom, individuality and the ability of sexual expression. I also want to illustrate the way kesy portrays all the women as oppressors who have complete dominance over the men. Overall I want my final piece to express a relationship between a dominant oppressor and their victim. The way in which I want to portray this iswith two costumes within the context of a short film showing their interaction. The research I will need to undertake for this project would be in the reading and analysis of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest (with its play and film counterpart) in order to fully capture the essence of the novel in my final outcome. Also I would need to research into mental health and assylums- In particular during the time when the novel was written. This also leads me into needing to research the effects of mind altering drugs as Kesey was a heavy user and believer in LSD being beneficial for society. Lastly I will need to research different materials and processes when creating my design.

Section 3: Evaluation

The way in which I will evaluate my work is through many different mediums. Firstly I have a notebook in which I have been logging my ideas, research, analysis and class discussions. Secondly I will document each stage of my work with photographs and videos in both digital and hard copy format. I will also document all my work and designs in my sketch book and workflow. Thus all this thorough documentation I will be able to easily evaluate each stage of my work on workflow. My aim is to review, reflect and evaluate my work at the end of each day with an overall reflection at the end of each week.

Proposed Research Sources and Bibliography (Harvard Format)                              

Books:

  • Bornstein, Kate “Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws” (2006) Seven Stories Press
  • Conrad, Joseph “The Secret Agent” (1907) Methuen Publishing
  • De Quincey, Thomas “Confessions of an English Opium-Eater” (1800) Oxford World's Classics
  • Gilman, Sander “Disease and representation: Images of illness from madness to Aids” (1988) Cornell University Press
  • Iversen, Leslie “Speed>Ecstacy>Ritalin: The Science of Amphetamines” (2006) Oxford University Press
  • Kahn, Jeffrey MD “Angst: Origins of anxiety and depression” (2013) Oxford University Press
  • Kaysen, Susanna “Girl interrupted” (1999) Random House
  • Kesey, Ken “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962) Penguin Group
  • Levenkron, Steven “Cutting: Understanding and Overcoming Self-Mutilation” (1998) W.W.Norton & Company
  • Scull, Andrew “Madness in Civilization: A Cultural History of Insanity, from the Bible to Freud, from the Madhouse to Modern Medicine” (2015) Princeton University Press
  • Showalter, Elaine “The female Malady: Women, madness and English Culture, 1830- 1980” (1985) Virago Press

Films:

  • Control (2007) directed by Anton Corbyn, Momentum Pictures, 122mins
  • Girl Interrupted (1999) directed by James Mangold, Columbia Pictures, 127mins
  • I Believe in Unicorns (2014) directed by Leah Meyerhoff, Gravitas Ventures, 80mins
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) directed by Milos Forman, United Artists, 128mins
  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) directed by Robert Wiene, Sfinks,80mins

 

Exhibitions:

  • Welcome Collection (2007) “States of Mind: Tracing the edges of consciousness” London
  • Bethlem Museum of the Mind (2015) “YOUTOPIA: Visions of the Past, Present and Future” Kent                             
Details

Monday 25th April

Today I created a model box for the exhibition. When brainstorming ideas for my model box I decided I wanted to represent the key theme that I explored in my film which was Nature vs Machine. To begin with I created a lino cutting of a forest as I found the bold etching's it produced echoed the sinister tone of my film. I used the lino prints I created to line the walls of my box. I then decided that I wanted to incorporate elements of my costume design into my model box so I took the mechanical stencil I created and cut each Cog apart before spray painting them gold. I later added further details to the cogs using a silver marker pen. I the proceeded to hang these cogs from the ceiling of my box like a mobile. The last element to my box was drawing further woodland images onto three different sized pieces of perspex. I then hung these onto different parts of my box to add a more 3-dimensional quality to my box. To create further atmosphere in my box I added electric to lights in order to light up the set and create haunting shadows.
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My Date, Death

Friday 22nd April

Today I finished editing my film. I wanted my film to echo the inspiration I found in German expressionism, therefore the film sequence is built up of multiple fast moving stylized images and symbolism. With this in mind the majority of the film is in Black and White to evoke an atmosphere of lifelessness and tension. This idea was also inspired by Corbijn's 2007 film Control as he uses black and white film to echo the protagonists depression and the city's unfeeling nature. My film however is punctuated by bursts of colour in order to create further tension as well as suggesting the male character's (who represents an oppressed and suffering mental patient) struggle to gain control of his life again. However the female character (who represents death and depression) oppresses the character with drugs and physical abuse such as drowning, which dulls the male characters life back to black and white. Another way in which I choose to represent this is with the balloons, which evoke imagery of chakras (seven centres of spiritual power in the human body), thus when death cuts and bursts them the patient looses more of his personality and life. I choose to emphasise the theme of Nature vs Machine not only in the imagery I chose but with sound effects of a fast paced ticking clock and scissors- both of which greatly added to the tense atmosphere. Moreover they complimented the moments of speech that punctuated the film as the script pulled on these themes too. The lyrical nature of the script I wrote creates a mystical and fantasy element which links to the use of drugs in the film. Overall I am extremely please with the outcome of my film as it portrays all the key elements which I set out to achieve.
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Thursday 21st April

Today we spent the day doing detailed peer assessments for one another. I found this to be an extremely useful and informative task due to the fact that It opened my mind to being more analytical and critical, thus making the grade objectives at the foreground of mind. I was then able take what I had learnt in marking Holly Meek's work and apply to my own self analysis. This was obviously aided by Holly's own evaluation of my work, which emphasised the importance for me to add more information to my sketchbook. Assessing Holly's Work also emphasised to me the importance of how one's work should be presented as well as emphasising the way my research informs my work. With this in mind I spent the rest of the day working on the presentation of my work and my sketchbook.
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My Date, Death - First Draft

Tuesday 19th April

I dedicated my time today to to editing the large majority of my film. I found this process to be extremely time consuming as I had a lot of footage to work with. Therefore I had to teach myself to strict when condensing this footage for I need my film to be fast paced in order to create the desired effect I wish to achieve. 

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Monday 18th April

I spent the first half of the day repairing the rip in my costume that was created after filming the other day. Luckily it was extremely easy to fix however in order to ensure this fault did not occur again I folded in the edges in the hope that it would stop the costume from fraying. After rectifying this problem I began to edit my film. This time round I chose to use Adobe Premier Pro rather than Windows Live Movie Maker (the software I have been previously using) as it is much more advance in its ability to edit film, thus making it easier to create my vision. We then spent the afternoon having a session on how to do The Evaluation for a final project. I found this to be a very useful and informative session as highlighted the many aspects of my work that I need to polish up and improve on.

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Thursday 14th April

I spent today shooting footage for my short Film- which I have titled My Date, Death. Before beginning the filming process there was already a large issue due to the weather being heavy rain. This caused several problems, the first being I was unsure as to if my costumes would survive these conditions- particularly due to the fact that they would get extremely muddy in this weather two- not to mention my concerns that the makeup would run. Secondly I had wanted to film my piece in bright sunshine in order to create a juxtaposition with the events in the film. Lastly the weather effected one of my props as the rain drops weighed down the helium balloons causing them to droop which I was not anticipating. Unfortunately this was the only day that I could shoot my film due to the people helping me out only being available for today. Therefore I had to find a way to use these difficulties to my advantage. We used the rain to create pathetic fallacy and imagery in the film by linking the drowning scenes to the flooding being caused by the rain. Also the rain added a greater depth to the film by creating a dark and sinister atmosphere. I used the balloons to represent the oppressed characters life by having the colours represent the colours used to describe chakras (as seen below) and therefore the way they drooped became symbolic of the oppression the character was experiencing. 

  

I decided to film the majority of my film outside in a large field in order to represent the theme of the natural vs the non-natural (which is explored in the novel). The non-natural elements were represented by the costumes I had created, particularly the mechanical stencil on the male costumes back. I wanted my film to made up of multiple fast moving shots in order to create tension, therefore I focused on capturing silent stylized images. The imagery I chose was influenced heavily by Victorian photography.

Despite the rain I was able to overcome any problems that occurred and was extremely pleased with the outcome. Unfortunately one of my costumes ripped slightly during the film process due to it being made of very delicate fabric however both costumes wear extremely easy to wash (after they got muddy from the shoot).

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Tuesday 12th April

Today I made the finishing touches on my costume paying attention to the smaller detail. Therefore I hand stitched the final touches in order to make sure that they were neat and accurate. I also went through my designs with Kate discussing with her how this was the first costume that I had made entirely by hand. She explained to me how there were certain short cuts I could have taken when creating my costume which would have saved a lot time and effort in the long run. However I can take these tips onto any future designs I create. She also suggested to me that I should use Fabric scissors with ridges in order to prevent some fraying in my fabric.

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Thursday 7th April

I spent the first half of this morning creating a detailed storyboard for my final film. Using the advise we were given in the previous workshop, I worked hard to ensure that my directions for the shots, camera angles and movement were clear, detailed and precise. This will save me a great deal of time when it comes to shooting my film. I spent the rest of the day continuing to work on my costume.

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Tuesday 5th April

Today I began the initial planning for my costume in order to make it as accurate as possible- as this will save time and fabric. I began by taking the measurements of the two models who will be wearing my costume. Using these measurements I proceeded create my own fabric patterns on large sheets of paper. I tested out my initial patterns by creating a rough of my costume out of paper. This made it more obvious to me that I had taken the right measurements and that my patterns were accurate. Taking my templates I began to create my costume. The jumpsuit I'm creating for my female character is the most complex of the two I therefore used a sewing machine for the majority of this section.

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Monday 4th April

I spent today creating another short film in order to practice bringing an idea to life from my storyboard, as well as to enhance my filming and editing skills. I wanted to convey the inner turmoil of someone suffering from mental illness in this story. I believe I achieved this very effectively with the imagery I used combined with the fast pace and the constant jumping and repeating of clips. I found the absence of dialogue created tension on top of the haunting music. I found my use of angles and shots to be much more complex this time round as I was more ambitious with my overall creation. However I think my editing skills could improve further and I am therefore planning to invest in a more complex film editing software.

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Thursday 31st March

Today I experimented with the makeup i will be using for my Final Piece. I began by researching different images of skeletons and grim reapers before looking at several skeleton makeup tutorials online. I was particularly inspired by the research I did on The Day of The Dead festival and different styles people create. Below is a video of my practicing the skeleton makeup. I decided to add a sharp black bob to my overall look as it reminded me of the strict and sharp hairstyles of the 1950s nurse. I decided to push my look further by adding red lipstick and false lashes in order for it to look more sultry as that is the type of character I wish to convey.

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Tuesday 29th March

I spent today shopping for materials for my costumes. The first place I went to was a local haberdashery where I was able to by several meters of black lace and chiffon for a very reasonable price. These will act as the main body of my female costume. Unfortunately despite the local haberdashery's affordable prices it was very limited in it's stock causing me to have to look for the rest of my materials else where. However I did not wish to buy the rest of my materials from an alternative haberdashery as I wanted my costumes to be as sustainable as possible. Therefore I bought red felt and a silk red dress from a charity shop with the intention to deconstruct and reconstruct them for my final costume along with an old pair of black leggings and a black long sleeved shirt I own.

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Monday 28th March

I began to create my costume today and started with the mechanical stencil first. After drawing out the stencil pattern on to card I used a scalpel to cut it out. Once I had completed the stencil I practiced using on the model who will be wearing my costume. With a paint brush I went around the stencil using black and white face paint. Although the design was very simplistic I am extremely pleased with how effective the stencil was and it will therefore save me time when I go to film my final piece as well as giving me the ability to achieve continuity in my film in case I have to re-shoot certain scenes.

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Stencil

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Thursday 24th March

I dedicated my time today to finalising my costume designs for my final piece. For my short film the costumes will very much be the focus point and therefore it essential that they embody all the characteristics and themes explored in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I decided to create a female costume and male costume. The female costume is designed to represent the nurses in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in particular Nurse Ratched who I persevere as an oppressor and bringer of death. Therefore I decided to have my costume to resemble certain qualities of the Grim Reaper- such as a skeletal face and a long flowing black jumpsuit. I also found nurse Rached to be sexual oppressor by using her own sexuality and beauty. Therefore the costume is also sultry which I express with the materials such as sheer black and red silk. In comparison the male costume is very simplistic and restrictive as it illustrates the sexually oppressed and restricted patients. I've decided to express this by placing large red X's on the costume as well as creating a large restrictive collar. Moreover the back of the costume will reveal a mechanical pattern on the models back as the novel often referenced how the more oppressed a character became the machine like they appeared. I also decided to create my male costume for a young boy as I found the men in the novel to be reduced to dependant children.

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Monday 21st March

I spent today creating a quick short film. My aim was to convey the relationship between two characters in which one is oppressing the other. I decided to make the oppressive character in my piece where a half mask that accentuated certain facial features in order to make them seem more sinister and dominant. I also wanted this film to allude to old fashioned silent films in order to create a juxtaposition between the natural and non-natural (a theme explored in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), for at the time of silent films they would have been seen as very naturalistic where as today, due to technological advances, they're seen as being incredibly over the top. I found this to be a very productive exercise as it gave me initial practice in anticipation of the short film I will be creating as my final piece. However this short film was extremely simplistic using only one angle for a single shot where as my final peace will be much more complex.

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Thursday 17th March

Today we had Soldering workshop in which we created miniature hospital beds. Soldering was an entirely new skill to me and I therefore struggled significantly with the technique needed to solder the pieces of wire together. The workshop was extremely time consuming but I found it to be very informative, as it highlighted the immense amount time and effort needed to make pieces for model sets. Unfortunately I was pushed for time so my model ended up being slightly wonky- however I found this added to the charm of my hospital bed by making it look more run down. Despite the bed not being directly relevant to what I will be making, I enjoyed learning a new skill.

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Tuesday 15th March

For my Final project I would like to create a short film and I therefore spent today researching several different short films and videos that echoed the type of atmosphere and dark intensity that I wish to achieve. I found Soko's music video for Destruction of The Disgusting and Ugly Hate particularly inspiring as it perfectly illustrated the darkness and despair those with mental illness suffer from. I also like the hallucinogenic quality of her video and I think this links nicely to the drug abuse explored in One Flew Over the Cuckoos nest. It's worth noting that Soko (who directed and starred in her music video) suffers from depression thus adding a further layer to her work as it can be seen as a honest and vibrant portrayal of her pain in art. 

I was also inspired by CocoRosie's music video for Gallows as it created a haunting and chilling effect on me the viewer. I particularly liked the Victorian setting of the film as it reminded me of Henry Hering's (the mid-19th century photographer) work based on taking photographs of patients in a mental hospital. I therefore am interested in perhaps alluding to a Victorian/ Gothic era in my film.

Eliza Camplin, a labourer’s wife, was admitted to Bethlem aged 36 in February 1857 suffering from ‘acute mania’.

(Eliza Camplin, a labourer’s wife, was admitted to Bethlem aged 36 in February 1857 suffering from ‘acute mania’)

Looking at all the videos I've linked to below I want to be able to recreate the ghostly, haunting, dark and tense atmosphere I experienced watching them in my own short video. Using the videos below I edited them all together in order to create a "Video Mood board" expressing the atmospheric goals I wish to achieve in my own work. I found doing this exercise both inspired me and helped form the initial ideas I have for my final project.

SOKO - You Have A Power On Me

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Me6hBm8-2GE

SOKO - Destruction Of The Disgusting Ugly Hate

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUOKukkEck8

CocoRosie - Gallows

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiEqWYawpeU

Florence And The Machine- Heavy In Your Arms

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_eOmvM-4zc

Owl Vision - Antichrist

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8keH5CYl3rU

 

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Monday 14th March

Today I went to go see the National Theatre's new Musical production Wonder.Land. I deeply enjoyed this modern retelling of Alice in Wonderland which was visually stunning in its Set Design, lighting and particularly it's costumes. Although the themes explored in this play weren't particularly relevant to what I wish to achieve in my final outcome their were certain aspects that have inspired me with several ideas for my short film. First of all I loved the way the fantasy world of Wonderland was bright and colourful where as reality was depicted only in black, white and grey. I feel I could use this contrast in colour to oppression vs freedom in my film. Secondly one of the fantasy characters in the plays head was a balloon who is killed when it's popped. I thought I could manipulate this idea in my short film by using balloons to represent my character's souls/life being destroyed by popping them.

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Wonder.land

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Thursday 10th March

Today we had a workshop on story boarding.We spent the initial part of the session learning about different camera angles and the effect it has on it's audience. For example a slanted angle is unnerving where as an eye level angle is very immersive. We then proceeded to learn about different camera movements and again it's effect on it's audience. I found this information to be extremely helpful as it gave a deeper knowledge on film which I can now use to guide my own short film.

We proceeded then to focus on how to create an effective story board. To begin with we were informed of the importance of working in an 1.85:1 ratio in our sketch books as most of our TVS are wide screen now. I was surprised to learn that the most important aspect of storyboarding is not a series of beautiful detailed drawing but the message they convey. In fact a story board can be very minimalistic and can include notes and text. We were then given a task to do a storyboard of the first few minutes of the Wallice and Grommit Film 'A Close Shave'. The task was surprisingly difficult as I was initially not detailed enough in my storyboards as they lacked direction and movement.  I had to repeat the task several times in order to achieve the amount of detail needed. The teacher also emphasised the importance of including shading to show the lighting in our storyboard. It's worth noting that we were informed that if we could not draw the picture that we could write notes describing what was happening. However after this exercise we were given the original storyboard for this animation were I noticed that there was in fact little information written about each picture.

Overall I found this exercise extremely useful as previously my storyboards were nowhere near detailed or clear enough in conveying my aspirations and ideas. It also further improved my drawing my techniques.

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Tuesday 8th March

Today we did a workshop based on character exploration in film and mark-making. We spent the afternoon creating several life drawings in a short amount of time. We were placed in several small groups in which we took turns to create a composition (using ourselves and the surrounding space) that would represent different themes. The first theme was "Repression'. I was the one to create the composition for this theme so I decided to create an illusion of being trapped and repressed by pushing my body against several boxes. I bent my knees and arms into very angular shapes in order to look uncomfortable and limited in my space. The next theme was "Dreams" but the task changed slightly as composition now required us to look at the space and place a person within in it in order to see how they would react with it. This time we positioned Julianna in a tight space behind a screen. She manipulated the shadows by placing certain parts of her body against the screen. This created darker shadows in certain places thus making her appear mysterious and dreamlike. Next we were given the theme 'oppression' were we added a further layer to our composition by adding costume. Adriana wore an orange cloth which made only her head visible. Our final position was based on the theme 'Magic'. This time the focus was solely on fabric and texture in which we made Matilda wear a glittery skirt and a long ruffled skirt as a veil and placed her on top of a chair. I found the veil to give her a very ethereal quality.  We further experimented with our drawing by using different materials and techniques- including writing with our left hand.

I found this exercise to be helpful as it forced me to think about the characters' in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and their relationship with each other as well as the way conveys the themes and messages explored in the novel. The task also encouraged me to practice experimenting with colour and techniques in my drawings.

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Monday 7th March

Today in class we had a workshop on model making. We were initially given sketches of several studio's through out Central St Martins before being asked to select one of the sketches to create a scale model from. We were instructed to follow a scale of 1:25. Despite the fact that I will not be making a model for my final project, I found this exercise to be extremely useful as the model box I created will be the same size as the one I'll need to create for our exhibition later on and it therefore helped me to understand scale better. It was useful to see the box as it enabled me to visualise space I will be later using. 

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Thursday 3rd March

Today in class we focused on creating posters for our projects. When creating my poster I wanted illustrate the key theme that I will be exploring in my final project, therefore I chose The Female Oppressor as my title. I wanted my poster to have an eerie and dark atmosphere thus pulling on the style of German Expressionism. I believe my aims for my poster where successful due the feedback I was given from my piers (which can be seen below): 

  • "Dark and Twisted. I Love it."
  • "Powerful drawing, very nice mark making and clear idea being conveyed"
  • "Very nice graphic narrative"
  • "The image is very powerful and I love the fact that you switched gender roles"
  • "Loving the style and how you kept things minimal with the colours. Fits into the whole oppression theme"
  • "Dark and mysterious"
  • "Very powerful meaning embedded. Beautifully detailed drawing"
  • "So detailed and I love the drawing"

I found today's task of creating a poster an extremely useful process as it enabled me to realise the themes I wanted to focus on the overall atmosphere I created.

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Thursday 25th February

On Thursday we mainly focused on bringing all our research together on workflow. This is also presented ourselves with the opportunity to discuss our ideas and research as a group. Thus as a group we began brainstorming our ideas based on the structure of the brain and neurology. I found this to be an extremely useful task as it enabled me to discover many relevant artists to my project proposal and had not yet discovered, due to sharing our ideas and research.

download.php?file=1882891&view=181226&embedded=1&textbox=1877219

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Tuesday 23rd February

On Tuesday we focused on the characters within the text One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kessey by creating character drawings. By creating a drawing of how we perceived a character within the novel we were then able to analyse their characteristics. We considered who they were by looking at the way they interacted with others, their fears, their pleasures, their opinion of themselves, other's opinions of them etc. I decided to analyse Chief Bromden who acts as the narrator in the novel. I found Bromden's character by all accounts should have been strong and powerful due to his build and heritage. However life has made timid and afraid of his own shadow. His words also show him to be poetic and perceptive despite pretending to be deaf and dumb- and often under the influence of mind altering drugs. At the beginning of the novel he is a shell of a man- simply a vessel to be moved back and forth. We then proceeded to draw our perception of the character by the end of the novel, using tracing paper to draw on top of our original drawings. I find Chief Bromden to significantly change at the end of the novel as he finds the strength to break free from the mental hospital. Despite being a broken man he never the less becomes a man by the end of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

I found this task of Character analysis to be very useful in gaining an overall better understanding of the novel as it forced me to apply the research and knowledge I have learned to bring elements of a character to life. 

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Monday 22nd February

On Monday we pitched our proposals for the first time. I found it an extremely useful task to pitch my idea to my tutors as it was made immediately apparent the areas that I needed to work on in order to make my proposal clear, to the point and with an impact. After speaking with my tutor it was evident that I need to tighten my proposal as it was very broad and many of the points I made were obvious. The first way in which I will improve my proposal is by linking the research I have done with my the aims and realisation of my Proposal Concept. What is more I need to I need to tighten my initial concept by being less broad and thus more specific on my idea. I also need to completely redo my Evaluation as again I was very obvious with what I wrote- writing what the reader would have already assumed I done. Therefore in my evaluation I need to discuss the ways in which I will test and improve on my project. Lastly I found discussing my proposal further with my piers gave me an understanding on how I could improve my concept by listening and sharing ideas.

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To Do List:

1. Create costume designs 2. Take measurements of models. 3. Buy materials 4. Create Patterns 5. Make costumes 6. Practice and experiment with make up ideas 7. Storyboard film ideas 8. Write Script 9. Shoot Film 10. Photograph Costumes 11. Record Voices and Sound effects 12. Edit Film 13. Do lino cutting 14. Build Model box 15. Photograph model box
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