Monday, 4 May 2009

Designing Kenneth the Sad Caterpillar

The first meeting we had as a design team went very successfully because of the way we were making decisions together and being very direct with our approach of ironing out the fine details. The reason for this directness, I think is because of the dynamic of the group. We had a few days where we were getting to know each other because, for me I had never worked with anyone in the design team before. Once we had settled into what needed to be done and the realisation of the task in front we went about making a decision about what our theme would be for our designs throughout the show.

Our main aim for the design team is the theme Epic. We would be using different mediums of stimulus to help inspire our own designs. The first medium that we looked at was The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolken. The Epic scale that is used throughout the film in its character and costume and also the set was so visually exciting that I wanted to have a grand scale to all my designs. This is important for performing outside in Chiswick house so that all the two hundred strong audience would be able to see it and also for the design to create amazement to an older audience for example the parents of the children also need to enjoy the performance even though our target audience is primary school we need to consider everyone that is in the audience. This is why I wanted to use The Lord of the Rings as my main stimulus because it was made with a target audience that had already read the books and had their own idea of what the land and characters would like. So the design had to create something on screen that people could only imagine.

Now that our theme had been chosen we could more onto what needs to be design and built and general ideas for construction. We had been given the synopsis of the play to work with as our initial guide to what costumes, props, puppets and set where require for the show. We read through the synopsis again and made a list of everything that could be used. Then we divided the list into two groups: costume and props and set. We did this because we felt that all this work for one person to manage would be too much so in dividing into two groups we half the workload and it would be managed better throughout the building process. Carolina and Emma wanted to take on the role of designing and making the costume while I, Amir and Matt would organise the props and set for the show.

Now that we had been put into our groups our group then delegated who would take charge of individual designs and acquiring props. We worked from the big project first giving Amir the Sphinx, Matt risk assessments and pyrotechnics and I would take on the Caterpillar. (for full list refer to Props and Set List blog)

The concept of Kenneth was first brought before the group after the creative team and devised a synopsis of the performance we are doing on the 21st of May 2009. Kenneth is part of an adventure where the tribes of Kalku are thrown into the human world and have to find their way back home. On their was they meet several characters from a Milky Magician who wishes he was more musical and a sphinx that gives the tribes a riddle so they may obtain the last piece of the puzzle to bring life back to the Magical Tree of Kalku. Kenneth's task to get a piece of the puzzle for the tribes was to make him become a butterfly so he can become beautiful and happy.

When I first heard this I initially sketched a drawing of a Chinese dragon style caterpillar using hula hoops as the main structure, so when the design team met up after the meeting luckily Emma Harvey had the same idea and a very similar sketch. When it came down to the business of designating roles Emma wanted to design and make costumes and because we had the same idea she was happy for me to design and built Kenneth the Sad Caterpillar.

When I was designing Kenneth I first thought showered ideas and sketches as well as coming up with ideas for construction and the structure. Going from our first design meeting where we decided to design everything to an Epic standard, using Lords of the Rings and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as a simulus. I wanted to design Kenneth to be ten metres in length and width once it had become the butterfly.

No comments: