Last week as I was on the train I came across an interesting article that was talking about a new Tumblr blog ‘Wes Anderson Palettes’ which takes a look at the different colour palettes that the director uses in all his films.
Wes Anderson // Centered from kogonada on Vimeo.
As one of the last remaining companies that still design and build all of our scenery, I think we are definitely in a position where we can comfortably talk about the design process.
The purples are therefore a great colour palette for this - as you can see in the photos the set can completely change colour depending on how it is lit. Purple can also go from being quite cold, dark and mysterious to very appealing and inviting - not to mention the connotations of royalty associated with purple.
|Concept artwork for Belle's costumes in the original Disney film|
|A 1770's French Court Belle taken from Claire |
Hummel's project on historically accurate princesses.
Have a look at her work here
When investigating the historical accuracy I also found it interesting to look at the characters costume - often a very important indicator as to where and when the story is based. Beast generally dresses straight out of the Regency period while Belle enjoys dressing in a combination of different ages. Her hooped skirt suggests French Court at the time of Marie Antoinette or even a fairly Georgian style and yet her uncovered shoulders and arms combined with the fairly low cut of her neckline would have been considered quite indecent. The low off the shoulder neckline and the long evening gloves therefore point towards Christian Dior’s ‘New Look’ during the 1940s.
|Beast's Regency Evening look in full swing|
In our set there are a number of secret, hidden features that we have included that while add significantly to the set and it's design are not relying on the performance space having any special facilities. On our set the bookshelves are in fact hidden behind the panels of stonework which need only be revolved to transform the castle into a library, the rose loses its petals one by one slowly throughout the show, and to construct the magic tea trolley for Chip we even consulted the Magic Circle. It's part of our job to design something that's appropriate for any theatre or space rather than creating something that can only be used by one venue without any significant adaptation.
As we specialise in producing scenery for amateur shows or touring performances we typically have to design a show that’s going to be appealing and useful to a wide range of people and is adaptable to a huge variety of different spaces. While we do often try to collaborate with our customers if we are building a show new for their performance, we also have to consider what is going to appeal to other clients. Getting an order is usually down to whether people like your set or not (as well as the transport fee!) so it's always best to design a beautiful set with a broad range of appeal and adaptability. In fact our set for 'Beauty and the Beast' is a great example of this as our set for this show proved so popular with customers that we had to build a second, smaller version of it just to meet demand.
A set is absolutely no good to us if it cannot fit into a lorry and be put up safely and easily. The majority of our sets have to be able to be moved quickly and easily by a stage crew doing the scene changes, or be constructed and put up in such a way that the production doesn't have long, tedious scene changes involving multiple pieces of heavy, hard set.
|As it happens - we also have a rose that does this.|
If anyone is looking to perform Disney's Beauty and the Beast and would like to receive a brochure with more information on our set then please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or enquiring via our website, or if course if you're passing through the area then you're always welcome to 'Be Our Guest!'
(Sorry - couldn't resist!)
Written by Tamsin
Wes Anderson Palettes
Vimeo - kogonada
Disney's Beauty and the Beast
Claire Hummel at Deviant Art