For this 8 week individual project we were given the novel Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman as a starting point but were allowed the freedom to take the project in any direction best suited to us. I am interested in production design for film and this was the first opportunity I had to pursue that interest, so I designed 3 sets for a short film based on one particular chapter. Following the industry standard I made 1:50 scale white card models with technical drawings and an accompanying code book.
This was a group project where we produced a puppetry performance based on the poem Alphabet by Edward Gorey. We each chose a line from the poem to work from and I chose: X is for Xerxes devoured by mice. From this extract I designed and made a puppet for the character Xerxes with accompanying shadow puppets.
Skills learnt from this project:
- Designing a character from an unusual name.
- Designing, making and performing a manipulatable puppet.
- sourcing costume for a puppet.
- making shadow puppets that move in synchronisation.
- The experience of putting on a performance, coordinating with others and working to cues.
This was a three-week group project completed by the whole year of 25-30 students. We were given the theme ‘Wild West’ and agreed on a design for the installation, then we separated into groups to work on different areas. I was part of a team of 5 people making the Native American figures.
What I learnt from this project
This was a valuable exercise in teamwork as it was the first group project we did on the course. I learnt how to work with people and how to resolve issues and personality clashes with sensitivity and tact. I also learnt to adapt with limited materials by using unorthodox methods: we were restricted to only using paper, cardboard, tape and glue to make complex 3D structures.