This lesson was designed for one of my classes that I call “Life Design”. I wanted to make a class that was built entirely around the concept that art is everywhere. This class not only promotes the relevancy of art and design in every part of our everyday world but it also promotes how important it is to learn the basics and build upon them to improve your artistic skills. Every lesson that I teach within this particular class is a vocation that students could use their artistic skills for a living. (Movie makeup, car design, illustration, fashion, tattoos, toys, video games, magazines, graphic design, theatre design, jewelry, comics/graphic novels, culinary arts, fantasy weapons, and murals)
This lesson goes along with my separate Production Design papers. The lesson was made as I did some co-teaching with a theatre group. The one group was a class role playing as directors of a one act play and MY students were the design teams helping the directors create their vision of what all play materials needed to be (props, costumes, set design, etc.) It was a very fun lesson to tag-team with the drama teacher and the students had a blast with leading each other and justifying all of their decisions on the storytelling of the play (what does each scene need? what does each actor need? etc.)
I like to watch the behind the scenes features of all of my favorite movies to see how things were designed and made so I already had a good idea of how the lesson and steps should be formed so that the students would get the most out of their group efforts. I treated this as a real-life production and broke it down into phases of production: budgets, pre-vis, mockups, meeting with director, changes in design, meetings, up to creating the real set design (in miniature form).
The powerpoint start by talking about pre-viz (pre-visualization) and how storyboarding helps a director imagine things and helps the entire team to see what the director wants. I lead in to mockups and describe why it is important to have design meetings with directors to evolve each part of a story from a prop to a costume to a part of a set; it all has to work together to send the right visual messages the director intends on sending. That leads into stage design and how to design with creativity AND functionality since you are on a stage with little space. I discuss differences between theatre and movies while showing how things get broken into scenes and camera shots, props needed, jobs needed, etc. The end of the powerpoint shows lots of little mockups that others have made and explains what the student project requires.