Thursday, September 17, 2015

Production Design in Narcos

This week I watched two episodes of Narcos, a Netflix original series. (I'm really bad at binge watching television.)

Narcos is about the most notorious drug dealer of all time, Pablo Escobar. Much of the story takes place in Colombia in the late 70s and early 80s, where Pablo and his team produce mountains upon mountains of cocaine to sell in other South American countries and the United States. ('narcos' = narcotics. If you didn't get that, it's cool--I didn't until at least halfway through the first episode). The story is told by Steve Murphy (played by Boyd Holbrook), a DEA agent who moves from Miami to Colombia to stop Escobar.

Pablo and his cocaine. Bffs 4 life.

Th production design in Narcos, as I would expect with any major drama series, was excellent. Scenes in episodes one and two take place in the middle of the jungle, a fancy Colombian hotel, a random street in South Beach, Miami, the airport, a plane, a bowling alley, and a ton of other places. There was so much effort put into every little detail--as it should be.

This has inspired me to get involved in this part of production for our project, which was recently retitled as Dollhouse. In class we talked about using our location to resemble a dollhouse, so I started to think about exactly what that means.

I may have had this exact dollhouse growing up, actually.
I played with dolls (Barbies, Polly Pockets, Bratz) all the time growing up. However, I think what makes dollhouses a little creepy is when all the furniture is glued down. Not all dollhouses are like this, but the ones for very young children are, so they can't pick up the tiny furniture and start eating it. Maybe glued down furniture is an element that we can play with. We want the dollhouse to reveal characteristics about our antagonist, Hannah, so very minimalist designs might be best. Perhaps we could have shots of her straightening or tidying things around the house as she talks to Vivian, our protagonist. Vivian's room, in contrast, will look like the "normal" college student's--pictures and posters on the walls, some laundry on the floor, homework sprawled across the desk.

Obviously, we don't have the money that Narcos did, but that doesn't mean we can't put a lot of effort into our production design.

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