How Does the Design of the Prison in Paddington 2 (2017) Convey Character, Story and Visual Concept?
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This chapter explores the role of the prison setting in the representation of character and narrative in the film Paddington 2 (2017). The prison is a key setting in the film, which playfully stitches together popular notions of the real and imagined prison and turns it into a community where friendship, food and flowers blossom. It effectively forms a transitional space linking Paddington’s journey from home and back again. The changes we see taking place in the prison are metaphors that convey the Visual Concept at the heart of the design. Traditional ideas and images of the prison are turned on their head as the place of incarceration becomes a candy pink-striped world of high teas and bunting. My chapter works through the way the design conveys these ideas using a model I have developed for the analysis of production design, called the Visual Concept methodology. The model works through the five key ways a production designer visualizes a script: (i) Space, (ii) In and out, (iii) Light, (iv) Color and (v) Set decoration. Using this case study, I will illustrate how every decision about the five elements is linked and returns to the logic of the central Visual Concept driving the design.
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