Reading between Designs: Visual Imagery and the Generation by Piers D. Britton

By Piers D. Britton

From the alien worlds of famous person Trek to the lifelike working room of ER, the layout of units and costumes contributes not just to the glance and temper of tv indicates, yet much more importantly to the construction of memorable characters. but, formerly, this important element of tv creativity has bought little severe awareness, regardless of the continuing curiosity in construction layout in the heavily allied self-discipline of movie experiences. during this ebook, Piers Britton and Simon Barker provide a primary analytical learn of scenic and dress layout for tv drama sequence. They concentrate on 3 enduringly renowned sequence of the 1960s--The Avengers, The Prisoner, and surgeon Who--and talk about such issues because the sartorial picture of Steed within the Avengers, the juxtaposition of picturesque and fascistic structure within the Prisoner, and the evolution of the high-tech inside of health professional who is TARDIS. Interviews with the sequence' unique designers and reproductions in their unique drawings supplement the authors' research, which sheds new mild on numerous concerns, from the discourse of favor to that of the history undefined, notions of "Pop" and unfashionable, and the cultural preoccupation with realism and digital truth.

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Additional resources for Reading between Designs: Visual Imagery and the Generation of Meaning in The Avengers, The Prisoner, and Doctor Who

Sample text

The variation between types of movies is generic, which is to say primarily a matter of premise and presentation. The difference between a film noir and a musical comedy or gothic fantasy is, in essence, just a difference in kinds of story and modes of storytelling. In television, on the other hand, we must distinguish between productions that differ radically in kind. A talk show such as The Tonight Show (NBC TV, – ), a comic revue such as The Two Ronnies (BBC TV, –), and a hard-hitting crime drama such as Homicide: Life on the Streets (NBC TV, –) can be differentiated more fundamentally than by genre.

Since this study is primarily concerned with the transcendent meanings that design can acquire in relation to the overall identity of a series, we now turn to the modalities of design for screen drama. The relationship between genre and design is, from one point of view, more straightforward and immediately apparent than the relationship between narrative and design. For example, a period drama announces itself at once through its costuming: the clothes, in other words, are a prime signifier for the genre.

5 Thus, our response as English viewers to Giles’ original costume was presumably the opposite of what the makers of Buffy intended: Far from confirming and embodying his Englishness, this outfit struck us as embarrassingly un-English by virtue of its sartorial solecisms. The fact that design and narrative may belie each other is ultimately less interesting than another aspect of their interplay. Design imagery can spark ideas that unfold at a tangent to the spectator’s linear experience of a drama.

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