Sunday, January 15, 2017

Film Design: Set Concepts for "Graveyard Shift"

Several times on this blog I have posted pieces about my involvement with the 1987 Canadian horror film Graveyard Shift.

Graveyard Shift

My Old Sketchbook: Forest Lawn Cemetery

The drawings above are of several I rendered in order to find a design for the film's featured mausoleum/cemetery set. As the film was of a very low budget (approximately $150,000 in 1985, probably around 2 million in today's production dollars), I had to strike a balance between something that took up some space but not too much space -- the bigger the structure the higher the cost.

What I chose as a final was a blend between drawing numbers three and four. The bottom one would have taken up "too much space".


Jon said...

The cast shadow from one pillar helps to multiply them visually. Cheaper than building four!

Simon St. Laurent said...

Good point.

I remember reading that the Nazi Flying Wing in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" was originally to have sported four engines, but in order to keep costs down on the film, George Lucas asked the designer to make it a two-engine machine. Apparently this decision saved $200,000. Of course eliminating two engines would ultimately downsize the "airframe", effectively reducing the cost of building the prop.

To breakup the surface of the mausoleum I designed in two indentations -- one on each side of the door. Not only did I think it made the structure more interesting but it suggested, I rationalized at the time, that there originally had been sculptures in those cuts -- the statuary had been plundered many years ago.