Communicating graphic design career experiences using feature film screenplay and production design

Herigstad, Garman
Major Professor
Anson Call
Committee Member
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Graphic Design
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Graphic Design

52-1/2 Feet is a fictionalized feature film screenplay based on actual events in the early 1990s. This account is a way to communicate how a graphic designer's career can go from design methods and skills to be engulfed by the business world's realities. The story is formatted as a feature film-style screenplay with additional treatment notes for storyboard and prop identification. It does differ considerably from the traditional readers-format layout. I supplemented my position as the writer of the story with the role of concept artist, production designer, location scout, and some of the responsibilities a director may undertake.After the story was written, storyboards were produced. As an aid to the storyboards, 3D models of key locations were created. At first, these served as aids for the perspective drawings. As more details were added to these models, the props being added influenced the story writing. It became a looping process where the design influenced the story, and the story would influence the design. This story is a period piece set in 1991. The protagonist of the story, Christopher Rigs, has been working in Hong Kong for two years and frequently travels to Bangkok and Beijing. He struggles with the pace, the demands of the work, the cultural and language barriers, and the ethics of clients and associates. East Asia is a different environment from where he grew up in Iowa. He struggles to maintain his standards and live his own life apart from a career in which he excels. A feature film is a story told by dialogue, action, technology, communication, transportation, architecture, graphics, location, props, clothing & apparel, sound effects, visual effects, and music. The visuals included in this work uncover the intentions of the visual elements, the props, the modes of transportations. Visual elements are a part of the story as much as the characters, action, and dialogue. The final visual elements are presented in the form of a 3D gallery to lead the reader through this screenplay's visual aspects.