Aesthetics and Symbolism in the Scene

The Name of the Rose had a purposefully muted colour palette to draw attention to the lower members of the clergy and how they would’ve given up material items and wealth. This draws attention to when we see the higher members, arch bishops and the like wearing gold embroided reds and rich colours. These themes of vanity are evident, those that exists within the lower echelons of the clergy appear to have deformities or tend to be of birth or are simply of poor appearance. Whereas those in higher standing are more attractive. This begs the question is exterior ugliness evil? In the tales of old, the handsome shining knight triumphs over the ugly demons. Have the lesser men turned to god because no one else will take them? Must they repent they’re evil unattractive ways?

Develop scenography, cinematography, design and design palettes for a range of characters/settings, scenarios, moods and atmospheres based on the following.
1, The Seven Deadly Sins. 2, The Muses. 3, The Planets. 4, Chess. 5, The Senses. 6, the Zodiac.

Develop the designs towards one of the following.

1, a theatrical/operatic stage performance. 2, a costumed, mobile festival street performance. 3, a mature audience oriented animation. 4, a period costume drama. 5, a children’s action adventure animation series. 6, a fully immersive 3d game.

With a dice roll I was given the Seven Sins for a mature audience oriented animation. Pleased with that outcome, but I rerolled the first as I felt the sins was a bit too mainstream. So I rerolled and was given Chess instead.

Each of your aesthetic exploration should include research into the psychology of images and symbolism, mood boards that use colour palettes, textures, materials, objects and cyphers, lighting schemes and related art and design elements and iconography from historical and contemporary sources, and perhaps even typography [Depending on your choice you may wish to develop an overarching scheme, then choose just two or three individual elements for full development, certainly no less than two].

The History of Chess Pieces
The Pawn is commonly viewed as a simple foot soldier or even a citizen in earlier cases.
The Knight is the only piece that seems to have remain unchanged throughout the history. A sword and shield wielding mounted warrior.
The Bishop was originally an Al-Fil, an elephant piece. It may have been changed when it reached the Western World because no one knew the translation for elephant and so Bishop was more appropriate to represent the growing power of the church. However the piece as been the most open to interpretation wither the Laufer (Runner, German origin), Fou (Fool, French origin) and Alfiere (Standard Bearer, Italian origin).
The Rook now represents a fortified tower, it used to represent the fortified construction on a war chariot or war carriage. The Persian word for Chariot is Rokh, most likely where the name comes from.
The Queen initially started out as an advisor, guard or protector to the King. Given it’s position next to the King, it was assumed the the piece’s role was that of Queen, with this in mind she was given much more power as the game advanced. This may possibly because of Queen Isabella or Joan of Arc.
The King is the most valuable piece, but by far the weakest. This is most likely because the King is a leader, but not a combatant, he leaves the fighting to his generals. Old and wizened he is vulnerable. Next to the Knight the King has remained unchanged throughout the games history.

Suggested reading and research areas: Try and evidence all the discussion, interviews and related reading you can find on the creation of aesthetic schemes that production designers, art directors, cinematographers, stage designers and others who must take these issues into account in their work, perhaps some reading around those practical subject areas might be a starting point. As might areas to do with pyschology [Freud and Jung], semiotics, symbolism, colour theory and artistic composition.

In Addition: There are interviews on many film DVDs that are available upon which designers discuss the reasoning for their artistic/design choices.

Finally; Look at the work of Sarah Greenwood, Ben van OS & Jan Roelfs, Mark Friedberg, Dante Ferretti, David Boyd, Colin De Rouon & David A Koneff and Jack Cardiff… and Umberto Eco. And cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema.

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Aesthetics and Symbolism in the Scene

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