Production Design Samples

For my first production design job, I served as the art director for a six episode indie TV comedy about middle school called “Life Sucks.”  Below are some of my favorite production design moments from the show.

 

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Follow up on N’Awlins Hook-up + First Ventures in NYC

Our grand excursion has come to an end and I am all moved in to my September sublet in Park Slope. I’m currently crashing with two friends Brian and Quinn who host this fantastic open mic at this lovely café.

I attended FROMP two nights ago and Quinn and Brian harassed me until I agreed to try out some stuff. Usually with stand-up, I assuage my anxiety by writing out every single pause and clause. This time I just told one of my favorite road trip stories and it worked out pretty well. Check it.

My previous post caused a splash for obvious reasons. ‘Twas a miniature splash but a splash nonetheless. A total of 178 people read my story and I got a lot of interesting feedback.

My worry post facto is that my focus on the explicit content and post sex wallowing distracted from other forces at play. Many readers walked away thinking that James was a huge jerk. For the rest of the night and into the early morning, I thought James was a huge jerk as well and, indeed, most of the narrative focused on this sensation. But once the bodily tumult subsided, I was able to see him as he was: a scared young man who had bitten off more than he could chew and had found himself face to face with an obligation he couldn’t fulfill. In retrospect, throughout the evening he was trying to tell me and perhaps himself that he wasn’t ready for sex with someone he’d just met.

I think in conversation about sex, we eschew the possibility that sometimes, men don’t want to fuck. In movies and all other manners of entertainment, we paint males as infallible cum machines, ceaselessly prowling for any willing sperm receptacle like sharks. The idea that men will fuck anything at any time is a lie and a dangerous one; it leads to massive misunderstandings like the one I experienced in New Orleans.

If I could write the thing over, I might tone down the explicit content. I think I was distracted by how much the narrative would reveal and lost sight of my intended takeaway. In retrospect, I spend too much time on other aspects of the story and the main thesis gets lost. “The point” to me was that as a society we don’t allow men the option of sometimes being emotionally unfit for sex. To forgive or not forgive is the secondary question: I chose to let it go but maybe I go too far in rationalizing away my initial reaction.

If the reader has the stomach and a spare twenty minutes I ask you to read it again and see if you can get in his head. In the meantime, I’ll work on my conveyance. Let me know if you have any ideas.

-Irene

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N’Awlins: A Bittersweet Tale of a Hostel Hook-up

Our hostel in New Orleans had a badass above ground pool and I joined Genny, who was already at work chatting up a group of boys: all Americans except for James, an Australian from Perth.

At least half the fun of travel is meeting boys: boys from home, boys from different countries, boys with accents, boys with jobs, boys with no jobs.  A good party hostel is like a college dorm but with a thousand times the transience.  Everyone is checking out everyone.

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Barton Springs, Comparing Values, and a Baby Meeting a Miniature Pony

Yesterday Genny and I cruised to Barton Springs in Austin, Texas.  Barton Springs is river on the outer rim of Austin where Texans chill with their dogs, drink beers, and generally get into all manners of Huck Finn shit.  We waded across the river towards a group listening to good music and they passed me a j and a popsicle.  Her name escapes me but I mostly talked to a kick-ass Texan lady.  She has two sons who both drive mustangs and was a drag racer herself back in the day.  I related to her on two main accounts:
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Video 3: Preparing for Travel

Me when I make videos:

ImageCheck out this video on preparing for travel!

 

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Spirit Quests in the Painted Desert, Batman

First of all, And Magazine finally published my article on Batman’s America.  Imagine reading this the day after the Dark Knight Rises premiere, when I originally submitted it.  So topical!  http://www.andmagazine.com/content/phoenix/12411.html

Day three of our cross country road trip has somehow been more epic than day two.  Genny and I scrambled down into a gorge and off into the painted desert, ultimately arriving at a dramatic joint rebirth.  The process involved sobbing on and off, terrifying a park ranger, and then twenty minutes later laughing hysterically in Genny’s car.  Also we’re staying in a wigwam.  Weeee!

Check out more photos at genevievedavis.tumblr.com

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Getting to Kathmandu

On the 30th of July, I and my illustrious travel companion Genevieve Davis will be leaving for a road trip across the U.S.  Projected destinations include Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, Austin, Texas, Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana, Nashville, Tennessee, Lexington, Kentucky, and Appalachia generally, to end in Brooklyn, New York.  Is it weird that I’m the most excited for Appalachia?  I wanna go snake handling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snake_handling).

I have a few more videos in the works.  In the meantime, check out the screenplay I wrote my senior year.  It’s about a retired German couple traveling through India.  They get stuck on their way to a conference and have to planes, trains, and automobiles-it to Kathmandu.

In Anne Lamott’s excellent book on writing called “Bird by Bird,” she breaks down the writing process into three stages.  The first is the “down” draft, where you put everything down on paper.  You let the story romp and meander where it will without being too judgmental.  The second is the “up” draft, where you fix everything up and get it in good working order.  I’ve found that getting to the “up” draft stage is largely a matter of deleting irrelevant material from your “down” draft.  Get that crap out of the way of the real story.  It hurts but kill your darlings.  The third stage is the “dental” draft, in which you check every tooth for cavities, alignment, shine.  Finally, you abandon the thing.  It will never be “done,” so just ship it.

“Getting to Kathmandu” is somewhere in the “up” draft stage, not quite ready for dental work.  When writing screenplay coverage for diBonnaventura Pictures, I heard repeatedly that screenplays are judged by their first 10 pages.  I’m fairly pleased with my first 10 pages, so even if that’s as far as you get, you might just enjoy yourself and walk away thinking the rest of it is just as good (it is and it isn’t).

Goodnight sweet princes.

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July 27, 2012 · 5:41 am