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  • When I work in a movie I'm tasked with creating its overall style and setting

  • I'm a production designer.

  • My job is to assist the director in telling the story visually.

  • In this series, we'll be looking at some of the best examples on how this work helps to shape a story.

  • How much can a room tell you about someone?

  • Spoiler alert, it's a lot.

  • Amélie was nominated for the Production Design Academy Award in 2002.

  • It won Aline Bonetto the BAFTA for her work in developing the world of the movie.

  • Audrey Tautou plays the part.

  • She's lonely but generous.

  • Her days are spent with a borrowed cat, working at a cafe and shopping at Monsieur Collignon's.

  • He's a nasty man, and so she sets out to get revenge.

  • Here's how good Bonetto's work is: if you nodded off for half the movie and woke up just about here.

  • All you need for the revenge to seem to work would be to open your eyes wide.

  • Forget the plot and let the set and props do the talking.

  • As soon as we walk in we find a tedious array of earth tones and an excess of old mossy greens.

  • These are colors of tradition and stability that create a heavy lethargic mood.

  • The house is kept tidy and clean, the materials are harsh and the lines are straight.

  • Symmetry is everywhere. In the 42 size slippers carefully laid down next to each other.

  • perpendicular to the couch, in the lamp, the frames, in those two pillows over there.

  • the old-fashioned wallpaper and decorations convey a long-established home and habits.

  • This is the house of a lonely man.

  • someone who finds comfort in routine structure and predictability.

  • You need this context so when Amélie does this:

  • They intuitively know the importance of her deed. Yes, her actions are small,

  • but because of the creative work of the production designer setting up the room in relation to the character

  • when Amélie tampers with his stuff, the severity of the punishment inflicted is plain to see.

When I work in a movie I'm tasked with creating its overall style and setting

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