Directing from afar
Playing the role of art director for a large project is very exciting. While the overall vision for the park is clear, countless small details still need to be worked out as we go. With the master plan only recently locked down there was no possible way to know what the small details would be or where. The existing plans only cover the infrastructure and buildings. Because the decorative elements will all built to a visual standard it is best done on the fly. It is a lot like baking a fancy cake. Initially the concern is about the recipe, mixing the ingredients and getting it into the oven. That has to be done to an exact and measured standard to get it right. Icing the cake is done by eye and intuition. It is not science but rather an art.
Even though the key players for this project are scattered across many thousands of miles, this era of instant communication makes things much easier than ever before. Digital pictures of mockups and structures in progress are transmitted in seconds. Each time I recieve the latest version of a plan by email I can check it in minutes, mark it with notations and sketches and fire it off electronically to others for their comments and suggestions. Decisions are quickly reached and work continues. It's a cool process.
One of the items on this week's adjenda was the style of rockwork through the park. We want it over the top, believeable and yet impossible - all in the service of the fun story we are telling. Much was resolved with discussion on the phone, video conferencing and emails but I also relied on old fashioned scribbles in my sketchbook to show graphically what we needed. The big question in the last few days revolved around the look of the hidden skulls and tunnels in the rockwork and how it would go together.
As soon as the rockwork team recieved my scribbles they knew exactly what we were looking for. They will now translate those ideas into a style suitable for the park. I love working in this fashion. I talk with the engineers and other craftsmen involved, find out what is possible, and how we can push these supposed boundaries safely. Once everyone is on the same page we jump to lightspeed - all in the same direction.
It's full speed ahead!