You know, I just can't walk past a mirror without taking a self portrait.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

The most visited cemetery in the world is Paris's Pere-Lachaise Cemetery. A cemetery containing the remains of notable figures in the field of Art, Literature, Philosophy etc. From H'Eloise & Abelard, Bellini, Moliere to Piaf and Morrison. A significant part of the past 400 years of Western Culture is interned here.
A different culture is buried in Hollywood Forever Cemetery. A culture of the new world, a culture of the 20th century, and a culture of a new art form - film.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery is located on 62 acres on Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. Originally founded in 1899 as Hollywood Memorial Park, ironically it is adjacent to a Movie Studio - Paramount. The list of famous people interned or entombed is extensive. A veritable 'who was who' in the entertainment industry. From Rudolf Valentino to Johnny Ramone. From the famous, Douglas Fairbanks, to the infamous, the mobster Bugsy Siegel, and countless others in between. Not all of Hollywood is buried here, but a good portion is.
In addition to visiting the grave sites tombs and crypts, the cemetery is now open for other functions. You can view an open air film on Saturday evenings, or you can even take a yoga class on selected weekends. I hope they don't do weddings.

The main hall of The Cathedral Mausoleum with its many Saints protecting the tenants. In crypt 1205 you will find Rudolf Valentino, the Mausoleum also houses his shrine.

The Douglas Fairbanks memorial has the scale befitting a national hero.

While Johnny Ramone plays his guitar.

The Rotunda behind the main chapel.

And to keep pace with changing times and cultural influences, there is even a Thai buddhist section in the cemetery.

When in Hollywood, worth visiting.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Production Design: Depicting the Future

As a Production Designer you are always challenged, that is beyond the usual 'time and money'. One is even more challenged when you have to predict/depict the near future (in your designs). Near future is always more difficult for many reasons, than a total fantasied future. One reason in particular: depicting technology. Sometimes you really nail it (at least get really close). A few days ago while browsing the web, I came across a chair entitled 'The Surf Chair'. This was chair was actually designed in 2000.
design Lylover/Sorensen
This brought to mind  an AT&T Commercial Campaign I designed in the mid 80's. The entire commercial chronicled AT&T advances since 1876 and concluded with a brief glimpse into the future. This glimpse was a 'futuristic workstation'.

AT&T World's Fair 1986
The concept behind this was a swiveling/collapsable 'work station'. An office in a box, so to speak, multiples could be used to create an office pool area. The slightly concave flat screen monitor (well ahead of its time) would retract, while work surface would pivot from horizontal to vertical for storage. Incidentally the monitor was intended as a touch screen. A little crude in construction, but then it had to be assembled in about a day. At that time I had just purchased my first Mac (the Mac Plus), which bore no resemblance to what I had designed. 

And as a footnote, I purposely designed the environment to re-inforce the logo of AT&T.