Nights at the Seven is a film adaptation of the fairytale, Snow White. Set in New Orleans in 1963, it follows the life of Emily, a young girl who runs away from her wicked mother and voodoo doctor, Myra. Emily longs to be in the big city, and is taken in by the popular underground motel/bar, The Seven. She soon starts her career as burlesque performer Little Snow. The film explores themes of youth rebellion, sexual awakening, and racial tension.
This project explores the field of creating graphic props for filmmaking. Graphics designers in film produce all the printed ephemera, letters, signage, etc. used by the characters. The audience should be unaware that these pieces are not genuine artifacts, and Nights at the Seven attempts to create a hyper reality through the use of graphic props.
The process began with intensive historical research on the time period and location. It was important to be knowledgeable about cultural events in the early 60’s, fashion trends, pop culture, and the racial issues at the time. After the research period, I picked objects to design that were significant in the underground scene in New Orleans. It was important to the authenticity to make sure these items were designed in the correct.
1. Seriously, pick a project that genuinely interests you content- wise. It seems like a no-brainer, but I wouldn’t use this as a project to get something practical in your portfolio, or try something new just because you feel as though you need it on your website. If you are passionate about the project, that will show and be impressive. Plus you will want to spend the time on it!
2. Try not to stress out too much, yes it is an important project, but one that will most likely phase out of your portfolio in a few years after college, and enjoying your last semester in college is just as important as having a good final installation. The stress isn’t worth it. Don’t lock yourself in the studio all the time, see your friends before everyone scatters!
3. Do a lot of reading and research related to your thesis. It will help you have an informed project, and be able to present the project easily which you will have to do a few times. This project is a good opportunity to keep learning.
4. Possibly use this as an opportunity to collaborate with your peers, even in different majors. I came up with some of my favorite ideas while brainstorming with illustrators and people experienced in film. You are lucky to be surrounded by artists of all types so it might be an opportunity to bounce ideas off one another, or get them to contribute to your project in some way.
5. Take advantages of all the resources MICA has to offer. Don’t be afraid to ask teachers or peers for resources or advice.
Hilary is currently a designer at Office of Brothers in Atlanta.
See more of her work hilary-ament.squarespace.com.