1950's Diner Idea
The idea to construct a 1950's style diner is one that has been rolling around in my mind for the last couple of weeks or so, so for an early idea, I've put a fair amount of thought into it.
Iconic, Archetypical Features of 1950's Style Diners
-The use of linoleum and vinyl in furnishings
-The use of chrome and stainless steel in fittings and furnishings
-Flat, often neon lighting
-Massive amounts of advertising and endorsement through posters and illuminated signs (notably, Coca Cola and Pepsi)
-Shiny, wipe-clean booth seating
-Two-tone colour schemes (blue and red, black and white etc)
-Moderately simple geometry makes for quick modelling
-A plethora of visual reference from the internet, film, television and video games (See Pulp Fiction, Back to the Future, Happy Days, Fallout 3 and Grease, not to mention Nighthawks by Edward Hopper (sure, it was painted in 1942, but the composition aspect is relevant))
-Many opportunities for creative lighting (lights from neon signs reflected across the glossy floor tiles and reflective chrome detailing)
-Highly detailed textures (posters, signs etc) may be particularly time consuming (although the possibility of getting to design some delightfully kitsch poster art is incredibly enticing!)
Presenting the Scene
"Closed for Business"
This idea revolves around the theme of a distressed environment. The clean and bright diner decor is just asking to be destroyed. The linoleum on the floor has started to peel away, the tiles on the walls have cracked, with posters strewn across the floor and the remnants of a once loved jukebox lit dimly at the back of the room. Light pours through the boarded up windows, bouncing off of the now empty bottles behind the bar. The vinyl has been torn away from the seating, revealing the spongey material beneath, now wretched with the stains of a hundred spilled beverages.
I really like the idea of this, as underdeveloped as it may be, although I need to establish a way of integrating more ambiguity in the scene. Although the viewer doesn't know why the diner is so run down, I need to be careful not to imply something so obvious later down the line, otherwise the storytelling aspect could potentially be ruined.
Victorian Sweet Shop Idea
Another potential idea was a traditional Victorian sweet shop. This idea seemed quite charming and quirky when I first thought of it and I may possibly pursue it if I develop the idea further.
Iconic, Archetypical Features of Victorian Sweet Shops
-Colourful jars lining the walls of the shop
-Classic, British branding (with wonderfully misleading poster artwork)
-The brass weighing scales at the counter, next to the hefty till
-Dark wooden decor and furnishings
-Large, thin framed windows at the front of the shop
-Moderately simple geometry
-A wide scope to be creative with the general aesthetic of the store (unlike the '50's diner, the general aesthetic isn't so specific)
-Unless executed intelligently, the scene has the potential to be more dull than intriguing (for example, unless the dark brown wooden elements are lit effectively, it'll just be a mess of brown blocks with no narrative impact).
Presenting the Scene
The door is pushed open, followed by the welcoming ring of the bell above. The walls are lined, floor to ceiling with tall jars filled with colourful sweets of every variety. The dark, thick woodwork is reminiscent of the chocolate stocked behind the counter, along with the tobacco and other products for those who aren't paying with pocket money. Mouths water as the sugary delights are poured little by little into the brass scales on the counter, with a familiar ring resonating throughout the shop as each sweet hits the bottom, one by one. The deal is sealed with the clickity-clank of the till. With pocket money exchanged and a final ring of the bell above the door, the banquet of sugar begins.
This idea needs a lot more work to become an interesting scene, although the potential is there. I need to revise the idea to amplify key areas of interest and make the idea 'pop', otherwise it may not deliver the compelling ambiguity required of the scene.