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RAE 2008

Rearch Assessment Exercise 2008

Jane Barnwell

My research interests include:
Production design in film; the construction of cinematic space; the creation of domestic space on screen.

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Research Outcomes

Outcome 1 - Production Design: Architects of the Screen
The role of the designer in film is relatively neglected. This book uses original material in the form of interviews and insights from leading British Production Designers. It covers key practical and theoretical issues in relation to the role of the production designer in film, exploring the role through a historical overview that signposts key moments in screen design.
The book has contributed to the small foundation of work around the field of film design and been recognized by international scholars as a valuable addition.


Outcome 2 - Between Realism and Visual Concept: the role of the production designer in contemporary British cinema.
The issue of the Journal of British Cinema & Television in which this article appears is devoted to visual style in film and television. The article concentrates on the design aspects of film imagery. The designer's role is to support narrative and character within the tradition of narrative film-making, often turning out to be invisible unless certain conventions of construction of place and period are disregarded. The work of the designer Christopher Hobbs is used as case study in the article. Dramatic representation rather than documentary or historical accuracy seems to take priority in the creation of screen imagery, despite cinematic expectations of reality.


Outcome 3 - Making a killing
As designer for this British independent feature film, Jane Barnwell sought to endow a small budget psychological thriller with big budget qualities, in particular by "revamping" the same space for each new setting required.
Barnwell's location had limited architectural options, but she was able to creat domestic interiors, shops, offices, police cells and interrogation rooms. She exploits repetition of key architectural details to accentuate ideas in the narrative, while keeping others out of the limelight.
Colour is used playfully in the design where each character is identifiable by their unique colour palette. The London Underground is the inspiration for this colour code, where certain colours combine and others intersect at key stages in the journey.


Outcome 4 - Oh Abraham
In collaboration with film maker Roberto Napoletani, Barnwell created sequences for a dance performance by LIFE, involving switching between filmed and live performance, as part of Resolution! 2006. The narrative is based on the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac. The event was supported by Falling Wide, The Jerwood Space and BOB Design.


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