One of the most difficult positions on a film crew is the Art Director/Production Designer. This person and their team is responsible for all of the visual elements in the frame. Often times, they are working from a vague description in the script and are responsible for creating a believable place. For instance, in a.k.a. Profile Glitch, the kitchen is an important space where the characters interact. The description at the beginning of the kitchen scene states: "Intricately labeled kitchen containers, utensils and jars line a counter. There are rows of herbs and spices, loose teas, signs for allergen-free, nut-free, dairy-free soy-free, gluten-free items. There is a cookbook sitting on the counter with a page open to a tofu recipe. And a tub of tofu on the counter next to the cookbook." From this description, the Art Director is responsible for creating the "look" of not only the counter that is described, but the entire kitchen where the action takes place. Luckily for me, I had one of the best Art Directors on board for a.k.a. Profile Glitch.
Meet Doris Lin. She is a very talented filmmaker who has produced several of her own films while working as Art Director on several Temple University film productions. She has a background in theater design, which helps inform her sense of what is necessary to create a realistic space. For the preproduction phase of the project and for the first 4 days of the shoot, Doris was assisted by Malia Bruker. Malia is also a talented filmmaker. The two of them did a fantastic job with the props and set dressings for the shoot!
Below are some photos of the props they created. We start out with photos of the fake poop needed for Scene 5, that takes place around a composting toilet. Don't fret, the poop was made out of a variety of cake mixes and other secret ingredients.
Then we have a photo of a book titled, "Gondel", by the Bronte Sisters. Lindsey Martin, the actress who plays Marty, owner of the book, provided this description, "[Gondel] isn't a published book. It's a fictional land that that Bronte sister's made up when they were young. They wrote it in scraps of paper, in letters and in notes. The main characters are all women so I saw some parallels between this piece of unpublished literature and AKA. I don't know if it's too obscure or weird for her to be reading it but I was thinking it would be a wink to those who might be interested in this type of mid to late 19th century gothic literature. We would have to make the book. I like the idea of it being kind of a shabby home made book." See what I mean? Doris and Malia had to create a book that doesn't exist. This is a tough job!
Finally, I am including some photos of the kitchen, the clothing exchange, the tent cabin (which Drew and Doris completely rebuilt), the "crafting table" where Marty is reading her book, the living room where the community members meet for "circle", and finally, the library, where Johanna finds Marty writing her novel. There were a total of nine different locations, some of which I do not have still images of. All of the details in the foreground and background are the result of work by Doris and Malia. I am incredibly grateful for their hard work!