PULA Film Festival · Focus on Production Design

Pula Arena

With a focus on production design at the 62nd Pula Film Festival in Croatia the PROfessional lecture series was arranged by Tanja Lacko. She is a senior lecturer of the Academy of Dramatic Arts, Zagreb and examined in her own lecture „Anthropology of Imaginary Spaces“, the diverse backgrounds of cinematic imagery. For this purpose, she compared stills from “2001 – A Space Odyssey” in 1968 by Stanley Kubrick images of “Interstellar” in 2014 by Christopher Nolan. Many other exciting production design themes were presented from various perspectives. Tomislav Vujnović is a Croatian pioneer in the use of computer animation in the film, David Munns, a production designer since the 1980s, now course leader of MA Film Production at the Arts University Bournemouth, UK wants to be understood Production Design as storytelling. Jelena Šopić activity in historical films is the work at temporal extremes: The procedure for the film „Sword of Vengeance“, established the Middle Ages or, based on real events in 1970, the film “We Will Be the World Champions” about the first and successful Yugoslav basketball team could not be more different.

Prof. Heizo Schulze introducing setscene
Prof. Heizo Schulze introducing setscene


In this context I could introduce setscene as research and inspiration tool for film professionals in general, gave an overview of the work done so far and the possible further developments we are working on. In the previous speeches, it became clear that there is indeed a constant referencing of real and fictional samples. This is very strong in the area of set design ie Production Design. Quite vivid implementations of other films to be taken as a template, rather than build on objective historical facts. The advantage is obvious: visual transformations in films have already experienced the dramatic exaggeration, which is precisely necessary for “visual storytelling”. About the consequences and possible responsibility towards the audience has been also extensively discussed but open-ended.

In the cinematic general Masterclasses the lecturers have been e.g. Charles McDonald, marketing consultant of various film companies and internationally renowned directors and Nik Powell, director of the National Film and Television School, London, UK. McDonald explained that the strategies of the PR process are invented at an early stage of the production phase, Powell knows the European production promotion inside and out, is aware of the problems with this funding model, the directors have. Significantly, was the title of his lecture “Tricks of Europe and Film Funding”.