Kate Harkness 13 FAV knew she wanted her senior project, the comedic series Alphabet Soup, to appear as if it was filmed in a cheery dollhouse. The set would be brightly-lit, cozy and include a hint of peculiarity.
“I wanted the actors’ emotions to be the only source of realism,” the filmmaker explains. “Everything else would be outlandish – including the backdrop.”
However, after scouring high and low, Harkness couldn’t find a set that matched her vision. So, she assembled her own in a RISD campus building. After it was complete, she used a camera dolly to shoot a sophisticated walk-through scene that leads the viewer through three of her artificial settings.
“I felt that it would lend sincere authenticity to the production,” she explains. “It accentuates the dramatic, over-the-top feel.”
Using heavy wooden slabs, the senior partitioned off sections of the set to create “rooms.” And the furniture seen in the series was acquired by rummaging through Salvation Army isles.
“I have an interest in decorating and homemaking,” Harkness says. “It’s the little touches that really make an environment. Or in this case, a film set.”
The senior had a little help from her friends. Sarah Lammer 13 PR created the geometric paper seen plastered to the bathroom walls. And Andrew Migliori 13 FAV made his minivan available to transport materials. “It was a team effort,” she explains. “The set became this magical space.”
Click on the link above to see a clip from Alphabet Soup!