Friday, January 30, 2009

Inspiration: Beetlejuice Stage and Set

On a trip to Universal Studios Orlando in 1992 I was really struck by the coolness of the stage and set for Beetlejuice’s Rock and Roll Graveyard Review. The set was beautiful with a three-dimensional stone façade positioned in front of a two-dimensional painting of castle towers. The effect was amazing and I ended up snapping a bunch of pictures of the empty stage and set as well as the signage.

Notice the effective use of ariel perspective on the castle backdrop. Here is the definition of ariel perspective from

The perception of depth in nature can be enhanced by the appearance of atmospheric haze. Although this haze is most commonly humidity (or cloudiness), it could be rain or snow, smoke, or any other kind of vapor. Aerial perspective is the portrayal of that atmospheric haze -- one means to adding to an illusion of depth in depicting space on a flat surface. It is achieved by using less focus, along with bluer, lighter, and duller hues for the distant spaces and objects depicted in a picture.

Anyway there’s your art lesson for the day. The techniques and concepts used for this set can be applied to home haunt displays. I’m not sure if the set still exists at Universal but from what I can remember it was very well done.

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