Designing The Big Friendly Giant (BFG)

BFG Set

Just a quick update. Today was the first day of rehearsals and production meeting for the BFG (Big Friendly Giant). I got the script earlier this week and read through it. It is a pretty condensed version of the original book by Roald Dahl, but it hits on the main points. It is a kid's story after all. It was nice to talk with the director and see some concepts for the set design. Seeing the set always gets me motivated to start designing, so today was a good day in that sense. The show has a meager budget, so anything to make the play seem more magical and let the kids expand there imagination helps a lot. So how does one do that exactly? Well, one of the big ideas I wanted to bring into the show was the “glowing jars” that hold the dreams the BFG catches. (It's the BFG's job to do this) The director had some other ideas about using black lights and fluorescent cloths for this look. He had never considered the jars lighting up at all, because he didn't think it was a possibility. Well, I sure changed his mind, and explained my ideas about the jars. We're going to combine the two elements now to make the dream sequence in the show a real hit with the kids.

So how do you make jar glow on a small budget?

I ran out to the store two days ago and bought a variety of leftover Christmas lights, particularly the new LED lights, and all at 75% off! When I got home and started cutting, splicing and stripping wires to connect the mini light bulbs to a 9V battery. I have been pretty satisfied with the end result, but I'm still going to mess around with the LED strands more. The normal incandescent Christmas lights work well, but the LEDs are just as bright, produce no heat, and won't eat up battery life. They're perfect for my budget!

Xmas Lights9V LED

I also quickly stopped in at A Midnight Cry's rehearsal which will be in rep with the BFG. Things are going well there, and since it's being reproduced from last year when I designed it, I can afford to pay more attention to the BFG. As a side note, I was never aware about reproducing the show, so thankfully I have an extensive amount of paperwork from last year to work from. So to reiterate what has been drilled into me at school, the lesson to remind everyone is: Always do your paperwork!

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