I watch very little television … and most of what I do watch is via Netflix, Hulu or similar. I have been so disappointed by so many shows, that I can’t get excited by some new show that everyone is talking about. My husband bullied me into watching a new show on ABC called “Once Upon a Time.” I hate to tell the world, that the show won’t last — I like it, and anything I like is canceled.
But I’m not hear to talk about the show, in particular, but what it demonstrates. The show concerns fairy tale characters trapped in present day Maine. One (of many) thing(s) I loved about the show last night was the way the design team came together to offer up some little clues, cheeky character tags, etc relating the present-day characters to their fairy-tale counterparts: A red scarf for goth-girl Little Red Riding Hood, A bowl of apples cheekily placed on the coffee table of the Evil Queens modern residence, etc.
In “Once Upon a Time,” these touches were present with all the characters but never over the top. I’m sure several winks and nods went by me completely — as they should (little touches are fabulous but they should not be the focus of the story). All of this work, the coordinating of cheeky details, making sure it doesn’t go over the top is the work of a lot of talented individuals working closely together.
The magic of a good design team is that each individual or department takes part of the story, takes a cheeky detail, a bit of plot and character revelation. Then, when the show is all complete we have the a story revealed through action, dialogue, camera work, and design.
I have been blessed with lots of great teammates as a designer.