Project journal #1

The prompt we were given was to make a set, set in a nightmare. My idea was to create a torture chamber, as everyone hates being tortured, and for it to evoke the fear of death. I created a more of an open-air approach to the chamber, as it didn’t require three walls encompassing it, thus I opted for a thrust style stage. I chose to make the back half of the stage walled, and on those walls various objects that would be on the walls of a torture chamber.


For the mise en scene, I put bloodstains, paintings of people being tortured and torturing methods, a bloodstained iron maiden, and an on and off switch for a larger torture device. All of these things I made with the idea in mind that they could also be props and have some sort of use in the play using them. In the middle of the stage, there is a chair with stains on it, a table with nails and torture devices on it, and another device that I forgot the name of. The on and off switch mounted to the wall could be for anything sinister, but I originally meant to make an apparatus that would “turn on” but wasn’t able to figure out a way to make one that was that small.


Since I was trying to represent a fear of death for this set, all of the props are covered in bloodstains to symbolize pain and struggle, and there are a couple skulls scattered around to symbolize death. There are pictures of death on the walls, and props that will actually bring death to unlucky people, like the iron maiden. I tried to create a torture setup with the chair and on and off switch and took inspiration for this from the ones in “the princess bride”, and the movie “the man from u.n.c.l.e.” just to add onto the list of numerous others. This torture device was meant to be somewhat ambiguous in terms of what it did, as it made it seem more mysterious and intimidating.


I think that of the things I did well, the blood stains came out very well, as I got the effect I wanted out of the spray can to make it look like blood splatter and not just blood colored objects. I think the iron maiden came out well, and the blood on its spikes looks better than I thought. I also completed the whole task on time and in class, which was good.


There weren’t many things I messed up on, but there are a few I would change if I did them again.  First of all, I would make the things I made more to scale, as the scale person seems a bit small for the things in there so I would change that. I would also change the colors for the set, as black, white, and red blood spatter could be improved upon. Lastly, I would make it look more like a chamber rather than a hospital because being a torture chamber implies a stone chamber or dungeon, which would make the whole thing scarier and convey the idea better.

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