The brief we were given for Destinations was very specific. We had to shoot one scene, in 6 hours, in the school’s studio. The studio is not anything impressive; It’s a big room with a few sofas, chairs,bookshelves, a kitchen installation and a set of stairs that looks slightly fake. That meant that I had to do everything in my power to transform that space into something usable.
The idea behind the drawings in the walls in Destinations was inspired by Gregg Araki’s production design in ‘Nowhere‘. Even though Gregg Araki’s films are a bit of an acquired taste, I don’t think there is anyone who would argue that the production design is quite impressive in most of them. In Nowhere , which is a story about the madness of being a teenager, the rooms of each character are over-stylized and designed specifically to reflect their personality and emotions. The most prominent example for me was the room of Bart, one of the characters who is a self-destructive junkie . His room has a wallpaper where one can read lines like :
‘ Your shit means nothing to me…I don’t deserve to breathe…when you see what I have done how can I live’
I haven’t checked if the text wallpaper is reference to some other work but to me it seems very appropriate for the character of Bart.
Wanting to do something similar, I started designing the set in a way that would fit Gregg’s personality. In my version of the character, Gregg is a young guy who feels lost. He knows he needs money and a steady job,but he doesn’t want to spend his life doing something that doesn’t fulfill him. As a child of my generation, he feels he has countless opportunities ; In fact they are so many that he doesn’t know which road to follow. What he can’t see yet are the obstacles that are laid down for him in each and every one of those roads.
I chose to make two drawings on the walls that surround Gregg: They are both drawings of roads spreading out to unknown places. Then I decided to make a distinction between Gregg and Mark by having some walls painted differently than others. The overall colour palette used in Gregg’s room consists mostly of reds/purples contrasted with greens. I also decided to use the colour on the walls in order to make a distinction between the characters of Mark and Gregg:
There are two distinct moments of conflict that stand out in the scene; The first one is in the beginning where Mark asks Gregg if he went to the job interview he had. The second one is near the end when Mark confesses to Gregg that he is not as satisfied with his job as Gregg thought, but he needs to work to pay the bills. In both instances Mark is placed in front of a plain green wall which contrasts with Gregg’s warm and decorated background.