Designing Graphic Props: A Design Practice in Making Props as the Legacy of Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love (2000)

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Designing Graphic Props: A Design Practice in Making Props as the Legacy of Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love (2000)

Designing Graphic Props: A Design Practice in Making Props as the Legacy of Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love (2000)



Introduction

Graphic Design Elements in Prop-making for Filmmaking Production

While graphic design is most commonly known for working with the advertising and marketing department, the film and television industries are also highly in demand. Film and television productions prefer to create original artwork within the art department rather than using existed design as props and set decoration due to copyright difficulties and onerous legal obligations. The role of graphic design in the filmmaking industry relies in the prop-making production which are regarded as graphic. Anything containing words, a pattern or a photograph can be used as a graphic prop which are often products that a graphic designer would create in the real world.

Graphic props from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
Graphic props from The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

The aim for this project is to expand and recreate the universe in which In the Mood for Love sets through designing the props which are supposedly included with-in the film, act as a part of the film’s visual narrative.

In the Mood for Love

Plot Summary

In 1962, journalist Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) and his wife move into a Hong Kong apartment, but Chow’s spouse is often away on business. Before long, the lonely Chow makes the acquaintance of the alluring Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung Man-yuk), whose own significant other also seems preoccupied with work. As the two friends realize their respective partners are cheating on them, they begin to fall for one another; however, neither wants to stoop to the level of the unfaithful spouses.

Visual Concept

Production

The film is set in Hong Kong 1960s, when the people of Hong Kong were living in a rather peaceful yet perplexing time under British colonization.

Newspaper

The newspaper comes into play when Su was sitting in the living room reading. There are various scenes appear throughout the rest of the movie. On screen or not, it is a crucial element to progress the narrative of developing the relationship between Su and Chow, as they both enjoy reading martial arts stories on the daily newspaper.

Match box & Flight ticket

The match box also makes casual appearances throughout the film, especially Chow as him being a chainsmoker. There are scenes in which the two main characters smoke together in the hotel lobby, but scenes where they smoke seperately hold more significant to the feel of the film.

Meanwhile, the flight ticket is mentioned vaguely during the conversation between Su and Chow, yet it holds a bittersweet feeling, specifically the future of Chow and Su being together in Singapore. But then Su did not go with him, not until a year later, just to silently leaves again. With that, I chose it to be my third and final choice for the project.

Gift set

The gift set is included in the project with the purpose of containing the props as souvenirs if set in a scenario where people attend a film premiere. The set contains a customed In the Mood for Love poster, a paper bag and a brochure to inform about the props.

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