For me, creating a set takes a bit of analytical thinking, a whole lot of planning and a heap of feels.
I always start by thinking through the composition of the set to establish what is needed to tell the story. What will help drive the concept forward? What framing will look best?
Next, I like to identify the vibe of the set. Creating a mood board for the vibe is super helpful to ensure everyone is singing the same tune. This also serves as a lens for creating and selecting components for the set. i.e. “We’re thinking a Keith Richards vibe for the set, but what era?!”
Once the composition and vibe are in place, then comes the fun part – thinking like a brand. As I’m selecting items or creating custom sets and props, I really consider every component. Would a brand would actually choose this? And while this sounds a little Marie Kondo Spark Joy-ish, it makes a serious difference for the finished product.
I determine elements like the kind of couch a brand would sit on, or the type of flowers a brand would choose, or maybe the color of neon installation a brand needs. Of course, things like color palette, texture and period appropriateness are considered as the set is created, but it all must ultimately answer back to the concept of the story. Being able to make and build things and having an inventory of wild and wonderful props also helps the success of a set, but a careful selection process of materials and items is of utmost importance for creating a cohesive set and for ensuring that the space feels right.
Woah, I got a little serious there… but honestly, I feel super lucky that my work is all about taking so-called-silliness very seriously. Assignments like making a vintage summer camp, creating an environment for a fictitious karate instructor, building a ten-foot neon frame that ballerinas may or may not jump through are all happening at OLG daily. These types of projects are all filled with details that deserve to be carefully considered and crafted in a deliberate and thoughtful way. At OLG, we curate spaces for brands to thrive, and we take every so-called-silly detail super seriously.
Here are a few snippets of recent OLGer conversations that made a set the best it could be:
“What type of vegetable is the funniest?”
“How many karate trophies feels appropriate?”
“Let’s move the kitten puzzle on top of the checkers.”
“Are the butterflies moving at the right speed?”
“Is a ten-foot heart too small?”