The Blind Side
With no real special effects to speak of, the design team had to rely on the basics such as lighting, camera angle, costumes, and props to recreate the events and capture the feel of the story. A look into the scene where Michael is first approached by Leigh Anne Tuohy and invited into their home will give a good indication whether or not they were able to accomplish their task. The responsibility of creating a quality motion picture lies with the members of the design team.
Individually and collectively the director, production designer, art director, and cinematographer must combine their knowledge and creative abilities to create a great movie. Each of these areas is vital to creating a great movie that will capture the viewers’ attention and make the movie an enjoyable occasion for them. In a movie like The Blind Side where the movie is more of a character study and the events are true the design team faces some challenges. They have to work without the benefit of special effects to keep the audience interested while depicting an accurate portrayal of the facts and the characters.
All movies really start the production process with a vision from the director when they read a script. With The Blind Side the story was originally written and released as a book by Michael Lewis in 2006, then was adapted for screenplay and directed by John Lee Hancock in (2009). The story involves Michael and the entire Tuohy family including Sean, Leigh Anne, teenage daughter Collins, and son Sean “S. J. ” Junior. However it seems that Hancock has put the main focus on the relationship between Michael and Leigh Anne throughout the movie just as in the scene Do You Have Any Place to Stay?
Hancock says “It really is two different stories, one of which is more of a question: Who is Michael Oher and why did the stars align to shine so brightly on this kid from the projects in Memphis? And then on the other side, it’s a great story about how this unique family evolved, and the unconventional mother son relationship at its center. (The Blind Side Full Production Notes www. madeinatlantis. com ) Hancock must ensure that every element is in place to scenes captured on film are as he envisioned them. The production designer has a long list of duties that begin early in production.
The production designer first must collaborate with the director and cinematographer to establish the visual feel and specific needs of the project. The production designer also directs key staff members in other departments such as the costume designer, the key hair and make-up stylists, the special effects director and the locations manager. In The Blind Side in designing the sets, Production Designer Michael Corenblith says he wanted to emphasize the disparity between East Memphis, where wealthy families like the Tuohys live, and the poverty of Hurt Village, where Michael grew up on the other side of town. The Blind Side Full Production Notes www. madeinatlantis. com) After filming sites have been determined the art director must begin their work. The art director reports to the production designer, and more directly oversees artists and craftspeople, such as the set designers, graphic artists, and illustrators who give form to the production design as it develops. In the Blind Side Art Director Thomas Minton and Production designer Michael Corenblith worked closely together in designing the sets.
Since this was a true story they really wanted the audience to relate to the story and identify with the settings. It was vital that they capture the reality of the different environments that the Tuohys and Oher were brought up in. The next step was for Hancock and cinematographer Alar Kivilo to work out lighting and camera angles for the movie. This particular scene takes place on a cold damp night and it appears they chose to use natural light. The idea of course was to capture the natural look and feel of night.
The camera focuses on whoever is speaking whether it is Michael or Leigh Anne in order to let the audience get a better visual feel for the individual traits and emotions of the character. The camera also lets the viewers see and get a feel for the emptiness on the road and how alone Michael Oher really is. Along with how cold and alone Michael is this scene also gives a glimpse in the differences between the Tuohy’s and Ohers places in life. The Tuohy’s arrive on the scene in the warmth and comfort of what appears to be a rather new luxury suv, while Michael strolls slowly alone in the cold wet night.
When Leigh Anne gets out of the Touy’s suv and approaches Michael her appearance definitely gives the viewers the impression she is well off. Her hair and make-up appear to be perfect and her clothes look new and expensive. In contrast Michael stands there in only a pair of dirty worn out shorts and a faded, dingy short sleeve t shirt. The differences that are between the privileged affluent Tuohys and the under-privileged Michael Oher are obvious to the audience. The overall artistic vision of this film was fantastic.
The design team did a great job of making it possible for the audience to identify with the characters and their situations. All the elements of design worked together effectively to help create their mood and fulfill the directors vision of the film. What a great movie this turned out to be. The design team had to rely on lighting, camera angle, costumes, and props to capture the real feel of the story. The 2009 film The Blind Side was based on a true story about Michael Oher, an African American teenager taken in by Leigh Ann Tuohy.