Although this is an article about art and writing, I’m going to have to start by talking about my favourite movie for a while. Trust me there’s a reason for this and I’m not just rambling about the greatest masterpiece ever committed to celluloid just for the sake of it. Although I am tempted to do this…
I was checking my e-mail a few months ago when someone e-mailed me a link to this gallery of photos from behind the scenes at the studio that made the models for “Blade Runner” – I later found this gallery of on set photos of the cast too.
As regular readers of this site and anyone who has ever met me probably know, “Blade Runner” is my favourite movie of all time. It’s a timeless masterpiece that …. well, you can read my review of it here.
Anyway, when I was looking at the “behind the scenes” photos from “Blade Runner”, I suddenly thought – “Wow! I wish that I’d been there!“. I was insanely jealous of the ‘ordinary’ people who had got the chance to work on one of the greatest pieces of visual art ever made.
But, this also made me wonder about the whole subject of “behind the scenes” photos and features in general and, more importantly, whether artists and writers can give people a “behind the scenes” look at their own work. My answer to this question is “sort of”.
Films are collaborative projects that involve a lot of physical work – as such, there’s lots of stuff going on and lots of people doing different things. So, a look behind the scenes of a film project is inherently interesting for the simple reason that there’s a lot of stuff going on.
Art and writing tend to – thankfully- be far more solitary activities. Although this is absolutely great, it also means that any “behind the scenes” footage will just be of one person typing on a computer or painting/drawing something.
Whilst there are plenty of videos of people painting and drawing things on Youtube, the interesting part of these videos is seeing what techniques the artist uses and what the final picture looks like. These videos have none of the chaotic fascination that “behind the scenes” footage of a film set often does.
But, although you can’t really show off literal “behind the scenes” footage of your art and writing, this doesn’t mean that you can’t fascinate your audience by giving them a glimpse “behind the scenes”. You just have to do it in a slightly different way.
In fact, you have a lot more options for showing your audience “behind the scenes” stuff than film-makers often do.
You can show people sketches from your sketchbook, you can show people failed paintings and you can write about what inspired your latest story. You could even give your audience a sneak peek at a “work in progress” comic page that you’ve been working on.
Likewise, one “behind the scenes” thing that I sometimes do with my own art is to show off the original lineart for some of my more detailed paintings. I don’t do this quite as often as I used to, but if I remember to scan one of my paintings after I’ve done the basic drawing, then I’ll post it on here. Like this:
So, yes, artists and writers can give their audiences a look “behind the scenes”, but they have to do it in a slightly different way than film-makers do.
Anyway, I hope that this was interesting 🙂