AMERIKA: a notebook in three parts

AMERIKA: a notebook in three parts is a feature film project in development by Arcanum Productions. AMERIKA follows a young Japanese woman on her journey to the United States in search of her father and, through her experiences and encounters in America, questions traditional views of the nation’s history and identity.  It is something that I have been involved with as a makeup and special effects artist for the past six months, and its creators have been working on for years. A series of websites, blogs, and trailers for the project went live on Monday, May 17th, so I decided to write about my involvement with it in a series of posts. More information, as well as the trailers with subtitles in English, Japanese, Chinese, and Arabic, can be found at .

I became involved with the project through director Mika Johnson, a graduate of Oberlin College, and his collaboration with the Cinema Studies Department. Mika came back to Oberlin seeking the support of the college and to give cinema students the chance to gain film production experience and to learn about green, sustainable, community-based filmmaking. He set up a Winter Term project that would allow students to work in key positions on the production, and allow him the opportunity to shoot promotional trailers to raise awareness about the project.

Winter Term at Oberlin takes place during the month of January and is intended to give students the opportunity to learn and gain field experience in areas that they may not have the chance or time to explore during the course of the traditional semester. For those of us involved in AMERIKA, it gave us the chance to work collaboratively and intensely on an independent film production in design positions, without the need to divide our attention between the film, classes, and other projects. My involvement as the makeup designer for this leg of AMERIKA’s development  allowed me to spend the fall semester before Winter Term concentrating on pre-production design work. Mika and I met regularly to discuss the aesthetic and message of the piece, budgetary and logistical considerations, and the characters of the film. Coming soon: design breakdowns for the film as a whole, as well as several key characters, and process documentation for my construction of a silicone severed head.


~ by alanigauntmakeupdesign on May 20, 2010.

One Response to “AMERIKA: a notebook in three parts”

  1. Interesting post! Looking forward to reading about the design breakdowns and the documentation for the construction of the severed head!

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