Maps, Flaps, & Infinite Wallpaper

Set design that folds neatly away in the mind.

Written by Graeme Cole for Unfound Peoples Videotechnic.

A 12-part series on the foldable, flappable, and collapsable labyrinthine potential of movie set design. Interlocking but detachable micro-essays on how the filmmaker might fill the space between the image surface, the characters, and the horizon.

Evergreen, esoteric knowledge, currently being published via weekly email.

Subscribe for weekly micro-essays packed with absurdist filmmaking techniques.

We will cover these sorts of things and more:

🏗️ How to design the bottomless pit into which you'll toss your actors, and why to use plasticine.

📦 Clunkyism: the power and pathos and affordability of wretched materials.

🗺️ Set as city, city as map, map as narrative, and narrative as set design.

🚧 Open worlds, filler areas, and mirror diegetics.


Read in any order.

Underlined links lead to anchorpoints - each one a micro-essay or exercise - within the containing lesson.

  • Empty sets | A film without actors is like a person without clothes: everyone stares at the set design to see if the furniture matches the themes.

  • Sketching | The guiding principles you might choose when sketching your set design.

  • Modelling | Sketching your production design by modelling ‘off paper’ can lead you to imagine secret flaps and hideaways in your set.

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