Building Visual Material Worlds with Tiya Tejpal

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On 11th November 2021, the 3rd year students of the AudioVisual specialisation attended Tiya Tejpal’s insightful lecture on Production Design. Tiya Tejpal is an acclaimed production designer known for her work in The White Tiger, Raman Raghav 2.0, Karwaan among other films, television, advertising, and web-series projects. After graduating from Hampshire College in 2009, Ms. Tejpal came to Bombay and joined the Bollywood film industry as an Assistant Director (AD). However, during her time working on Life of Pi as one of the ADs, she realized she was more inclined to the work done in the Art department.

Ms. Tejpal explained how production design is about converting words into “visual material worlds.” She talked about how script, lighting, and props are essential aspects to focus on as a production designer. Describing how shapes, colours, and framing created by architecture and set design could explain the character’s psyche or position in a particular scene, Ms. Tejpal gave examples from her past experiences working in Ghost Story, Dolly Kitty and those Twinkling Stars, and Lust Stories.. Having worked on ad films and music videos, she also talked about how the aesthetics and realities differ for storytelling in film and advertising.

Ms. Tejpal believes that the role of a production designer is to bridge the gap between the script and the visual frame. “The Script is your Bible”. She gave a detailed breakdown of the kind of jobs that are part of the production design team and how it all comes down to essentially being a creative problem solver. From auditioning multiple goats for a scene in Life of Pi to relighting candles all night in the set design of Made in Heaven, Ms. Tejpal shared fascinating stories and details about her work on the numerous acclaimed projects on which she has collaborated. It was an eye-opening experience for all of the students, who are eager to work in the industry with the same zeal that Ms. Tejpal brought to the lecture.

Chetana Bisht
(Batch 2022)

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