There is always a conversation between the viewer and the movie. In our opinion, films are an educational source as books or any other art form for that matter. They leave perennial impressions on our lives. Be it a real incident or a movie, different experiences shape us and make us what we are today. One would find it challenging to recollect, what they read years back, but feature films and visuals have long-lasting imprints. Architects see things distinctively,  further investigate it. They cannot sit through a movie without critiquing it that their form of enjoyment.

1. The actor, of course!

One of the biggest drives to see a movie is the actors in it. It plays a vital role in how one picks a movie. Architects like the No-Arch (Just coining a term of my own like No-Maj or Muggles, similarly people who aren’t architects) choose a particular film based on who their favourite actor is. Say for instance Johnny Depp is such a versatile actor, has played such opposite personas in various movies, His costume, style, attention-grabbing skill is quite diverse. The viewers want to see his film because they want to be surprised by his new quirky character, even if the movie itself doesn’t excite them.

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2. Film location

Architects are drawn to the site. Site is the holy grail for them, which contains all the answers. The film’s location is of supreme importance. Each surrounding adds a different essence to a story. The site of the film gives cues of how a particular character looks or behaviours. Game of Thrones was about the throne which ruled seven kingdoms. Each had a different location. Winterfell was a mountainous state, King’s landing had a summer-like atmosphere, the Iron Islands where people of the sea, etc. While many of GOT’s recurring sets were shot at studios in Belfast, the show shoots primarily in Northern Ireland and Iceland, and Croatia and Spain for the South.

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3. The timeline the movie is set in

Noticing the timeline of a story, it changes one’s perspective. Every era had its style, charm, thought process, society notions each of them shapes the characters. A movie “The Book Thief” set during world war II, the characters in the story portray the difficult time’s ordinary people had. Their costumes, dialogue delivery, way of speaking, everything stitches together to make you feel what it was like to be in those times. The protagonist of that motion picture which makes us appreciate the value of books in a time when globalization wasn’t there.

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4. The Costume

Movies are furthermore fashion ramps, where designers get an opportunity to showcase their ideas within the bounds of the character and the movie’s theme. The choice of fabric, colours, style and also how the actor carries the costume can quite bring out the crux of the story. The Grand Budapest hotel movies took place in an ironic utopia. Each of the costumes’ colours, was designed to look like they were from somewhat of a fairy tale. The five primary colours used were red, pink, yellow, gold, and violet. The story was highlighting the life of a hotel concierge consequently, their costumes needed to be uptight and more military uniform like it demands attention.

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5. How is the concept reflected in the architecture or the interiors?

The set is as much of a protagonist as the actors in a movie. The set designs should complement the story and express the story for the viewers in a more exuberant way.

The Great Gatsby is an exquisite example of how production design, indicatively Art Deco design, which exemplifies the 1920s, and the representation of a character, are essential to making a period film come to life. Production designer, Catherine Martin, successfully created a believable and desirable world that respectfully depicts a cherished American novel.

It is about the great American dream. “Great” because everything was for the sole purpose of status in the society in that point of time when nothing seems impossible. The set had to play the part to add grandeur and opulence of beyond imagination.

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6. The design of the Audio-visual hall they watch the movie in

Every architect is well acquainted with how design influences the entire experience of a movie. We architects would count the seats in the movie theatre’s layout while booking tickets, and choose the centre most and in the third last row preferably. We are finicky over it because those are seats that have the most optimal audio-visual quality. Through the intermission, architects wonder if Internal sound insulation – this is particularly important with multiple screens where a loud soundtrack can leak into the adjoining auditorium.   Audience line of sight, accessibility and acoustics all make theatre seating a hugely precise art.

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7. Wonder about the execution of the animation, if watching an animation movie

Cartoons wake up the child in every human. It tells a story in the simplest ways possible. Although making these animated movies aren’t that simple. The animation is a series of still drawings that, when viewed in rapid succession, gives the impression of a moving picture.

Architects have a knack for designing software and graphic designing. An animated film by Disney “the frozen” was a worldwide adored film. The makers of the film worked over every tiny detail and aspect of the film. If an architect liked this movie, they sure came back home to see the making of the film.

Bahubali was an animation monstrosity as well, the introduction scene through the kingdom had us all in awe. The moviemakers again spend an immense amount of time on their details.


8. Who are the people behind the movie?

Every movie has ideologists behind the making of a film which reflect on the stories. Architects are huge on concept and signature ideas. They appreciate the significance of a director, producer, choreographers etc. , bring their colours to paint vibrant storytelling. Sanjay Leela Bhansali is an Indian cinema director known for his over the top design approach. Although the casting and storylines are not to overlook, it is usually the set design and cinematography that draws so many people to the theatre. His films have always followed the theme of classic cinema with choice of location, costume, set design and overall lavish aesthetic.


9. The Target Audience

The end viewer or for architects the end-user shapes how the product works and helps make the user’s life easier. Similarly, Filmmakers have a target audience for their art. The responses by each of the age groups and backgrounds that people come from varies. The target audience for the filmmaking is the foundation of everything: from the film script to distribution, from the cast selection to the sales channels. For example, Films on specific aspects of history are often well received by local audiences preferring cinemas with comfort, character and the opportunity to have a coffee or a bar drink.


10. How does the movie affect me?

Good films almost always impact the viewer; much varies by movie and person. Individually, people are bound to get affected by motion pictures given that the main goal the cinematic art form has is exactly to impact and send a message. One of how films affect society is by expanding our knowledge of history and culture. Architects tend to have a strong visual memory. Movies aid us to widen our view of the world, of places out of reach. Perhaps the most influential forms in which films affect society is through allowing individual people to imagine and inspiring them about whom they want to be. Movies make us think.




Anchal Tibrewal is a young architect and a nature enthusiast. Her work has led her to believe in the minute details that make all instances of architecture a reality. She is driven towards a sustainable design that has a strong relationship with the contexts it represents.

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