“Fusion Lab is a pop-up shop style micro-cinema and media lab in Highland Park, Los Angeles that will be open from March 7 – March 30, 2013. Supported by a grant from the Irvine Foundation, Fusion Lab will host screenings of short films, filmmaking workshops taught by Outfest alumni, and workstations with cameras and editing software. Stop by Fusion Lab to rent a camera to make a short film that you can edit at computers and editing software also available for free.”
I was hired to help them get up and running in the storefront space that will be their home for the rest of the month. It’s been such a cool project to work on! I love that the goal is to bring the knowledge of story-telling to anyone who wants to learn. They called on production designer Michael Fitzgerald and his team to turn an underwhelming, if not worse for wear, storefront into a fully functional classroom and screening room in an eclectic-grunge setting, and they did it in a matter of mere days. With dozens of cans of leftover paint and some generously discounted set furniture rentals, he creatively put together all sorts of opposing colors and furniture styles, and somehow it works in the most unexpected ways!
I didn’t get there quite in time to take a true “before” picture, but these were taken only three days after I first saw the space completely untouched (poop-brown walls and all), and only three days before the lab was to open for it’s first screening. Already, so much painting had been done!
We used the back two-thirds of the space for the screening room, with a rented ten foot screen taking up a majority of the back wall. We also spent a lot of time hanging lights around the space so we could avoid having to use the awful fluorescent lights already mounted on the ceiling.
The screening room can easily accommodate 40 to 50 people.
Each wall on one side of the space is meant to represent each of the workshop topics offered: writing, directing, editing, and documentary.
All the black paint used in the room is chalkboard paint and can be written on. There are pieces of chalk hung on each chalkboard so you can simply grab a piece and start writing!
The furniture in the writing lounge is all rented set furniture.
Michael’s team made a screen-print mural on one wall of the writing lounge displaying iconic Los Angeles and Hollywood landmarks.
Michael’s team built the wall that separates the lounge and the screening room. There are two flaps of the wall, one on each side, that are on hinges so they can close off the screening room for increased quiet and darkness during screenings. (They are shown here open.)
The room is peppered with little chalkboard and felt signs teaching students about the different movie crew positions held on set and in post production.
The storefront windows are filled with paraphernalia representing film and tv, as well as props that the students can use when making their movies.
What do you think of this space?