Kane in Continuity

Kane & Continuity

In his article “Digital Transformations and the Archival Nature of Surrogates,” Paul Conway discusses how digitization not only preserves archival materials, but allows them to transcend their original value. This path seeks to fulfill this vision by putting these photographs in a broader context to allow scholars and enthusiasts to make new discoveries.

The sets for Citizen Kane were the product of close collaboration between director Orson Welles, art director Perry Ferguson,  and cinematographer Gregg Toland. All three would meet together to decide how each scene would be shot and therefore how each set needed to be constructed. Ferguson would give notes from these conversations to the artists so they could begin their preliminary sketches. These sketches were then passed between Welles and Ferguson until Welles was satisfied. At this point, a master sketch was completed and photographed.Some of the sketches, however, had to be redone due to budget constraints.
This collection serves as evidence of this collaboration. Many of these stills align closely with the shots of the completed film. These photographs also provide a unique insight to each set due to their utilitarian nature. Because the filmmakers needed to see where each piece of the set was placed, the entire set was illuminated. This provides a unique perspective on sets such as Xanadu, where the lighting was dark and austere.
This path places the photographs side-by-side with the film, allowing you to directly compare the sets and the film.

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