May 18, 2023
Perched on a hill, the house offers panoramic ocean views and a harmonious fusion of natural and industrial materials.
_project: Scallops House
_architecture: Laney LA
_location: Manhattan Beach, California
The Scallops House project, designed by Laney LA, caught the attention of filmmaker Jeff Durkin. As an enthusiast of residential projects, Durkin was immediately drawn to the opportunity to create a "Poetry film" - a pure cinematic experience that celebrates architecture without interviews, problem-solving narratives, or sales messages. Impressed by Anthony's work and being located in LA himself, Jeff eagerly collaborated on the project. A short 15-minute phone call sealed the deal, and after capturing stunning footage in just 8 hours, Anthony was thrilled with the results.
Filming an unfurnished house posed a unique challenge for Jeff. To capture the essence and character in the absence of traditional interior elements, he focused on light, shadows, reflections, and subtle movements. The environment was carefully woven into the story, with foggy beach mornings, cloudy skies, and the vibrant Manhattan Beach Pier at sunset. The design team from Laney Architecture was included to provide a human element, gracefully moving through the space in muted colors. Through slow-motion shots and evocative music, the film successfully redirected attention from the lack of furniture, creating an immersive experience.
Human scale played a significant role in the Scallops House project, and Jeff ensured it was effectively conveyed in the film. By using different focal lengths and lenses, the design staff dressed in white and black clothing were framed accordingly. A sequence featuring a girl walking along the scalloped wall was captured from various angles, with the 24mm lens chosen to showcase the person and the scallops clearly. Shots of the architect walking up the stairs were captured with different focal lengths, emphasizing functionality through close-ups of hands on the rail and wide shots showcasing the space. Notably, the shot of the architect walking down the stairs through the glass added a captivating perspective.
Looking back on the experience, Jeff found several rewarding aspects. The discovery of a foggy and moody beach early in the morning added depth to the film's opening. However, the most gratifying part was collaborating with Anthony and his dedicated team. Despite managing both photography and videography simultaneously, Anthony remained supportive and positive, contributing to the film by walking through the house. Jeff also commended Saige's assistance in repeatedly opening the sliding doors for the perfect shot, which required considerable time and effort.
Through his expert cinematography, Jeff captured the essence of the house, effectively conveying its relationship with its surroundings and human scale. The collaboration between the architect and the film team was exemplary, resulting in a remarkable visual exploration of architecture.
_written by Daniela Moreira Silva
_film by Breadtruck Films
_photography: Roger Davies
_cover image: Roger Davies
_drawings by Laney LA:
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