Between Scenes illustrates film industry by showing behind-the-scenes talents


Photos by Courtney Pedroza

Energy filled the Icehouse as about 170 people gathered to see the third annual “Between Scenes” on Wednesday night. The event aimed to recognize the Phoenix film industry, but unlike other film-related events in the Valley, no films were shown.

Instead, Between Scenes illustrated the many behind-the-scenes talents used to create a film through art. A dozen artists developed an art installation that creatively demonstrated their role in moviemaking.

Since last fall, curator and founder Sara Nevels has handpicked artists representing various filmmaking roles, giving recognition to work that is often undervalued behind the scenes.

Being a part of the film industry, Nevels said she understands how each of these roles have been overlooked. This inspired the concept of the entire show.

“I was working on set, and I could see all these departments that come together to create this final piece of art,” she said. “But they don’t really get the recognition they deserve.”

She looked for high-quality work from the artists, many of whom she’s worked with before during her experience as a set photographer.

Some of the 12 roles celebrated include storyboard artists, sound designers, makeup artists and production designers.

The Icehouse is a large venue that provides local artists the opportunity to display large installation pieces such as Between Scenes. The artists had few limitations besides having only two days to set up, and the creative atmosphere inspired them to expand their work outside the confinement of a script.

“Our artists can think outside the box and are not limited by space,” Nevels said.

To avoid competition, Between Scenes avoided overlapping artists once a role was filled. Each role was given its own art piece. But for the first time this year, Nevels allowed collaboration.

One show of teamwork came from professional makeup artist Autumn Lewis, who created four sets with set dresser Natalie Smith and production designer Megan Cottrell.

Lewis typically focuses on gore and specializes in special effects. She dressed Cottrell and Smith’s actors with fake bruises, cuts and body paint.

“I do this more for fun than professionally,” said Smith, who typically works in post production.

Nevels said she wants people to see the distinction between a special-effects makeup artist and the two production designers she chose. Working cohesively, these ladies were able to creatively display their specialties.

“We wanted to show behind the scenes of movies and how much of a collaborative effort it is for everybody to make a whole,” said Lewis.

The event was not based around one set film, but rather it dissected the individual elements that go into making any film while also creating a social event for the community.

Nevels said she hopes that Between Scenes can educate the community on the local film industry and recognize its potential.

“I know what they are capable of and I know how talented they are,” Nevels said. “I just want everyone else to see it.”

Correction: April 7, 2014:

A previous version of this article misstated the number of people who attended the event and the day it took place. It also Natalie Smith hoped to work on a movie set one day. She already does post-production work, but wanted to do special effects.

Contact the reporter at Brittney.Daigneau@asu.edu.