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Call to Arms: An Art Department Take on Building War Room


How are fantasy worlds created? How do film productions build sets, costumes, and props? Let’s go behind the scenes at Chaldea’s art department workshop, the Anvil, where we will share our process of creating various features for “The World of Chaldea.”

My name is Leila Blue Aram-Panahi; most people just call me Blue. I’m the art director and run all of the Anvil’s day-to-day operations. In short, I manage the entire art department: budgets, schedules, designers, and the artists creating our sets, wardrobe, hair and makeup, decorations, and props. I ensure the aesthetic and textural details of our creations conform to the production designer’s vision. Jordin Mitchell, our production designer, creates the unique look of all our sets, wardrobe, hair and makeup, décor, and props, and he develops the overall design of the production. Everything that will appear in front of the camera goes through him first, and I’m here to confirm we’re all on the same page in bringing the look of our fantasy world to life.

Visually constructing a fantasy world is no small task, especially a world boasting as many diverse cultures as Chaldea. Peter Adkison and Steve Conard decided the best way to introduce our audience to Chaldea and some of its characters was with a film called War Room, the perfect behind-the-scenes topic for our first blog. This mixed media production intertwines graphic novel imagery with narrative film to highlight a historic moment in Chaldean history: the death of a god-emperor and the abrupt end of forty years of hard-earned peace. This news arrives at a climactic moment in the film, where the set was a character unto itself, something not lost on us as we took that set from concept to camera-ready. Read More