The wolves

Set & Costume Designer: Arash Baghipour
Director: Amirreza Jalalian
Director of Photography: Mohammadreza Jahanpanah

On a cold winter night, a young man is taking his two nieces for a ride out of the city, where they have the chance to see a wolf pack. On the way, they pass by an old man. The man bets the children he can hit the old man to the ground with a punch in the face. He gets out of the car and does so. He continues to ride, and after a while he stops the car. They see four pairs of bright eyes on the snowy slope.
The script of the wolves was written based on a modern text with an extent of ambiguity. The director wanted to emphasize it by employing a modern approach that would leave the audience with fundamental questions about the relationship between characters. We tried to answer some of these questions by designing a few revealing details that would help the audience understand the characters’ background and the story’s context.
There was a history between the man and the older man, which was not mentioned in the script, but it was crucial to form the main character’s intention. This matter was the text’s main point, and I believed the production design could shape it meticulously. In this matter, the architecture, costumes, and the car were greatly important since they were showing the invisible aspects of the story.
Additionally, the director’s choice of shot arrangement restricted our choices. The directing strategy was to tell the story in two 5-min long takes and two short (25-sec-long) POVs. The two POV shots had the potential to present the spatial context of the film. By contrast, the Narrow and steamy space of the car, coupled with the use of a wide-angle lens, restricted the possibility of displaying the space in the background in the two long takes, which were front-windshield shots.
Consequently, we tried to put some subtle codes to express the main character’s intention (the young man). The key code was to create the look of deprived and undeserved parts of the country’s suburbs in the background. To achieve that, we did a lot of location scouting for the critical moment when the young man punches the older man. In this shot, we see the older man’s figure, and in the background, there is a dark alley. Also, the iron shutters of a few closed stores are recognizable. In addition, the loam walls, and the buildings’ disordered facades are the architectural aspects of the areas mentioned above, which were designed to complete the puzzle and reveal the secret of the story: why the man punches the older man?
Men’s costume design was aimed at strengthening the idea of violence in their characters, also it needed to be a presentation of their social class. In contrast, for the children, vulnerability and innocence were the two main features that we took into consideration for their costume design.