The Film Noir Genre – Donkey Skin’s Family Residence (II)

With the last design shown on the previous post in mind, I decided to concentrate on the details and to give possible design solutions for particular aspects of the residence. I hoped to convey the gothic revival feeling present in some of the grand New-York buildings. With a clock tower overlooking the whole infrastructure, a large balcony from which the heroine can contemplate the big city to forget her problems and an entrance made to impress visitors, the mansion should not only convey the idea of wealth and grandeur but also be imposing. One would not dare wander into the house if not invited by the owners.



A feature I particularly liked researching were gargoyles

Gargoyle studies film Noir


These studies of existing gargoyles gave ideas for the feel that the building could have. I even decided to design my own, inspired by one of the most important feature of the original fairy tale: the donkey.

Donkey Skin Mansion Architectural Features


Balcony and stuff


I began contemplating the different ways in which I would convey the importance of a Donkey for a film set in 1940s New York. A donkey that produces gold isn’t something one comes by easily in our world. So instead of the donkey producing riches, perhaps its real wealth lies in the value of the donkey itself. Donkey Skin’s father could be the owner of a very particular artwork: a beautiful donkey skin woven with gold and diamonds worth billions. One of the heroine’s demands could be that the donkey skin be turned into a coat. However filling this demand would mean that the skin would loose its value. Therefore, like in the fairy tale, the princess didn’t think her father would give into her demand.


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