I watched The Founder last night, which is about the start of McDonald’s, and the battle between the brothers who founded the chain and the rapacious franchisee, Ray Kroc, who ultimately buys them out. It’s alright, great actors, but I mainly watched it for the scene where Richard and Maurice McDonald figure out the layout for the Speedee System kitchen, which will allow them to serve customers within 30 seconds of ordering. They do this by sketching the kitchen in 1:1 outline on a tennis court, in chalk, testing it out, and revising it:
You can watch the whole scene here.
I know I’ve seen a few more movies and documentaries where something like this happened, but the one that I remember best is from one of my favourite movies, Melville’s Bob le flambeur, with Robert Duchesne as a gambler planning one last heist. To train his men, Bob first makes a floor plan, then paints it, at full scale, in a meadow:
In the film, you never get to see the full outline, which is frustrating. I want to know where that field is too – is that an airport in the background?
Sketching, testing, rehearsing, revising, at real scale. I just like lines on the ground.
(Recommendation of other sources of floor models very welcome.)