Beginning this Sunday 17th Sept on Channel 4, comes the highly anticipated 10-part anthology series based on the short stories of Philip K Dick. I designed all 5 UK episodes: The Hood Maker (first to air), Impossible Planet (24th Sept), The Commuter (1st Oct), Crazy Diamond (15th Oct), and Human Is (22nd Oct). It will be available to stream on Amazon Prime from November 2017.
Whilst building the majority of sets for the UK episodes at the old Gillette Factory site in West London, from January of 2017, we were also shooting on location far and wide around the UK. A huge team was assembled to produce all five episodes back-to-back with the challenge to make each story look and feel completely different and work with five Directors and their own exciting and ambitious visions.
This was my first foray into the genre of sci-fi fantasy – it certainly won’t be my last! It has been the most incredible experience and we’re all proud of the results and honoured to be designing the inspiring wolds of Philip K Dick.
Honor (Holliday Grainger) and Ross (Richard Madden) Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams Episode 106 “The Hoodmaker”
The new campaign for Boots No. 7 Lift & Luminate Serum is out now. I designed the 60-second commercial and it features a large studio set designed for a dance performance and built at Black Island Studios, London, for Tomboy Films. Tom Harper directed (War & Peace, This Is England ’86) and Wayne McGregor choreographed the new piece. The ad uses an in-camera hologram system supplied by Musion as 52-year old ballerina Alessandra Ferri dances with herself aged 19. The set design focused on a traditional painted scenic backdrop – an honest approach to filming in a large sound stage. A scenic artist with an assistant spent 5 days painting the 77m long x 9m high cloth with two striking abstract triangular marks that look like giant charcoal lines.
Here’s a selection of images that show the design from conception, pitch, model and realisation:
Then came the model which shows the hologram system supplied by Musion, and concept visuals for the client & agency pitch:
The final cloth design for the scenic artist to transpose to full scale:
Currently working on a major TV commercial for Tomboy Films with director Tom Harper(This Is England ’86, War & Peace) and choreographerWayne McGregor (Woolf Works, Infra, Chroma) . An innovative dance-piece being shot in a studio in London and due to air in April. Set designs to follow soon.
Currently working on BBC drama ‘SS-GB’, an adaptation of Len Deighton’s novel penned by James Bond writers Robert Wade & Neal Purvis. Directed by Philipp Kadelbach and produced by Sid Gentle Films, this is a chilling alternative history piece, a crime thriller set against the backdrop of Britain in 1941, 14 months after we lost the Battle of Britain and are now firmly under Nazi occupation. This has been a brilliant design opportunity to create a Germanic London we haven’t seen before whilst staying true to the 1940s period. Graphics in the show have been a hugely important part of the design and whilst we have been largely working on location, almost all of the 110 sets have been substantial construction and set decoration efforts. This has also been a close Design & VFX collaboration and our work with Nzivible has both enhanced the CG content and greatly educated the design department! Filming is due to finish in January 2016 and we hope to see it air sometime in the autumn season.
Delighted to announce the art department and I have been nominated for an RTS Award for Best Production Design on ITV’s 3-part drama, ‘CILLA’. Congratulations to all involved and a huge thank you to the people & companies of Liverpool – a great city to film in. Take a look at the set builds (Cavern Club, Abbey Road Studios, Iron Door Club) and the dressed locations here.
A look back at the design work on the BBC 5-part drama London Spy, starring Ben Whishaw & Jim Broadbent, directed by Jakob Verbruggen. Even though it was a contemporary drama, the work for the art department was incredibly varied, ranging from on-screen computer graphics, a large studio build at Elstree, wrapping angels in a surreal castle, burning down a maze and building an S&M attic. Big inspirations were the work of photographer Francois Halard, the personal home of designer Carlo Mollino, and the composition of Alfred Hitchcock’s interior sets.
Danny’s Vauxhall flat, composite build in the George Lucas stage, Elstree:
And that attic…built at Wimbledon Studios:
And some of the many other locations around Greater London and Oxfordshire:
Have recently finished designing ‘Cilla‘ for ITV, directed by Paul Whittington and starring Sheridan Smith as the young Cilla Black. The 3-part drama tells the story of Cilla’s rise to fame in 1960s Liverpool. We worked on location and in the studio in Liverpool itself, turning it back fifty years and doubling it for New York and London. Can’t post anymore than that yet, but it should be on your screens in the autumn season.
There were several influences on the design of the show, including Hockney, but the man who inspired our colour and textures the most was Sean Scully. When I first came to Liverpool, it was the stone and block work all over the city that captured my imagination, which led me, via Brassai’s photo-history of European stone-carved Graffiti, to Scully’s work. His book, “Color of Time” became the cornerstone to the scenic painting on the job and has a proud place on my bookshelf as one of the greatest references for colour, age and texture.
Now working in prep on “We Are Proud To Present…” opening end of Feb 2014 at The Bush Theatre. Directed by Gbolahan Obisesan, this brilliant play by US writer Jackie Sibblies Drury, explores process and presentation and the little known first genocide of the 20th century in Namibia. You can book tickets on their website. In my early research I have come across the fantastic photographs by Jim Naughten and his book Conflict & Costume: The Herero Tribe of Namibia, check it out on Amazon here.