Production Designer on Uberto Pasolini’s new film ‘Still Life’

Incredibly excited about starting work on a new film by legendary producer & director Uberto Pasolini (Bel Ami, Machan, The Full Monty), to be shot in & around London, entirely on location in May-July.  My team will be small & unconventionally structured – I will be crewing up very soon, so if you’re interested in being involved with the Art Department, please don’t email – just call on 07813 785457 & make an appointment to meet – the face-to-face approach is always best!  Here’s a glimpse of my interview look book for which I created a real photo album rather than my usual document format:

L.I.S.A. does private career consultancy for ALLSET

Spending these two days with Lisa was an experience I will never forget and hope to take this renewed enthusiasm, self belief and new ways of seeing with me into the future – Richard Ward

I have recently created a 2-day bespoke career training session for the Designer & Art Director duo Allset, with the aim of building their professional confidence and developing a tailored strategy for a more successful career path.  Whilst being well-established in the industry they felt they were a little stuck in the world of low-budget promos, idents and commercials and were keen to get noticed by bigger names to move up and work on dramas and film – so they called me for guidance & using my own experience in training for Art Dept & Design, I structured a private course to improve their prospects.

The feedback has been incredibly encouraging and I can’t wait to repeat the course for other creatives.  The course featured personal branding & marketing, website appraisal, vocal confidence, methods of working, art dept structures, budgeting, leadership & becoming a visual entrepreneur.  CLICK HERE to read what Richard & Paula of Allset said of their experience.

Designing new play at the Arcola Theatre Tent

I’m working on Ade Solanke’s play ‘Pandora’s Box‘, to be directed by Ola Animashawun and opening on the 9th May at the Arcola Tent in Dalston, London.  Click here to find out more & buy tickets. Set in Lagos, Nigeria, the designs will evoke a truth to the culture & landscape but emote a greater truth to the audience through a bold colour palette & sculptural interior.  Here’s my first look book shown to both the director & writer.  Am hoping also to collaborate with fantastic Contemporary Knot & Textile Designer Emily Hiller.

2-Day Weekend Budgeting Training Course for Stage & Screen Design

Places are now available for a landmark 2-day training course on the most challenging & least-talked about aspect of design for film & TV – BUDGETING.  The aim is to improve confidence and give you, whatever stage you’re at, the honest facts and the relevant skills to deal with the financial aspects of your job with accuracy & efficiency.  This type of training is unique and in high-demand & you won’t find the sharing of such detailed information anywhere else.  Call 07565 479 361 or email to find out more and book one of the 10 places available.  Food and refreshments are included in the price and it’s being held at Waterstones Piccadilly, central London, Sat 24th & Sun 25th March.

Launching The All New & Improved Production Design Diary…Today!

Out with the old & in with the new!  Launching online today the most unique & unmissable Production Design event of this year: CHIC FUN GORY SILLY – the most detailed, honest & hopefully inspiring account of designing a film you’ll ever read. Throughout my job designing “Chic Fun Gory Silly” I kept a diary; every single day for the 65 days I worked on the project.  I recorded everything I did & felt, all the nitties & gritties, to explain just what it is a Production Designer does and how (or not) to do it. No-one has ever documented the whole design process like this before and it is meant as a teaching tool for all those working their way up in art departments and those young & aspiring art directors & designers.  Each daily entry will be released on this website and will include many pictures, drawings, and links to documents and inspiring references.  It will cover research, how ideas transform into practical solutions, people management, budgeting, scheduling, construction, modelmaking, set decoration, survival and above all, leadership.  You may not have seen the film, but my account is a story in itself, with many challenges, a few problems, very little money, very little sleep, one fractured foot, only one parking ticket, and thankfully, a happy ending.

I’m on Day 25 already & I’m publishing it a day at a time for the next 2 months.  I will tweet a link on Twitter @Moving_Design & Facebook everyday but its success will depend on your daily following and spreading the word via social networks.  So please retweet & add links to your own blogs & sites and enjoy the read!

Great reviews for ‘truth & reconciliation’

Here’s what the press thought of my work on Debbie Tucker Green’s new play at the Royal Court Theatre:

The event hovers in that strange limbo between tribunal and theatre, neither one nor the other, and everyone’s story, you feel, has the potential of exploding onto a higher dramatic plane. The witnesses and plaintiffs cross fade into each other in an oval committee room of stiff-backed chairs, a burnt out floor and chalk testimonials to the victims on the seats of the audience. Designer Lisa Marie Hall miraculously makes you feel you’ve never been in this attic venue before – I’ve been going there since it opened over forty years ago,” Michael Coveney, What’s On Stage.

…this is a play of small gestures that gradually blossom into big statements…Designer Lisa Marie Hall, who also worked on Green’s television adaptation of Random, has turned the theatre into a dark cavern with punishing wooden seats for both audience and cast. Across the black floor, there are muddy footprints, as livid as bruises, and the names of victims appear everywhere: on walls, on seats, on the stairs. Behind this dark atmosphere of fear and loss, you can hear the sounds of voices chanting and hands clapping,Aleks Sierz, The Arts Desk.

It is a sombre, painful, patient piece, innovative in form…The chairs are a running theme, with characters shifting them or refusing to sit on them, seeing them as symbolic of guilt or acceptance, stools of penance even. Lisa Marie Hall’s atmospheric, oval design has the audience likewise seated on hard wooden chairs, as if witnesses to the proceedings…an extraordinary and moving piece of theatre,” Sarah Hemming, FT

“...a dark, tense and claustrophobic in-the-round production. And as you climb up to the Theatre Upstairs you are confronted with the names of the dead.  (It) nags away potently in the memory long after the performance is over,” Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph

“a strikingly reconfigured Theatre Upstairs: the audience’s chairs are marked with chalk testimonials, the oval acting area is a gravel pit of cross-fading special pleading,” Michael Coveney, Independent