‘Homecoming’ De­signer De­fines Se­ries in One Shot

The long track­ing se­quence that kicks off Sam Es­mail’s Ama­zon se­ries re­quired spe­cial con­struc­tion

Variety - - Artisans -

PRO­DUC­TION DE­SIGNER Anas­ta­sia White is no stranger to “on­ers” — those long, sweep­ing, sin­gle-take scenes. She’s had plenty of ex­pe­ri­ence, hav­ing worked with Sam Es­mail, the writer, di­rec­tor and pro­ducer of USA Net­work’s “Mr. Robot” since 2016, when she joined the show’s sec­ond sea­son.

Now White is teamed up with Es­mail once again on “Homecoming,” Univer­sal Cable Prods. and Ama­zon’s new halfhour drama se­ries to be re­leased Nov. 2. Star­ring Ju­lia Roberts, it’s based on the Micah Bloomberg and Eli Horowitz pod­cast of the same name.

Es­mail, who di­rected all the episodes, kicked off the se­ries with yet an­other oner. The cam­era tracks Roberts as Heidi, a case­worker at a treat­ment fa­cil­ity that helps rein­te­grate sol­diers back into daily life, on an epic walk-and-talk start­ing in her of­fice on an up­per floor of the fa­cil­ity, track­ing her down a flight of stairs and through a com­mon area, around hall­ways pass­ing in­di­vid­ual sol­diers’ rooms, down more stairs and through the lobby. The scene runs for three min­utes.

In or­der to help achieve that vi­sion, White built the multi-floored set — within a sound­stage at Univer­sal Stu­dios in Hol­ly­wood — with a re­mov­able ceil­ing so that the crew could not only fit in a crane but also al­low for over­head lights. Es­mail let her in on his plan for the open­ing of the show early on, so White was able to con­sider in her earli-

De­sign Hook Fish, seen here in a tank in the of­fice of Ju­lia Roberts’ Heidi, are used as a show mo­tif.

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