Strong Start

Variety - - Artisans -

Anas­ta­sia White has cut her teeth in film and TV as a pro­duc­tion de­signer and art di­rec­tor.

Pro­duc­tion De­signer Mr. Robot (2016-17) 21 episodes

King Co­bra (2016) Di­rec­tor: Justin Kelly The Jim Gaf­fi­gan Show

10 episodes

Art Di­rec­tor

Girls (2014-15)

7 episodes

They Came To­gether (2014)

Di­rec­tor: David Wain The Har­vest (2013) Di­rec­tor: John Mcnaughton

est de­signs what the crew would need to be able to shoot the se­quence. “The whole lay­out was based on that scene,” she says. “It was meant to show­case the fa­cil­ity where she’s work­ing as soon as pos­si­ble in the show, so we tried to give a good ex­am­ple of all of the pieces of the build­ing in that one scene.”

Tran­si­tion­ing the story of “Homecoming” from the au­dio medium of the pod­cast to the vis­ual one of tele­vi­sion al­lowed White the op­por­tu­nity to get cre­ative and spe­cific with her set de­sign. “There were not a lot of de­tails in the script,” she says. “All of the stuff on the walls was the art de­part­ment com­ing up with things based on re­search and know­ing the tone of the show.”

White and her team uti­lized lots of or­ganic ma­te­ri­als such as drift­wood to jux­ta­pose “the wild gnarli­ness” of na­ture with the cold ar­ti­fice cre­ated by the Geist Group, the fa­cil­ity where Heidi works. “The way that the writ­ers de­scribed how they wanted the in­te­rior fa­cil­ity to be, it was dec­o­rated in a try­ing-too-hard-to-be-trop­i­cal, homey way, [with] ferns and palms and pineap­ples and Florid­ian-type fruits,” she says.

“Homecoming” takes place over two time­lines, with the present- day story be­ing told in widescreen, while the “near fu­ture,” af­ter the fa­cil­ity has been closed, is in a square as­pect ra­tio. That meant White had to think “ver­ti­cally” about how to dress cer­tain sets and de­sign frames. She also wanted to rely on “mud­died and gray” im­agery to fur­ther con­vey Heidi’s own con­fu­sion over what went wrong with her work.

And since the treat­ment the sol­diers are un­der­go­ing is ex­per­i­men­tal, White wanted to sug­gest a sense of them be­ing stud­ied. That’s what in­spired her to put a fish tank in Heidi’s of­fice and mount a metal­lic fish on the wall.

“It played back to the idea that the cafe­te­ria is this fish­bowl,” she ex­plains, “where peo­ple are all be­ing ob­served.”

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