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ARCHDAILY: FELICITY ABBOTT

"PRODUCTION DESIGN HAS BEEN REFERRED TO AS ARCHITECTURE OF THE SCREEN"

 

Production designer Felicity Abbott is behind the great staging of The Luminaries, a mini-series that takes place in

New Zealand during the 1860s West Coast Gold Rush. In the below interview, she tells us her thoughts on the connection between films and architecture, addressing her

work process and the main challenges

on this set. 

THE LUMINARIES

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THE LUMINARIES 

WINS BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN AT NZTV AWARDS

BBC drama The Luminaries, produced by Southern Light Films and Working Title TV, was the big winner in the drama

craft categories at the New Zealand Television Awards, with multiple wins including Best Production Design

for Felicity Abbott APDG BFDG and

Set Decorator, Daniel Birt BFDG SDSA. 

 

The  ground-breaking TVNZ/BBC collaboration swept seven awards

across a range of performance

and technical categories.   

THE LUMINARIES

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RADIO NEW ZEALAND  

INTERVIEW: RECREATING COLONIAL NEW ZEALAND

To coincide with the New Zealand release of The Luminaries, I spoke to Kathryn Ryan on Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon, about the process of adapting this epic work for the screen. We discussed the design process from research and development, to construction and set decoration. Find out how the we re-created the West Coast during the gold rush of

the 1860s and built  96 unique sets 

from scratch. 

THE LUMINARIES

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UK GLOBAL LIFT OFF:

DESIGN INFLUENCES 

ON UPGRADE

To coincide with the UK release of UPGRADE, I spoke to Global Lift Off Network about personal influences,

the role of a production designer, and

the experience of working on Leigh Whannell’s sci-fi action thriller, UPGRADE. 

 

Described as ‘near-future’, UPGRADE creates a reality that we can understand from our contemporary experience, with

an enhanced view of current technologies rather than a departure from life,

as we know it.
 

UPGRADE

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NATIONAL LIBRARY OF NEW ZEALAND: RESEARCHING

THE LUMINARIES

 

In this blog for The National Library of

New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, we examine the research and 

development phase of the production design and set decoration for the screen adaptation of ‘The Luminaries’. During

the initial exploration Set Decorator

Daniel Birt and I gathered over 8,000 images that formed the basis of each

set and character’s environment. We scoured online archives worldwide and

in Aotearoa, New Zealand. 

THE LUMINARIES

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FILM INK MAGAZINE: PRODUCTION DESIGN

AS WORLD BUILDING

In this interview with Film Ink, we discuss

the collaboration with the director and 

the notion of production design as world building on two very different projects;

sci-fi action thriller Upgrade and the tale

of the women of Goodes Department Store in Sydney 1959, Ladies In Black

 

How can visual style reflect a reality that

we understand from our contemporary experience when a narrative is set

either in the future, or the past? 

LADIES IN BLACK

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FUTURE NOIR:

BEHIND THE CURTAIN

OF UPGRADE

In this AUSFILM article and conversation with Bel Tromp, I outline the approach

to the visual narrative on the sci-fi thriller UPGRADE, directed by Leigh Whannell.  

 

Set in the near-future when technology controls nearly all aspects of life, 

UPGRADE exists at the interface of high and low technology. This was immediately interesting and appealing to me as a production designer in terms of creating a world for these characters to inhabit. 

UPGRADE

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SILENT FRAME | THE BRIEF

INTERVIEW: FELICITY ABBOTT

Silent Frame introduces readers to a handful of artworks every week – from painting to poetry, fashion to food design.

The Brief is Silent Frame's short-form interview series: big questions,

small word count.‘ 

It was a great pleasure to be interviewed

by Silent Frame and respond to their insightful, imaginative questions and offer

some of my influences - cinema, dance, music, architecture and literature.

SILENT FRAME

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3CR SHOWREEL: THE ART OF

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Showreel, is a half hour of local film

news, conversations with film makers

and explorations into how they bring their ideas to life on screen. 

I had the pleasure of speaking to Annie Mcloughlin of 3CR Melbourne's Showreel Programme, about the production design on The Luminaries and a few of the projects I undertook in Australia.

THE LUMINARIES

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CREATIVE REVIEW: DESIGNING THE LUMINARIES

Eleanor Catton’s bestselling novel, set

in New Zealand during the 19th century

gold rush, has been reimagined in a

six-part drama for BBC and TVNZ.

 

On the eve of the UK release, I spoke to Rachel Steven of UK Creative Review, about what was involved in the

production design, the 96 sets that

were created and the joys and

challenges of bringing Catton’s

epic story to life. 

THE LUMINARIES

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LADIES IN BLACK REFLECTS ON THE CHANGING FACE

OF SYDNEY

To coincide with the release of Ladies In Black, I spoke to The Daily Telegraph

about the significance of the design

and architectural choices in the film.   

 

Location choice is crucial in building character and spaces were selected to reflect cultural backgrounds and a

view of the world, during a period of

great social change and post-war

migration to Australia.

LADIES IN BLACK