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.
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.
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
UK GLOBAL LIFT OFF:
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.
NATIONAL LIBRARY OF NEW ZEALAND: RESEARCHING
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.
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
BEHIND THE CURTAIN
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.
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.
3CR SHOWREEL: THE ART OF
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.
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.
LADIES IN BLACK REFLECTS ON THE CHANGING FACE
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.