Exploring the Magical World of the Production Design in ‘Poor Things’

The recently released featurette on the production design of Poor Things provides a fascinating glimpse into the meticulous and imaginative world Shona Heath and James Price created for the film.

The recently released featurette on the production design of Poor Things below provides a fascinating glimpse into the meticulous and imaginative world created for the film. The video makes sure to highlight the innovative approach taken by the production team, blending elements of 1930s film aesthetics with modern technology to build a world through the eyes of the protagonist, Bella. The Poor Things production design is truly a masterpiece of creativity and vision.

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and produced by Emma Stone, “Poor Things” unfolds the captivating story of Bella Baxter, a young woman who undergoes a remarkable transformation under the care of the unconventional scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter. Empowered by Baxter’s guidance, Bella embarks on a journey of discovery, seeking to broaden her horizons and experience the world firsthand. Alongside Duncan Wedderburn, a charismatic yet morally ambiguous lawyer, Bella embarks on a globe-trotting escapade that challenges societal norms and fosters a deep-seated commitment to justice and freedom, transcending the constraints of her era.

The sets are epic in scale, capturing the essence of various iconic locations like London, Lisbon, and Paris, but with a unique, almost fantastical period twist that aligns with Bella’s perception of the world. This approach not only enhances the visual appeal of the film but also deepens the viewer’s connection to Bella’s journey and the story’s themes.

The featurette emphasizes the collaborative efforts of the production designers, particularly noting the dynamic between Shona Heath and James Price, who co-designed the film together and combined their distinct sensibilities to create a cohesive and captivating visual experience. The attention to detail is extraordinary, with intricate set pieces such as Bella’s room, which features padded silk walls with cityscapes sewn in and whimsical elements like fish on the ceiling and a mirror with ears showcasing the extraordinary work by Set Decorator Zsuzsa Mihalek.

This level of detail helps to create an immersive environment that feels both authentic to the film’s period setting and infused with a sense of magical realism. The practical sets and the use of old-school techniques like miniatures and painted backdrops further contribute to the film’s unique aesthetic.

This Poor Things production design featurette showcases the logistical challenges and creative solutions involved in bringing the world of Poor Things to life. The construction of functional sets in Budapest, like the elaborate ship designed to resemble a Victorian garden and the vibrant, red-tree-filled Paris square, required round-the-clock work and a seamless blend of craftsmanship and artistry.

These efforts have resulted in a film set that not only looks stunning on camera but also supports the narrative’s whimsical and timeless qualities. The production design of Poor Things stands out as a testament to the power of imagination and collaboration in filmmaking, promising a visual feast that complements the film’s engaging story.

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Poor Things Production Design Featurette


Poor Things Behind-the-Scenes Featurette


The World of Poor Things Featurette


Have you seen Poor Things yet? The sets are a standout. Let us know what you thought of the Poor Things production design in the comments below.

 

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Posted by Rose Lagacé

Rose Lagacé is a production designer for film & television by day and an emerging filmmaker by night. Rose is also the creator and editor of Art Departmental where she celebrates the art and craft of production design.

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