*New* Jon Gary Steele’s Interview With Yahoo ***1×12 Spoilers***   1 comment


After the jump for 1×12 Spoilers

From Yahoo

Given the importance Lallybroch plays in the plot and character development — and that executive producer Ronald D. Moore is a “stickler” for an era-appropriate look — production designer Jon Gary Steele was not immune to pressure either when the Outlander team began the search in June 2013 for a 1700s structure in Scotland that could stand in for it.

“And don’t forget about the fans that have read the book 20,000 times [who have] their own opinions in their minds about what it should look like,” Steele tells Yahoo TV. “We wanted to find something that was period correct and that would be reminiscent [of what was in the books]. As soon as they saw it, they would go, ‘Oh, that’s it.’ It was not an easy task. First, there aren’t that many buildings left that aren’t on the National Historic Register. Those are the most well-preserved, but they are also really, really strict about what you can and can’t do during filming. Like you can’t have real flames, which I understand, but it makes shooting more difficult. The hardest part is finding something that was 18th century or older but not covered with modern details like additions or paved driveways. We’d see great places, but they were right next to something that’s horrible like a road. Also, a lot of buildings in that period are white-washed, and I didn’t like that look for the screen.”

They eventually found and settled on Midhope Castle, a property close to Edinburgh built in the 15th century. “We wanted a place that looks like a nice home, not a castle. It’s big, not huge. Compared to Castle Doune, which is our Leoch exterior, it’s much smaller in proportion. The main house is on an estate with several other buildings and a thousand acres. It had a nice archway of trees, a big enough courtyard to put blacksmiths, tanners, and animals — as it is basically a working farm. I saw it in the distance and went, ‘That’s it. This is awesome.’ Luckily, Ron loved it.”

As it had fallen into disrepair, there was a lot of work to be done to make it ready for its close-up. “We came in with construction, paint and plaster people, and greensmen to clean it up and make it look more like a working home of that era,” Steele explains. “We replaced all the doors and windows. Anything we didn’t see on camera, we didn’t waste money on fixing it. We brought in cobbles of our own, [uncovered] cobbles underneath, and swept back tons of dirt. Then we brought in tons of greens and animals. There’s always chickens roaming around.”

The interiors of the privately-owned property (and therefore not available to tour or trespass around) were “bombed out “ beyond repair. “It had been damaged by fire some 70 years ago and the interiors were unusable. We probably would have built it on stages anyway so we’d need less time on location,” Steele says. “Quite a few generations have lived at Lallybroch, so its interiors needed to feel less utilitarian than Leoch and a lot warmer, more comfortable. Leoch is about Colum’s power, and it is filled with people who live and work there. All the tables were wooden with no pads on the benches deliberately. At Lallybroch, everything’s upholstered. We had couches, chairs, and beds built. It’s inviting. Jamie is trying to get back here since he was introduced, so it needed to make the audience go, ‘Oh, that’s why he wanted to come home. He wants to hang out by the fire, have a glass of port, and talk.”

The fireplaces are just one of his favorite elements. “One big room where you could sit at one fireplace and see all the way to the other end’s fireplace when the double doors were open was the concept I pitched to Ron,” Steele says. “Like a giant parlor. Made it intimate, homey.”

When pressed to pick his favorite design detail, he admits, without hesitation, it’s the wraparound staircase. ”I spent a lot of money on the staircase wrapped around an open, four-sided fireplace. The construction coordinator hated me for that,” he says. “We’re always arguing. Why do I want them to be able to shoot from any angle and still see flames and people going up? I was trying to give as much depth to the space and give the director something to shoot through. You’re always arguing with the construction, like, ‘Why do you always have a second story? Why do we have to have columns?’ But who wants to just shoot in a square room?”

Read the full interview at the source here

Posted April 25, 2015 by justfp in Interviews, Outlander

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One response to “*New* Jon Gary Steele’s Interview With Yahoo ***1×12 Spoilers***

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  1. Mr Steele flawlessly accomplished a mammoth job with his production designs using his selected locations. So perfect, believable and seamless. Award worthy. I get so totally there at times, that when the hour is up I look around my living-room blinking and for a split second am surprised. So much talent gathered on one deserving project and produced submerged in the magic of Scotland. Perfection. I must see for myself and will go in July to inhale the rare air for myself and thank the gifts given by the Outlander talented team for the inspiration to choose a trip there for my 70th birthday.

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