Movie Set Decor – Atonement

For about 15 years I’ve been in and out of the movie business and have had the honour of working on some amazing films in both production and set design. Because of this and living in Los Angeles, I go to a lot of screenings where I’m able to meet the directors and cinematographers, often pounding theme with questions from “how did you decide to set up that shot” to “where did your team get those fabrics?”

These are often the people that make me swoon for when the two come together in that amazing way I often find myself so lost in their visual story telling that I forget to pay attention to the plot – which may or may not be a good thing depending on the film! But recently I saw Atonement and – even through grim scenes – was just mesmerized by how visually stunning it was (and the use of green. If you’ve been reading this blog you know I’m a smitten kitten for that colour).

There are two interesting articles on the film’s design. The first is the story of the actual Tallis Home, Stokesay Court; how a woman inherited it and was drowning in its debt until Joe Wright wanted to use it for this film. The second comes from Focus Features site on how they created all the scenes based on historical photos and evidence.

Both articles were fascinating to me and made me wish this was one film I’d worked on because then perhaps I would have paid more attention to the plot…

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