Afterparty: Apple TV’s Versatile Production Design +

Production designer Bruce Hill discusses the challenges of creating a set that can thrive in any genre.

One of the main characters of Apple TV+’s “The Afterparty” creates escape rooms for a living, but the show itself is designed as an elaborate puzzle box that can aid in diving into the Very different genres like action adventure from black and -white. The show’s pretentiousness adds a dash of formal playfulness to its already hot whodunits. As Detective Danner (Tiffany Haddish) asks guests at a party after a high school reunion hosted by a classmate and a recently murdered celebrity (Dave Franco), each guest recounts their nights as a personal “mind drama”, with each episode using a different tone and focus. But the venue for each guest’s different recollections must more or less remain the same. IndieWire spoke to production designer Bruce Hill to ask how he came up with such a flexible Rubik’s Cube.

“It really took a lot of coordination with the DP and costume designers, Carl Herse and Tracy Gigi Field,” says Hill. “We had a set [that had] lots of recess lights and lots of cove lights, and all of those cove lights are digital. All are LEDs. And so you can turn it into any light temperature and color, you know, all these different variables that you can use to help control the look. “The flexibility of that interface comes into play in the first four episodes of the series, bringing in much of the spirit of modern romantic comedies, psychological thrillers, Bayhem action movies, and official musicals.


Ben Schwartz in “The Afterparty”

Courtesy of Apple +

A lot of yeoman’s work is done with light, as the warm tones of the rom-com give way to a deep blue glow (one might even say Green Steel a) for action people, with choreographed focal points of musical numbers to a much more unsaturated color palette for thrillers. But the film is also pulling its weight, as Hill added subtle touches that helped accentuate the week’s genre. “When we were in the rom-com, we leaned in that direction. And so we’re going to wear more flowers and we’re going to wear them in a variety of colors, so to coordinate as best we can, we can define each episode and each of these stories.”

It was important to Hill that the architecture of the house itself supported the variety of pretentious tones and genres at the base of the series. That created an additional challenge when it came to designing the interior to shoot on stage and match the exterior location for Xavier. Monday home on the coast. “We had to start designing the inside before actually locking the outside, which was a bit stressful, but in the end we came across Sunset Plaza House, designed by Belzberg architects and that It’s a great, beautiful location,” said Hill. “When we finally figured out which house it was, we had to match the exterior entrance to our interior. There was a reflective pool and some stairs and planters that we had to put out there, but it was tied up beautifully.”


Zoe Chao in “The Afterparty”

Courtesy of Apple +

But the look and feel also had to change dramatically, as shooting schedules often combine different episodes on the same day of shooting – hence the need to create zones within the same living room space that could support different scenes. Different feel for different episodes. For example, the open plan kitchen looks idyllic and intimate in Aniq’s (Sam Richardson) episode, supporting his quest to confess his love for Zoe (Zoe Chao), but with long lines and nooks and crannies. of it, Walt (Jamie Demetriou)) can abruptly interrupt the conversation in the same place in the horror episode.

Both the Hill-designed interior and the exterior share the same lines and angles, as well as different levels that allow the characters to eavesdrop and spy. Just as “The Afterparty” is playing with different character perspectives and tones, the film supports this by creating a space with plenty of room for multiple perspectives.


Ike Barinholtz, Ilana Glazer and Tiffany Haddish in “The Afterparty”

Courtesy of Apple +

Manager Christopher Miller very ingenious in the way he kept the corners of the living room open-plan to get the most out of them, and even completely kept certain areas of the house out so they could appear. fresh for a particular bravura sequence – such as the poolside where Yasper (Ben Schwartz)’s soulful ballad “Three Dots From Stardom” begins in Episode 3, or the side cabin filled with soothingly creepy goods that detectives discover in Episode 4.

“We want to bring [the spaces] many levels and like [many] Hill said. “There are even all these different characters in different regions so you can see a lot [people as possible in one shot], you can still expand your horizons. “The variety and depth built into the series allows the show to return to the same place over and over again in new ways, and in even more ways in which the show will use its home before.” when the movie ended, Hill said, “I’m watching the movie now with an eye to see how things go. “But for a closer look, there are even other layers that exist.”

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Olly Dawes

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