Aesthetic Realms: Creating TV Worlds

With thanks to our partner Pilot Light TV Festival, Aesthetic Realms was excited to launch it’s first two events as part of a new strand in the festival in May 2019 at HOME Manchester.

With the rise of ambitious television over the last two decades, TV’s form has developed from strength to strength in terms of production values with only the imagination (and sometimes, budget) as its limitation. Now, not only is it important to attract audiences with a strong narrative, TV shows that demonstrate strong audio-visual identities can create an emotive atmosphere and impact that creates a whole other level of enjoyment and emotional involvement for viewers. In this previous event we discussed what went into creating an aesthetic for a TV show and why it was just as important to create a unique audio-visual identity with a panel of industry professionals including award-winning production designers Grant Montgomery (Peaky Blinders S1 & 2, Tolkien, Gunpowder, The Limehouse Golem, Birdsong, Ghost Stories and the upcoming Jane Austen adaptation of Sanditon), Paul Cripps (Skins, The Missing, Bones, Merlin, Never Let Me Go, 24 Hour Party People) and Terry Ackland-Snow (Aliens, Batman, Labyrinth and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Author of The Art of Illusion: Production Design for Film and TV and Founder and Head Tutor of Film Design International based at Pinewood Studios). The event was chaired by Dr. Kirsty Fairclough, Associate Dean of the School of Arts and Media at the University of Salford.

Short Bios

Grant Montgomery has designed several high profile television dramas in recent years including: Gunpowder, directed by J Blakeson and starring Kit Harrington; To Walk Invisible, a biopic of the Brönte siblings directed by Sally Wainwright; series one and two of Peaky Blinders, directed by Tom Harper and Otto Bathurst respectively; Dancing on The Edge for Stephen Poliakoff; Birdsong, starring Eddie Redmayne, for Philip Martin; The Crimson Petal and the White for Marc Munden; and Worried About The Boy for Julian Jarrold. Films Grant has designed include the upcoming Tolkien, a biopic of the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings for Fox Searchlight, being directed by Dome Karukoski; The Limehouse Golem, directed by Juan Carlos Medina; and Ghost Stories, for directors and Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman. Grant received the award for Best Production Design (Drama) at the 2011 RTS Awards for his work on The Crimson Petal and the White and he was nominated again in 2014 for the first series of Peaky Blinders. His work on the latter series also earned him a nomination for Best Production Design at the 2014 BAFTA Craft Awards.

Paul Cripps is a Production Designer mainly working in high end TV drama and smaller budget British feature films.Originally from Oxford, Paul studied Theatre Design at Wimbledon College of Arts and then Production Design for Film and TV at the Royal College of Art, before beginning his career as an art director in entertainment, music, and childrens TV as well as news and sports. Paul then moved into scripted film and TV, art directing two major feature films Never Let Me Go and 24 Hour Party People before designing his first TV drama series; the teen drama As If for C4. Career highlights include Sugar Rush which won an International Emmy, two series of the highly rated The Missing and the final series of C4’s seminal series Skins. Paul is currently design consulting on an upcoming Netflix drama whilst also lecturing on production design on the Production Arts for Screen course at Wimbledon School of Arts part of the University of the Arts London as well as being visiting design lecturer at Goldsmiths University, University of West London, London College of Communication (UAL) and the London Film School.

Terry Ackland-Snow has worked for more than 50 years in the industry and on over 80 feature film and television productions. He has amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience all of which he applies to the Art Direction training courses at Film Design International at Pinewood Studios. Starting as Junior Draughtsman, he worked his way from junior positions up to Art Director, Supervising Art Director and finally Production Designer before deciding to set up Film Design International to give something back to the industry he is passionate about. He has been in the film and television industry working with some of the best Art Department technicians in the world. His impressive resume includes highly popular and award winning films and TV Series such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Superman II, Superman III, King David, Get Real, Batman, The Living Daylights and Aliens among others. Honours include:

  • An Honorary Doctor of Letters of the University of West London
  • On the panel of the British Film Designers Guild (BFDG) and previous Chairman
  • On the Board of Cine Guilds of Great Britain
  • Has been an adjudicator for BAFTA (Crafts Category)
  • An honorary member of The British Society of Cinematographers
Location: Event Space, HOME, Manchester
Date: Fri 17 May, 16:30
Ticket Information: £7 full / £5 conc

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