In this snippet, we chat with Alison Harvey, who is in charge of sourcing props for the set of The Crown.
Publish Date: Nov 24, 2020
I had the chance to speak with head set decorator Alison Harvey, who's been sourcing props for the crown from all over the world since season one. Alison, thank you so much for joining me today. Do you mind? Set off explaining what the rule of ah, a set decorated designer is. So we were I and the team start off by talking to Martin Designer. Yeah, right at the beginning of the season and having a chat through the field. He'll have some kind of key references, maybe some film stills or something that he may be discussed with the directors on. Then we in the department of inhabit the spaces that are chosen, so we flesh out what is on the page and then what is unspoken in the script. So it's to try and bring the life Andi soul to a space and create an environment where the actor feels they can do their best work so well, Dress the drapery, the carpets, the things they pick up, the things in the drawers, the perfume they wear come to really use. Yeah, just everything that you know, we do the animals to do guns. We do everything that isn't sort of solid and isn't an actor. Yeah, so it's It's kind of their world, really, And that encompasses both sets that are built studios, but then also real locations as well, which I imagine that you have to go in. There's a lot of big grand houses that are used, but I imagine you have Thio design them and dress those on top of what's already there, all because we have to be era specific. So e In the beginning, we did a big room off references from each year. And then you see how the color the color palettes change, how the tastes change. So, you know, we've been for the 50 through now to the early nineties. And so how different colors in vogue, different patterns in vogue And then you get a sort of sense at a glance, which you then try and inhabit yourself is what feels right. What feels eighties, what feels seventies on, where those characters would sit within that decade and whether, said Princess Margaret kind of got pretty locked into the late sixties seventies. That was her big heyday here, but Diana is much more off that eighties moment and she being such younger. We're trying to get that between her and Charles and give her a space that but more girlish, more naive, just a bit more vulnerable. I suppose when we have C photographs off the rial queen site in a situ on, you know that that's going to be filmed, that that room is gonna be fun. Do you try and replicate as much as possible? What's being captured? Yes, its essence off. So it's It's the right period. Furniture is the right flavor, so different palaces have different identities. So sanding will b'more relaxed Bill moral, more baronial and more because Queen Victoria sort of furnished those later. But then you got winds, which is a bit more Victorian, but bucking Palace is a bit more French. You mentioned ball moral on Episode two very much focuses on Balmoral. There's a big character in that episode. I don't think I've seen that much footage, so to speak off inside ball model. It feels like this. It's a place that Avery they keep very private. Does that allow you more creative control in terms of creating what you imagine it to be like inside, and I think we went back to the Queen Victoria when there are sort of stills and again I said, guess extrapolate from that, that not that much would have bean changed. It just falls apart around them slightly. I think so. I mean, we did bring in a lot of tartan because we know that that's there is a lot of time, actually for Riel s. So it looks a bit like if we didn't know that you would possibly shy away from that. I think it was too obvious as a sort of statement. But the carpets, a tart s so amazing. This stag is a big emblem on and has gone iconic position within this episode as well. Can you talk a little bit about recreating that and how that was done? The whole kind of excitement around the breakfast table in the morning is it's a 14 point stag, which is the oldest, most prized stag. So they're rare. So obviously we couldn't necessarily five, but the stag had been several kind of permutations had to be dead caped in action, where they take the skin off to mount the head had to be presented as a trophy on the wall already stuffed on. Then it also had to be lifted ble and movable by actors from a pony. So we had various configurations of this. We found an antique stag's head that we then had to remove the antlers from because that was the 14 point stag. So we had a pair of 14 point antlers, which then had to basically screw onto fake or live dead deer. So we had to cut that with the footage. They shot off the rial stalking scene, which then visual effects had to superimpose onto the live, which is because the live footage didn't have a 14 point antler. So there's sort of this kind of melding made off. There must have been sort of two prosthetics, one kind of green cut out that looked like the shape of a stag, that the visual effects could pin their their effects too. One that was part of the estate coal. There was a dead freshly killed stag, but that didn't have the right antlers. So let me have toe well, screw these antlers basically to various stags in, you know, in various states. So I mean, it's just complicated, and that's just one tiny thing we take so much for granted when we watch a scene