In conversation with Joel Collins, a production designer for television drama, feature films and commercials, and currently head of the department on His Dark Materials.
Most recently, he brought his quirky aesthetic to Adult Material, Channel 4’s drama set in the porn industry.
What is the production designer’s job?
Visualising the script and creating a world for the story to take place in. I set the mood and the tone for the look. The production designer is responsible for everything you see on screen, from a table dressing to the choice of landscape and everything in between: rooms, vehicles, special effects and stunts.
So, everything starts with the script?
Since graduating with a degree in Theatre Design from Nottingham Trent university, Tuxford has gone on to work for shows including Last Tango in Halifax, Life on Mars and Channel 4 comedy Cardinal Burns.
The job of a production designer, she says, is far-reaching. From finding locations for the shoot, deciding on the visual tone of the piece, and managing the design budget, “you have your eyes all over it.”
“Ultimately you are responsible for every design decision and every visual decision, so the buck stops with you.”