ADG Perspective

January-February 2018

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62 P E R S P E C T I V E | J A N UA RY / F E B R UA RY 2 0 1 8 A. Concept sketch of the train stranded on the viaduct, done in Photoshop by Randolph Watson. B. Plan and elevations for the salon car, drawn in Vectorworks by Will Coubrough. On arrival at the stage door of the Garrick Theatre, London, that Saturday morning in early spring 2016, my expectation was running high. I had wanted to work with Kenneth Branagh for as long as I could remember. At the time we were to meet, he was starring on stage in the John Osborne play The Entertainer, and was also in early prep for a new movie in which he would star and direct later that year. I admit my excitement was initially slightly tinged with trepidation—the script I had been sent was for a new movie of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. How was I going to make a design impact on this sedentary story set entirely in the confines of a train carriage—albeit on probably the most famous train in the world? Those fears were dispelled within a few minutes of that first meeting—Ken had a huge, cinematic vision for the movie. We set to work a couple of weeks later—was this going to be a road movie or a stage and backlot movie? I was passionately hoping for the latter, and so it turned out to be. Working with Ken, his producer Matthew Jenkins and his longtime cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos, we committed ourselves early to a stage and backlot scenario. The plan was to design and build our locomotive with four complete carriages with full interior and exterior, which could run on two or three kilometers of track in various exterior scenarios. Those four carriages would need full matching interiors with partial exteriors, which could be shot on stage with removable walls and ceilings. A

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