How the scenery for the series "Sherlock" was created
Categories: CinemaBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/how-the-scenery-for-the-series-sherlock-was-created.html
On the night of January 15-16, the fourth season of the British television series "Sherlock" ended. While the work of the screenwriters is being discussed in social networks and offices, and BBC Worldwide is investigating the leak of the final episode (again, Russian hackers are to blame!), let's see where it all started: how the Holmes and Watson apartment grew out of nothing in the film pavilion and what details the production designer filled it with.
(30 photos in total)
This is the production designer of the series Arvel Vin Jones. In addition to "Sherlock", he worked on the series "Doctor Who", "The Adventures of Sarah Jane", "The Guys from the bakery" and "Wizards vs Aliens".
Work on the decorations began in February 2016.
When the designers just started working on "Sherlock", Arvel Vin Jones gave them the main principle of the writers' work: the series is "an adventure in which the audience participates." The film crew set out to make the audience want to be in apartment 221-B on Baker Street and spend time with the main characters.
Initially, apartment 221-B was made in the Victorian style, but then it was decided to turn it into a modern London apartment — with wallpaper on the walls and interior items from the 1930s and 1940s. The creators of the series were actively looking for equivalents of items that are mentioned in the books about Sherlock.
In search of those very things, Vin Jones and his team combed the Internet, antique shops and second-hand bookstores. A new Sherlock chair would have cost thousands of pounds, but there was an old one on eBay that looked even better — a little worn out.
If it was possible to find only a new item, then it could be "aged".
In the Reichenbach Falls episode, Cumberbatch's character says, "You can put anything back in place, but not dust." Vin Jones laughs: "Of course, the dust can be put back in place. That's exactly what we're doing. I have a sprayer that is usually used for indoor flowers. A small light cloud of dust is blown out of it, which immediately settles."
In Apartment 221-B there are not only those books that could belong to Holmes and Watson: Vin Jones says that there are issues of the American magazine Reader's Digest on the shelves.
But since the pilot episode, many new books have been added to the original books. Vin Jones himself brought something from Edgar Poe. Mark Gatiss offered to fill Sherlock's room with books, and a whole series of detective novels appeared there. Cumberbatch asked for some of them, others related to the plot — for example, "Memoirs of a runner from Bow Street".
Arvel got so carried away with the design of "Sherlock" that he took his Leatherman knife to the set — Sherlock pins letters to the mantelpiece with it. The production designer himself had to buy a new knife.
For "Sherlock" Arvel was nominated for a 2011 BAFTA TV Award and an Emmy 2012. He won the 2011 BAFTA Cymru Award for the design of the Etude in Pink series.
Now in London, only the house number is indicated on the door, and the apartment numbers are applied to the doorbells. But since 221-B is an important part of Holmes' history, the creators have moved away from the modern numbering practice.
The furniture needs to be cleaned before filming.
Arvel says: "We wanted to erase the difference between the laboratory and the kitchen, because it costs Holmes nothing to boil a kettle and at the same time conduct an experiment with a severed arm — or to heat beans with a Bunsen burner.
The burner and the fireplace are connected to small gas cylinders, a special person is responsible for them.
The skull on the mantelpiece is made of plaster. For the "Dogs of Baskerville" series, a recess was made in it: John hid a pack of cigarettes there from Sherlock.
Most of all in Apartment 221-B, Arvel likes this bison head with headphones. The skull was bought online and covered with glossy black paint, and headphones were added spontaneously, at the last moment.
Before the start of filming, Arvel needs to sit alone in the finished room to make sure that the team has achieved the right atmosphere. What does he think about Apartment 221-B? "It's a cool place."
Sure, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman say they feel at home in these sets — but what about the actors who are there for the first time? According to Arvel, most of them are happy and excited: "I don't know how it affects their acting and the reactions they have to portray. But when they first enter, they are like children in a toy store!"