DEFINITION June 2019

GOOD OMENS | DRAMA

Heaven occupies the best penthouse offices, while Hell is stuck in a mouldy basement

Crowley, representatives of good and evil, who have decided the upcoming apocalypse is a bad idea, not only for humanity but for their own comfy lives on Earth. To stop it, they need to find the Antichrist, an 11-year-old boy named Adam, who they have misplaced at birth. (Did we mention that Good Omens is a black comedy?) “Each era had a different design treatment, obviously in the case of costume and production design, but also in the way that we shot each scene and the way in which they were lit. Neil had always imagined the scene in the church during the Blitz to be an homage to the film noir style of that time.” “Ancient Rome was given the patina of an Alma-Tadema oil painting; Elizabethan London was shot in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre; and the 1960s were shot in our Soho set, which was redressed with posters from that time. We also changed the lighting so that it used more neon and bare bulbs for the signage,” says Finney. Gaiman wanted Heaven and Hell to feel like two parts of the same celestial building, so Heaven occupied the best penthouse offices, and Hell was stuck in a damp, mouldy basement down below, where nothing works properly. “We found a huge empty building for the Heaven set that had shiny metal flooring and white walls. I frosted all the windows and lit them from the outside using 77 Arri Skypanels linked to a dimmer, so that we could control the light over the day. We also used a Zeiss Rectilinear 8mm lens to make the space look even bigger,” says Finney. “The Hell set used a lot of old, slightly greenish fluorescent light fittings, some

of what he was getting into. “I came onto the show quite late in the day – I was on a plane to Cape Town one day after getting the job – so research was on the hoof, with many grabbed meetings between myself, the director, Douglas Mackinnon, and the designer, Michael Ralph.” He continues, “Ralph had already started design drawings and those were a starting point for everything else.” Gaiman had strong visual ideas for the series by this point, but it didn’t make for a strict retelling of the novel; liberties had to be taken to elevate the narrative. Crowley gets a completely original 30-minute backstory at the beginning of episode three, and Shakespeare, who only has a small citing in the novel, gets an entire sequence shot at London’s Globe Theatre. The story moves through different eras in time to tell the tale of Aziraphale and

IMAGES Different looks from the story’s many eras and locations needed to gel successfully

JUNE 20 1 9 | DEF I N I T ION 43

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