EXCERPT: For a magical masked ball scene in the great hall, Merifield fashioned a forest of dressed trees, transforming warriors’ shields into footlights using candles and antlers. “We didn’t want it to become a film about the naked flame and candlelight,” says the designer, who aimed to distort the source of the flame through materials like parchment or, in Mary’s world, reflection off natural pearlescent shell. Such fine-tuned details serve to visually separate these opposing feminine forces as the tale unravels. Says Merifield of these boldly divergent displays: “We weren’t ever trying to shock an audience. Everything always stemmed from character.”
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