Centuries into a dystopian future, humans have lost the sense of sight. Chieftain of the Alkenny tribe Baba Voss [Jason Momoa] and his people have adapted by enhanced use of their other senses and organization of their villages.
The Alkenny are known for their rope-making skills. Thus, the lashed structures and furniture and the guidelines through the village. The tendril-like frayed pieces not only show the age of the settlement, but also serve as tangible guides, touching the tallest of the villagers on their heads, enabling them to keep on course. Others use their staffs to occasionally tap the ropes above to assure they’re on track...
Seeking safe passage for his people, Baba Voss [Jason Momoa] reads a knotted message left by Jerlamarel, a mysterious person helping them. The hanging wind chimes give sound clues to help him find the messages along the way. The staffs that the tribespeople carry help navigate the rough landscape...
Repurposing is a way of life. Here, roof tiles are made of rubber tires, one of the items that remained over the centuries...
Set Decorator Sandy Walker SDSA recalls, “We searched the internet to find out what objects actually will survive a couple of centuries in the future. The disturbing thing is that the number one thing that would survive forever is diapers! And the second is plastics...” Click on the video for much more about their discoveries! Photo Courtesy of Apple.
One of the guidelines goes directly from the village center square to Baba Voss’s cottage. These roofs are made of birchbark, not as decorative as the crosshatching & tread marks on the tire-shingles, but very functional, and fairly easily resourced by the villagers when needed...
The twins are no longer newborns! They are anomalies, born with sight... Baba Voss is actually their adoptive father...but the family keeps their sightedness a secret as they would be considered witches and killed...
Note what once was the hood of a car is now used as a fire heat reflector to protect the woven twig wall.
Nesta Cooper as Haniwa, Archi Madekwe as Kofun. Photo Courtesy of Apple.
Baba Voss [Jason Momoa] heads out on a trek to meet with another tribe. Note the ropes skimming his head...
Sandy tells us, “Associate Producer/Blindness Consultant Joe Strechay was invaluable, not only for the actors, but also for set dec and props, in helping us build a world for a blind community... I would have Joe and his team come down to our set dec lock up and workshop and test the items to see if they were actually practical for a blind person to use...”
Click on the video below for a great story about this!
Prayer wheels were made to catch the wind...and to lure unsuspecting visitors into the labyrinth trap! The walls contained bales that weighed as much as 500 pounds. At the opposite end of the scale were these individual prayer wheels...and so much more detailing...
Click on the video below for fascinating tales about this...and the weather’s effect!!!
The royal “palace” of the Payan kingdom is an ancient hydroelectric plant/dam, still in limited use, most of the equipment now derelict.
The massive turbine room and other areas were created within an old pulp mill plant that was in the process of being demolished. Sandy smiles, “We just loved all the pipe and conduit and structures that had degraded...it was perfect architecture for the background of that room...”
Production Designer Caroline Hanania envisioned the queen as like a bird in a cage, so Sandy had her team create a nest of colored electrical wire and a fur pelt blanket nestled in a 12-foot salvaged satellite dish!
The production of silk... Joe Strechay again gave deep consultation, this time re: the silk-making equipment being appropriate for a blind society who would have created it, as well as used it. He then taught the extras and key actors how to properly use each piece of equipment and do the required tasks...
A virus has decimated humankind. Those who survived emerged blind. Jason Momoa stars as the father of twins born centuries later with the mythic ability to see—who must protect his tribe against a threatened queen. –AppleTV+
Several centuries after a viral apocalypse, the world has been rebuilding itself, both Nature and the peoples of the world, who are gathered in tribes defined by their environments and their adaptations to and of them.
Producer Peter Chernin points out, “Gradually television has been trying to do a better job of reflecting the world, and yet we see very few visually-impaired people on screen.” Many sight-impaired actors were hired to ensure accuracy and inclusivity. Here, although the tribes are very different in how they’ve adapted, they all share the commonality of not having sight, and that not being an impediment.
Production Designer Caroline Hanania and Set Decorator Sandy Walker SDSA were tasked with representing that visually with the sets depicting the way of life for each of the unique tribes, in which they incorporated the repurposing of objects that would still be around hundreds of years in our future...in ways that blind cultures would develop!
Sandy emphasizes that the collaboration with all the teams in this production was key, as there was so much crossover, particularly in that juxtaposition of creativity and practicality.
She notes, “The expertise and perspective of Associate Producer/Blindness Consultant Joe Strechay was invaluable, not only for the actors, in how to move and react, but also for set dec and props, for building the world, helping us create the world.”
Joe points out, “Any time you lose a sense, you start to focus on your other senses and will start to pick up information in a different way.”
Sandy recalls, “I would have Joe and his team come down to our set dec lock-up and workshop and test the items that we built to see if they were actually practical for a blind person...”
She smiles, “Often, it turned out they were not!”
Click on the video for great stories about this and the adaptations Sandy and her team made!
Check out the gallery above for details of some of the amazing sets...as well as insights as to the choices Sandy and her teams made...for instance, knots serve as a written language, knotted ropes and strings give information and tell stories.
It was a fascinating experience for all.
We know you will enjoy!
Karen Burg, Editor