Jennifer Morden creates “aspirational” mid-century house for Fresh

by AryanArtnews
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Production designer Jennifer Morden created a mid-century home to reflect the glamorous and mysterious adversary personality of the comedy thriller movie “Fresh.”

Morden and her team created two separate sets in the studio to represent the film’s home, directed by Mimi Cave and filmed in British Columbia, Canada.

Fresh features a mid-century home belonging to cannibal Steve

The set was designed to depict the main floor and basement of a luxurious mid-century home that forms Steve’s secluded hideaway. It’s actually a psychotic butcher of human flesh.

“We wanted to do as much as we could to customize it,” Morden told Dezeen in a video call from Canada, explaining his decision not to use a real home for the project.

Fresh dining room
The dining room is on the top floor of the main floor

Fresh tells the story of Steve’s relationship with Noah. Noah makes him date easily and then lures him into his house. The characters are played by actors Sebastian Stan and Daisy Edgar-Jones, respectively.

“The choice to choose a mid-century style home was partly because it’s really popular right now,” Morden said.

“People loved the mid-century homes and they made a big comeback with modern design, which was also about Steve looking ambitious.”

Fresh wooden kitchen
The kitchen included a dark wood cabinet

On the screen, the rooms on the main floor of the house are what Morden called the “hierarchy of space” and are displayed at slightly different levels.

On the top floor you can see the dining room, a little below the kitchen, then the living room, and finally Steve’s bedroom.

Luxurious furniture such as Mario Bellini’s 1970s Camaleonda sofas and armchairs like Eames graced these spaces, countering the tougher accents such as dark wood cabinets and built-in concrete seats.

Fallopian tube basement
The curved basement informed by the fallopian tubes is capturing a woman

Another set representing the basement features a floating concrete staircase dug out of a rock, with a dungeon-like teak-lined corridor in a cell with a sunken bed in which a woman is captured. It’s getting off.

Steve’s operating room forms the bottom layer of the basement, where he harvests the flesh and body parts of the imprisoned woman.

“No matter where Steve looks in his relationship with the victims, he’s always at a higher level for them,” the production designer explained.

Operating room
Steve’s operating room is at the bottom of the basement

According to Morden, Steve’s house is intended to reflect his complex and powerful persona as the drama unfolds.

“I’m okay, everything we do was like having to include body parts with some ability. All artwork, all furniture, and how to design a corridor.”

Fresh Steve's bedroom
Images of body parts are repeated throughout the movie

To explain this idea, the production designer and her team put Michel Duqaloy’s “body chair” in Steve’s bedroom, and Morden said, “I really wanted to feel like a rib,” painted. I created a fake herringbone flooring from manual plywood.

The curved cave-like basement was informed by the fallopian tubes and designed to be Steve’s auditorium. This is a “crazy” idea that Morden proposed in an interview with the project.

Fresh living room
Abstract painting hides items belonging to Steve’s victims

The walls of the living room were painted with abstract paintings, which actually contained hair, teeth, and nails. In the early scenes, Noah studies the artwork when he gets home before taking medicine and being trapped.

It was later revealed that Steve hid the woman’s personal belongings captured behind the painting in a small box-shaped hole that reflected the basement below.

Wooden and concrete accents
The main floor and basement are accented with wood and concrete

“Mimi wanted to use the piece as a small Easter egg. [a term for hidden messages in a film] That’s what Noah first sees, and she’s drawn to it, “Moden recalls.

“The idea was that if we could pull everything back into the body parts, we could start creating subliminal messages for the story and foresee what would happen as much as possible.”

The production designer said it was important to have a visual connection between the main floor and the basement. This was partially achieved by adding wooden elements primarily to the concrete basement and mostly to the wooden main floor.

Eventually, cave and cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski came up with the idea of ​​adding a vibrant and humorous sunset mural to the walls of a woman’s cell.

According to Morden, the decision to incorporate colorful carpets became natural after this, linking the basement with Steve’s luxurious district.

Fresh sunset mural
A kitsch holiday-like mural has been added to the cell to reflect Steve’s unpleasant nature.

“What if the idea was to turn this space into a basement where Steve thought he was giving a gift to these people?” She explained with reference to Steve’s unpleasant and flashy personality.

“What if this misogyny unaware man uses the idea that he’s going to create a very comfortable room for the victim?” What does he put in there? “

Colored carpet in the cell
Women’s rooms have different colored carpets

Cinematically, Fresh has a warm, plump color palette of red and orange throughout, nodding to its graphic story.

“I think the biggest thing for me is telling people to find all the Easter eggs in the movie, especially around the body parts, there are so many repetitive images,” Morden said. Concluded.

Other recent movies and television shows featuring architecture-centric set design include the Oscar-winning The Power of the Dog and the BBC drama The Girl Before.

Image courtesy of Jennifer Morden.

Project credit:

directed by: Mimi Cave
Laurin Khan
Production designer: Jennifer Morden
Set decorator:
Stephanie Azimeria
Set designer: Peter Stratford and Amanda de Castro
Cinematographer: Pawel Pogorzelski

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