Raised by Wolves

In 2018 I briefly joined the team at Film Afrika outside Cape Town to work on the production Raised by Wolves, a new science fiction TV series for HBO Max directed and produced by Ridley Scott.

As a long-time science fiction and Scott fan, this was a dream opportunity. I was tasked with creating two of the spacecraft used in the series, both as digital models for visual effects, and as physical sets to be used for filming. In addition, I designed some furniture, laid out exterior sets and did some general design and fabrication management.

The design directive was to create vehicles inspired by handheld tools – specifically electric shavers. The spacecraft of the protagonist and antagonist were based respectively on the ergonomic Philishave, and older Braun models designed by Dieter Rahms. Many iterations were drawn, 3D printed, and then tested in the hand. The final ‘lander’ vehicle drew inspiration from Lamborghini concept cars of the late 90’s, tadpoles, and the Prius electric vehicle. These sets were created with many moving and removable parts, so that space for the crew to move around and film was always available.

The second vehicle I was responsible for was a modification of an existing aircraft chassis, abandoned for years in a Cape Town hanger – a Soviet made Hind/Mil Mi-24 ‘flying tank’ attack helicoper. The challenge was to strip and then add to this rolling chassis to create a vision of a futuristic attack craft. By researching current design trends in fighter jets, I arrived on a swept-wing design which took a speculative look at where Soviet design may have gone in another few decades.

In addition to the renowned personalities working in the design studios, I also had the opportunity to interact with very talented makers on the physical sets, and the privilege to see some of the best carpenters and contractors in the country improvising methods to bring complicated NURBS-based digital models to life in materials using ancient boat-building techniques.

 

Released: 2020

©HBO

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