Production designer Lucie Red describes her most recent project, Leo Leigh’s feature Sweet Sue, as the most “collaborative and immersive” experience she has had to date.
The screenplay, about a woman who falls for a new man at her brother’s funeral, was written through six weeks of rehearsal with the actors — a process in which Red was involved. “I was sitting in with the cast and building all these character profiles, speaking to them about what they would have in their worlds and the tiny details of their backstories, which I could then build on with the design,” she says. “The ideas just keep flowing, it was such a powerful way of working.”
Also in 2021, Red designed an upcoming still-untitled feature for filmmaker Alastair Siddons — an altogether different prospect as it is set entirely within the confines of a shopping channel. While she cannot go into too much detail at this stage, Red describes it as a “hyperreal mind-meld on repeat — you don’t know if you’re in the character’s imagination, or if things are really happening. It’s all about repetition — the same colours, the same motifs that get smaller and smaller.”
In the decade since graduating from Bristol’s University of the West of England with a BA in visual culture and an MA in fine art, Red has worked on an eclectic variety of commercials, shorts and features including Molly Manning Walker’s cancer drama The Forgotten C (2020) and Simon Bird’s Days Of The Bagnold Summer (2019). “I always want to be challenged,” she says. “I used to think I wanted to be a lecturer or a teacher, and I realised I get excited by making other people excited by what they’re seeing. I’m trying to push that as far as I can.”
Currently in pre-production on a feature with SpectreVision (which produced Panos Cosmatos’ Mandy), Red is happy with where her hard work is taking her. “Being so creatively diverse, I don’t feel like I’ve been put into just one category,” she says. “I can do hyperreal, I can do serious narrative, I can do comedy. I can’t wait to see what the next few years bring.”
Contact: Lee Hickman, Wizzo & Co