Liam Young proposes that this session of the Fear & Wonder symposium involves making sense of making the natural world through stories.
Patti Podesta (at 1:31) discusses her work as production designer for American Gods (2017- ), stressing the challenge of worldbuilding in a project that—following Neil Gaiman’s 2001 novel—employs discontinuity and subjectivity. Podesta presented several clips that are not included in this video.
Costume designer Ane Crabtree (at 23:31) discusses with Liam Young her work on Handmaid’s Tale (2017- ). She describes being overwhelmed by Margaret Atwood’s novel years ago, and again being overwhelmed by working on the series, and its eerie mirroring of contemporary reality. She characterizes the challenge as imagining a world redesigned by an egotistical madman—without offering the comfort of being set in distant time or place.
Jimmi Simpson (at 47:30) discusses his portrayal of William in Westworld (2016- ). He characterizes the worldbuilding effect as a result of a collaboration starting with the writer, through director, costume and set designers, and actors and ending with the editor. He stresses that this collaboration of creative visionaries is necessarily to best the imagination of the most imaginative viewer. Ane Crabtree notes that both Handmaid’s Tale and Westworld engage disturbing dystopian worlds by focusing on specific human stories.
Please note: Game designer David O’Reilly’s presentation in this session was not taped.