'True Blood''s pleasure palace
Why should vampires get to have all the fun? The rogue faeries of ''True Blood'' finally got a place to call their own when a sexy circus-themed nightclub opened its doors this season. Production designer Suzuki Ingerslev shows us the mix of bought, borrowed, and custom-made props that set the stage for supernatural debauchery.
Set decorator Ron V. Franco found the classic carousel horse in the Warner Bros. property department. ”There’s something odd about it when taken out of context,” Ingerslev says. ”It’s an homage to one of our favorite directors, David Lynch.”
Grotesque visages framing the doorways have special meaning to Ingerslev. ”They’re a reference to season 4, when the faeries turned into goblins,” she says of the custom art. ”The face is the thing I’m most proud of, even if the audience doesn’t get it.”
Inspired by the imagery on a vintage circus cart, Ingerslev hired a sculptor to carve two 8-foot-long lion figures. ”I was looking for something that would balance out the faces and the stage but also bring in more of a whimsical feel,” she explains.
”We try to incorporate as much lighting as possible…. It gives the set more depth,” says Ingerslev. ”These sconces are my personal favorites.” Edison bulbs frame the stage to produce a halo effect, while table lamps help illuminate the actors’ faces.
”We wanted to create pockets of seating to give the set some flexibility,” Ingerslev says of using ottomans and silk-covered poufs that can be easily moved. ”This room could be turned into a living space to further the story. You don’t want to box yourself in.”
An arched doorway, brass wall art, and a glass pendant lamp from Badia Design provide ambience to a room that Ingerslev hints could be used for some steamy scenes. ”[They] bring in a layer of harem decor to add sensuality,” she says of the exotic accents.
”Most of the other [True Blood] sets are desaturated with pops of color, but this one had to really be done in jewel tones,” Ingerslev says. ”It’s a fun, festive, crazy world.” Silk pillows from Jamie Young and Pier 1 Imports liven up a silver Indian bench.