The Favourite‘s Fiona Crombie and Alice Felton received their first Oscar nominations this morning — and one of 10 -for the period comedy — for Best Production Design. The two women who meticulously designed the sets, which were as impressive as the acting, have been working for years as a team and are currently in production on their fourth film together with David Michôd’s The King, scheduled for release in 2019. The two were also nominated for a BAFTA in the same category.
Working with a low budget and in heritage buildings created very challenging tasks when they were trying to create a world of extravagance. “It was a low budget film, and we basically had to create a world of privilege and luxury so the challenge for us was how to do that economically and make choices of where to spend our money,” Crombie told Deadline. “We had to try to give a richness to the film so we had to make smart choices about where to put our efforts. We had a tight color palette. We used gold fabric.” With the kind of cameras that were used, the color choice made that world come alive, she noted.
But working in historic buildings created another issue altogether. “We needed to modify and do construction in heritage buildings — so no nail guns,” she added. “Everything was all very carefully wedged. We needed to do significant work there but it was always under a watchful eye so we had to be very careful. Even about what and how we painted as there was someone always looking over our shoulder.”
She said of the nominations that at the time, she and Felton were lunching: “Alice and I together, we’ve been shrieking and shaking together.” And for the 10 nominations the film received? “Oh, there’s going to be a bit of a party tonight with some of the nominees!”