Cold Squad

COLD SQUAD was a popular Canadian television series that was produced out of Vancouver created by ex-cop Matt MacLeod and the seasoned producing team of Julia and Philip Keatley. Julie Stewart played a detective driven to solve the many unsolved cases filed away with great abandon in the bowels of the Police precinct.

I was hired for the start up of the 2nd season to create an expanded and more layered visual approach to the world of this story. This included making a clear, visual distinction between the renegade, and relegated Cold Squad offices–in the bowels of the precinct, with the relative glamour and elitism of the 2nd floor Homicide offices. The palette the Producers desired was rooted in the world of iconic cop shops—Barney Miller and NYPD – grey-blues, muted greens, shifting greys.

In addition to designing textured, believable and shootable studio environments for the series, the Producers wanted a range of sets that gave them a lot of variety and space to ‘walk-and-talk’. The West Wing was the show to emulate at the time, and the Cold Squad producers were inspired by the then-current and groundbreaking signature camera style. To this end I designed a series of hallways and pass-throughs that stylistically and through the palette could believably be part of the 2nd floor Homicide domain, or just as easily be an extension of the Basement offices of the Cold Squad Department. Stairs to nowhere connected the Cold Squad offices to the upper floors though in reality the entire studio was built on one level, in what had previously been an ice rink/sports arena.