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ZACK FILES was a popular children’s series for which I designed the standing sets and the overall visual conceptual approach, working with Producer John Delmage whom I had collaborated with on numerous previous productions (Groundling Marsh, BlobHeads, The New Ghostwriter). For each of the 3 seasons of Zack Files I would get the show on it’s feet with any upgrades or adjustments and then work only until the first episode had been shot. My excellent Art Department headed by the Art Director would effectively run the season’s episodes.  A non-union project, the Art Department team was an amazingly talented and fun group of collaborators and it was a juicy, design-heavy project. Rooted in the lightly psychic mysteries of Zack’s world the stories took place primarily within Horace Hyde, his neo-Gothic private boy’s school, and his rambling apartment shared with his harried, journalist single-dad.

Conceptual key words that guided the Visual approach:

Life is weird

Dark, mysterious, spooky, gothic

Urban but odd (Old, brick, gargoyles, turrets, dusty)

Interesting locations shot in unique ways

Throwback (to an older, less techno time)

Larger than life….Scale is important (small boy in Big Mysterious World)

Dramatic camera angles

Edward Hopper – non-primary colours, shadows, mood and tone

Stylized realism

Uncluttered

Signage and graphics pared down (eg. a Bank is simply called  “Bank”)