Dressing a set involves imagination, organisation and a lot of hard work, but it's all worth it when the client's eyes widen with astonishment. Transforming a derelict castle in the Irish countryside into a setting for a sumptuous Venetian masked ball; creating a magical chapel setting for an outdoor wedding; helping decorate sets for period pieces such as The Terror, Little Women, Mary Shelley, Ripper Street and Penny Dreadful (winning a BAFTA) ; countless TV commercials and feature films. I've experienced a lot in my 20+ years in Set Decoration and Production Design and I'm always interested in the next chapter. I'm available for project work as a set decorator, set dresser and production designer in Ireland or abroad. I'm also keen to work on more once-off events and help create magical once-off experiences. I'm always on the look out for a challenge that will knock the socks off a client.Locked Pro Plan feature
I am currently working as a set decorator and buyer in the TV industry having just completed season three of Ripper Street as set decorator and I have worked on all three seasons of Penny Dreadful for Showtime. I have also designed opulent parties and weddings for private and corporate clients.
3-part period drama, Ireland. I decorated this much loved television classic for the BBC. It is a 3-part mini-series set in Concorde, Massachusetts. As Set Decorator, one of my tasks was to ensure that the subtle differences between Victorian America and Victorian Britain were observed. The timeline is set over three years, with scheduling in and out of seasons, so snowing up entire sets overnight to ensure a new season could be delivered the very next morning was commonplace. This job involved coordination of buyers both in Ireland and London, budget control, model makes, graphics, etc.
This ten-part period drama is based on two Royal Navy explorer ships in the Arctic, set in 1845. The ships were built to scale in studio, which had to furnished with all the correct period detail and nuances of the nautical theme. With a team of approximately 60 crew in set decoration, I managed all the workshops that produced the various elements to complete the design of the show. This production was shot in Budapest and Croatia, which meant having to coordinate moving large set decoration elements, such as an entire Royal Navy camp and an Inuit village, both of which were made by the Set Decoration department. We also shot various London interiors on location in Budapest. Hence, I coordinated all the London prop hires too.
I set decorated this period feature film shot in Ireland and Luxembourg in early 2016. This story about Mary Shelley and how she came to write ‘Frankenstein’ was an exciting opportunity to rediscover the early part of the 18th century in London, Scotland and Lake Geneva. Working closely with designer Paki Smith, this project called on my many skills in set decoration, prop design, managing a dressing team and the coordination and continuity of working in two different countries.
I came onboard season three of this Victorian drama series as set decorator. Ripper Street is based on a very fast paced formula telling an entire story each episode. This made the project challenging and exciting to work on as the quick pace ensured we were always prepared as a team for the episode ahead. I worked very closely with the designer on this project often designing props that were key to specific scenes and helping to realise the overall look of the production.
I have worked as production buyer/set dresser on the multi BAFTA (including best set decoration) winning TV series Penny Dreadful for Showtime TV. As I was onboard this period drama from the outset, I was able to put to use my many creative skills in set decoration which resulted in me decorating many of the key sets for all three seasons. Dressing such large sets involves coordination of several departments. I was key in this area often being model makers, drapes and construction etc on ideas to enhance the overall aesthetic of the sets.
My brief on The Movie Show, a weekly TV show, was to provide a set that was modular i.e. needs to be stuck after each broadcast, something that was modern and eye catching and of course something that was on budget. I ticked all the boxes and this show ran for a very successful season on Irish National Television.
For two years, running I production managed Brighter Futures on behalf of St. Patrick’s Festival. This involved coordinating 600 transition year students from across the city in a one-o street pageant. My brief as production manager was to oversee the set build with the design department and turn a disused dilapidated warehouse into a comfortable workshop and rehearsal space. I was also responsible for scheduling rehearsals, budget control, transport of the set pieces and health & safety.
As part of Ireland’s EU Presidency in 2004, I production managed the EU Day of Welcomes in Drogheda, Co. Louth. This project was based around the premise of a one day regional arts festival to welcome Latvia to the European Union. For this project I was deeply involved with the regional arts office, the Gardai, media and with the town council. A full table of events was scheduled, which included a visual arts programme and several events which involved closing down streets to accommodate a tented village, a marquee-turned-theatre and the public lighting of several of the town’s monuments. This event was a huge profile heightening exercise for the regional arts office. A follow on arts festival has since emerged from this event and runs annually on the June bank holiday weekend. I also production managed this event which included a fireworks display over the river Boyne accompanied by a special sound track broadcast live on radio.
Film and Television Production
Part of a team lead by Jonathan Mckinstry and Phillip Murphy, awarded the BAFTA Television Craft Award for Production Design 2015 for Penny Dreadful. http://awards.bafta.org/award/2015/tvcraft/production-design