“We also shot with ARRI master anamorphic lenses,” Hawkins explained, “which is something I’ve not done before on fast turnaround TV.”
Dean Thomas at Imagezone supplied the gear, and Stipsen was the only DP for the series, although the production used a second unit for scheduling purposes, with Kevin Riley and Don Cavill doing those honours.
“We ended up with a lot of sets,” Hawkins said. “Designer Tracey Collins insisted we put ceilings on them. You can only light from the the floor or windows.”
“Having ceilings on the sets helped it feel more real,” Cotton said, “even if you’re just catch glimpses of a beam or a light fitting.”
Collins also pushed a restrained colour-palette, much of which (give or take the orange jumpsuits) was more muted than a lot of shows, including Filthy Rich, currently use.
“We did a lot of testing to establish different colours for the different spaces,” Cotton said. “Mostly we were able to keep things natural but push them a bit. Some of the sets like the office – which wasn’t actually a set – we made a bit uncomfortable, using a faint bleed of green.”
Hawkins noted that Images & Sound did great work on the post, some of which didn’t go in the order planned. “Grant and Steve are great at collaborating creatively. At TVNZ Kathleen Anderson was very supportive.”
“Some of it moved very quickly,” Steve Finnigan said, “with the network approving material without many notes.”