Ahoy, Emmy voters: Consider the production design of ‘Black Sails’

BAFTA-nominated production designer Wolf Kroeger has worked in film for the last four decades, but now is eligible for the Emmys after signing on with the Starz network for new series “Black Sails.”

In his chat with Gold Derby, Kroeger explained that he relished the opportunity to work on a pirate drama and credits the increasing quality of television shows with his change of medium.

“Since it was a TV show and I wasn’t used to it, I thought the best way to do this was to approach it like a movie,” Kroger explained. “Most of the differences are, maybe, you have more time on a movie, you have more money, but then you never have enough time or money anyway.”

The big project for the first season was a massive pirate ship — the largest one of Kroeger’s career — that was actually two ships behind the scenes and which were built from scratch. For logistical filming purposes, Kroeger said, “The reason of the size was because of the big fight sequences. Usually, pirate ships are smaller. Pirate ships were normal ships captured by pirates.”

Another undertaking was the construction of the TV series’ main beach. Despite shooting in South Africa, Kroeger explained that for environmental, safety, financial and logistical reasons, they brought in sand, a water tank and green screens to make their own beach. For Kroeger, “This was all a big challenge, but it was exciting.” He added, “I hate to go on location because it is usually boring for me.”

Kroeger is now at work on the second season. “It’s bigger than the first one,” he teased.
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