“We can utilize the real house or the set for whatever works best,” reveals production designer Naaman Marshall in his exclusive interview with Gold Derby about “Servant” on Apple TV+ (watch the video above). He continues, “The front of the house is an actual house in Philadelphia, the back of the house is an actual house in Philadelphia — two different locations and then what I did was build the interior and the exteriors of both those houses on stage.” The psychological thriller takes place almost entirely inside a Philadelphia brownstone townhouse and Marshall’s set differs from most in that it has functional appliances through a full electrical setup, as well as indoor plumbing.
Marshall explains, “It was a huge challenge in the beginning to build the house. We built it in nine weeks (four floors).” He breaks down some movie magic, “When they’re looking out the window, there’s two ways we do it. Sometimes, we’re on our set on stage and because I’ve actually built that street with the houses across, then we can park cars; we can drive cars on our set. We’ll sometimes get it there or if we’re shooting out the front door, we can get it and then if we go wider and have to look down the street, we go to location.”
A past Emmy Award nominee for the “Westworld” pilot, Marshall contends with “Servant” in the Best Half-Hour Production Design category this summer for the second season’s fourth episode. The installment titled “2:00” was directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Marshall justifies his submission, “The look of the show is so consistent for me, but I happen to like the episode that Night directed. It shows off the house the most and it has the most character.” It also features the attic set prominently, which did not feature in the debut season and which Marshall identifies as “the biggest build” for the second.
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