David J. Bomba Interview: ‘Ozark’ production designer

“Ozark” has a signature blue esthetic, but David J. Bomba looked to upend “the look of the show” when he took over as production designer, noting in his exclusive interview with Gold Derby (watch the video above) that this was largely what sold him on joining the Jason Bateman vehicle in its third season after a career in film. Bomba says about undertaking the set of the titular Missouri Belle riverboat casino, “Specifically, I asked him, ‘Are we going that blue-cyan color with this?’ And he said, ‘Absolutely not, I want to introduce a new element. This is supposed to be brand new construction, brand new casino, so let’s introduce a pretty strong contrast, palette-wise.’ So we went with a red and a gold theme for the color and the palette.”

“Ozark” has been nominated for both previous seasons that have contended at the Emmys in the Best Contemporary Production Design category. Bomba is leaning toward the season premiere and the fourth episode as his submissions for consideration. The former “Wartime” installment showcases the new casino set; the latter “Boss Fight” installment explores the season’s other major new set, with the estate of cartel drug lord Omar Navarro. Bomba reveals about differentiating that compound within the show, “When I scouted Mexico, the areas that resonated to me and I thought would contrast well to the blue and the moisture and the lake of the Ozarks was something that was brown and dry, so the Navarro world is contrasted drastically in palette, in tan and brown earth tones compared to the blue and the cyan.”

Asked about Easter eggs for viewers to look for as they repeat their binges on Netflix, Bomba notes about a farm stand in the climactic “Fire Pink” penultimate episode, “This roadside market was done as an homage to my younger sister. It’s called Amy’s Roadside Market and I did that for my younger sister, who isn’t with us anymore, who maybe will get to see ‘Ozark’ when she’s up in the clouds.”

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UPLOADED May 29, 2020 1:29 pm