Kave Quinn interview: ‘Pistol’ production designer
“I was actually a punk myself at the time, so I could really relate totally to the whole period,” reveals production designer Kave Quinn about designing with authenticity on the FX limited series “Pistol.” For our recent Q&A, Quinn adds “the whole look of it is based on that kind of very decayed look that London had at that time.” We talked with Quinn as part of Gold Derby’s special “Meet the Experts” Q&A event with 2022 Emmy Awards contenders. Watch our exclusive video interview above.
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FX’s limited series “Pistol” is written by Craig Pearce (“Moulin Rouge!”), inspired by front-man Steve Jones‘ 2016 memoir “Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol.” Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”) directed all six episodes of the series, telling the fascinating origin story of The Sex Pistols, the influential 1970s punk rock band credited as one of the most groundbreaking acts in the history of popular music, responsible for initiating the anarchic punk movement in the U.K. and inspiring many later punk and alternative rock musicians. The series’ ensemble cast includes Toby Wallace as Jones, Anson Boon as Johnny Rotten, Louis Partridge as Sid Vicious, Sydney Chandler as Chrissie Hynde and Emmy nominees Maisie Williams as Pamela Rooke and Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Malcolm McLaren.
“There’s a lot of pressure, but I’m quite lucky in some respects, because I lived through that era,” Quinn says when recalling the inspirations for the very specific looks and feel of the series. “But you know, if you go look around London for locations, It’s like any period film; you’re not going to get what you’re looking for. So you’re having to cover up, you’re having to build stuff on, you’re having to change it dramatically,” she says. “It is set against England in the early 1970s, which was still, even though it sounds incredible, recoiling from the effect of the Second World War, where London was full of bomb sites,” Quinn explains. “There hadn’t been any rebuilding, there wasn’t any regeneration, we were struggling in the mid-seventies in a recession. So, you had loads of these building sites that were corrugated up. Not even building sites, just bombed areas of London with corrugated iron, and it just felt like, you know, the, the whole of our country is kind of disintegrating a bit.”