Magazine article Screen International

How 'Phantom Thread' Production Designer Mark Tildesley Nailed the Film's Intricate Details

Magazine article Screen International

How 'Phantom Thread' Production Designer Mark Tildesley Nailed the Film's Intricate Details

Article excerpt

Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film stars Daniel Day-Lewis as a controlling fashion designer.

‘Phantom Thread’

Screen speaks to production designer Mark Tildesley about working on Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film, which stars Daniel Day-Lewis as a controlling fashion designer.

This is your first time working with Paul Thomas Anderson. How did you get involved in Phantom Thread?

Paul was scouting for Phantom Thread around the UK and came to Edinburgh to look for some Georgian houses as potential headquarters for [protagonist fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock, played by Daniel Day-Lewis]. I was working on Trainspotting 2 with Danny [Boyle] and Paul said that he would like to meet me, so we went for a whisky!

Paul had been working on it with Daniel for a couple of years, and they were trying to find where to place it. They had originally thought it might be set in Paris. Then Daniel started to reveal his interest in the British fashion scene and they realised there was a wealth of untold stories to be found. By the time they got to me in Edinburgh, they knew more than I did about the fashion industry.

Did Paul have a strong idea for the look of the film?

He had very strong ideas, but it was a collaborative process. Daniel, Paul and I went on a journey around the country to look at various places where Woodcock could have been from. We went to Kelmscott Manor in Gloucestershire, the house of William Morris, and it was absolutely fabulous. It was the place that William Morris retreated to work, and it matched Daniels’s idea of what would become Woodcock’s country residence [eventually filmed at Owlpen Manor, in the Cotswolds].

The two houses are very separate. The house in London is very much a stripped-back design studio and workplace, and the country house was attached to his past, his family, his mother, his fond memories. …

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