ALEX HOLMES Production Designer
ALEX HOLMES is an Australian production designer best known for his design work on the critically acclaimed Australian arthouse horror/thriller THE BABADOOK directed by internationally acclaimed writer/director Jennifer Kent and produced by Kristina Ceyton of Causeway Films. The film garnered wide acclaim for its direction as well as for its production design earning Alex a nomination for Best Production Design at the 2014 AACTA awards with his design attracting special mention in most reviews.
Most recently Alex designed Leigh Whannel's THE INVISIBLE MAN, starring Elizabeth Moss for Blumhouse Films, Goalpost Pictures and Universal Studios, due to be released in Feb 2020. Also recently completed is Jennifer Kent's second feature film THE NIGHTINGALE - a period piece set in 1825 - starring Sam Claflin, Aisling Franciosi and Damon Herriman. THE NIGHTINGALE premiered at the Venice Film Festival 2018 where it won the Special Jury Prize. At its US premier at Sundance Film Festival 2019 it attracted widespread acclaim with a release in the USA scheduled for August 2019.
Alex's many other credits include Kieran Darcy Smith's Sundance hit WISH YOU WERE HERE starring Joel Edgerton and Theresa Palmer and the ABC/NETFLIX 15 part tv series called THE UNLISTED.
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SELECTED CREDITS AS PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Writer / Director: Jennifer Kent
Producer: Kristina Ceyton, Causeway Films.
Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival (2014)
Nominated, Best Production Design, Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (2014)
Nominated, Best Independent Int’l Feature, British Independent Film Awards (2014)
Writer / Director: Jennifer Kent
Producers: Kristina Ceyton (Causeway Films), Bruna Papandrea & SteveHutensky
(Made Up Stories)
Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival (2019)
Official Selection, Venice Film Festival (2018)
Winner Special Jury Prize, Venice Film Festival (2018)
Winner Critics Award, Melbourne Film Festival (2019)
Writer / Director: Kieran Darcy Smith
Producer: Angie Fielder (Aquarius Films)
Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival (2012)
Writer / Director: Miro Bilborough
Producer: Karen Radzyner, Michael Wrenn
Director: Andrew Kotatko
Writer: Andrew Kotatko, adaption based on the short story by Raymond Carver
Producer: Andrew Kotatko
Associate Producers: Barry Hales, Radha Mitchell, Craig Semple.
Director: Michael Joy
Producer: John L. Simpson
Director: Max Mannix, John Radel
Producer: Gary Hamilton et al (Silkroad Pictures)
Writer / Director: Leigh Whannel
Producer: Kylie Du Fresne ( Goalpost Pictures), Jason Blum ( Blumhouse Productions ) & Universal Studios
NOT YET RELEASED
View all other credits by downloading my CV:
Alex comes from a painting and fine art background. He studied Fine Art at the internationally acclaimed Glasgow School of Art in Scotland as well as at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney. His paintings and other artwork was exhibited in a number of group shows during this time. Alex's painting and drawing background continues to inform is work in film, television and commercials.
Alex also studied at the AFTRS (Australian Film Television and Radio School) studying Production Design, where he was the winner of the Fox Award for best production design in his graduating year.
In between films and television, Alex works regularly in commercials and has designed ads for major clients such as Tooheys, Allianz, Hyundai, Kia, and Mastercard. Alex's TVC collaborations include many respected Australian TVC Directors including Scott Otto Andersson, Husein Alicajic, Gary John, Lucinda Schreiber.
Earlier in his career, Alex regularly took on the associated role of Art Director with established designers such as Nell Hanson and Clayton Jauncey, giving him essential experience in budgeting, logistics and the nuts and bolts grounding needed to run an Art Department. His practical Art Directing knowledge compliments his artistic background enabling him to achieve great designs on budget.
Alex is a dual Australian/British citizen, making him well placed to work on co-productions throughout the EU (pending Brexit!) without visa issues.
Many of the films Alex has worked on have garnered international acclaim. You can view some of the press his work has received here.
Among Alex's many other design credits is Kieran Darcy Smith's 2013 Sundance hit "Wish You Were Here" starring Joel Edgerton and Teresa Palmer.
In the USA, Alex is represented by creative agent "Artistry", formerly known as Sheldon Prossnitt Agency in Los Angeles. In 2015/16 Alex was granted an O-1 Visa to work in the USA.
800 South Robertson Blvd.
Suite 6 Los Angeles CA 90035
Ph: 310 652 8778 fax: 310 652 8772
Contact: Julia Kole, Robin Sheldon
Postal: PO Box 848, Surry Hills
NSW 2010, Australia
Ph: (02) 9319 7199 Int’l: +61 2 9319 7199
Contact: Needeya Islam
For TVC work please contact:
Top Techs Management
Ph: +61 2 9958 1611
WIRED.COM: Jordan Cruchiola compares and parallels Alex Holmes's production design approach on THE BABADOOK
with Robert Eggers film THE WITCH.
....Some comments from Holmes even sound interchangeable with Eggers. “This was a film that was using the genre to talk about serious and deeply emotional issues while at the same time being an exercise in myth making,” says Holmes. “[The director] wanted to create a film that hit those emotional notes honestly, while at the same time giving the audience a heightened experience beyond realism that dipped into and appropriated a whole tradition of fairytales, myth and horror films. But at its core, our stylization had to have emotional and psychological logic.
ND/NF Interview: Jennifer Kent
By Max Kyburz on March 21, 2014
...Let’s create a different world that has color, but is really reduced, and not through postproduction, but actually in the design". I had a genius production designer, Alex Holmes. We talked about how I wanted few colors, just variations on cool blue and burgundy. We stuck with those two colors in varying shades, and then black and white. The world itself that was created has a feeling of coldness and claustrophobia...
PRAISE FROM REVIEWERS
Yet, even before anyone cracks “Mr. Babadook’s cover, “The Babadook” has the elaborately fabricated look of a giant pop-up movie, sporting the kind of intricately detailed and resolutely analog visual design one associates with the early films of Terry Gilliam or the recent ones of Wes Anderson.
The characters inhabit a world that seems drained of color, with everything from clothes to walls to furniture painted in shades of gray and black, as if they, too, were in a perpetual state of mourning. That creates just the right feel of subjective reality for a movie about monsters that spring not from some far-flung demonic realm but rather from the darkness of our own subconscious...
...In addition to the standout work of production designer Alex Holmes, the pic sports an ace tech package that more than belies its modest budget (reportedly $2.3 million), including Polish d.p. Radek Ladczuk’s sleek, shadowy widescreen lensing.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
By David Rooney
But the design aspects are first-rate in all departments. While Amelia and Samuel’s house looks at first glance like any innocuous old suburban Australian two-story, production designer Alex Holmes has subtly stylized the interiors for a heightened-reality effect, while cinematographer Radoslaw Ladczuk bathes the rooms in murky grays, blues and mauves. The film’s washed-out gothic color palette adds considerably to its atmosphere.
Though The Babadook is a fearsome, threatening creature, and the film boasts brilliant production design that ingeniously locates surreal horror smack-bang in the middle of everyday experience,
The Babadook review: Sundance
By Rodrigo Perez
As the “The Babadook” moves into much darker psychological terrain, the strain on the film’s credulity are made up by the director’s well-composed vision, the wonderfully persuasive leads (Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman) and the movie’s masterful control of tone.
Pitched somewhere between early, less whimsical Tim Burton and Roman Polanski (think a modern day “Repulsion” with a more wry sense of humor), “The Babadook” is engaging, unique and an inventive take on the boogeyman/psychological horror genre that has something to say to boot.
The Babadook review
Alex Holmes helped make their house feel both like a real living space and also like an ugly evil thing that surrounds them and bears down on them. It is an incredibly accomplished film on a technical level, and just because it's small doesn't mean it is anything less than captivating.
The Babadook review
The Babadook is a technical marvel, from production design conjuring a starkly-decorated and -lit home that looks like a haunted house-in-waiting, to MVP-quality sound editing and mixing crucial for a horror film with relatively little blood. As for the babadook itself: As is true in the best horror films, it’s convincing both literally as itself (a child’s book that conjurs up a shadow monster who plays on your fears, and you can’t make disappear) and as a stylized metaphor for what the film is actually about
The Babadook review
Alongside Dreyer, Polanski, Franju, Lynch, Carpenter and del Toro, all of whom the film-maker has named as inspirational (her knowledge of horror is enthusiastically thorough), there are echoes of the more nightmarish end of Tim Burton’s animations....The colour palette is equally precise – washed-out blues and expressionist blacks recalling the tinted monochromes of early cinema (Georges Méliès casts a significant shadow).
Most striking is Bilborough’s artistic design. Greatly assisted by cinematographer Bonnie Elliott and production designer Alexander Holmes, she goes for painterly compositions and carefully selected locations, with an on-screen bow to the works of American artist Edward Hopper.