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. 

 

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. Most recently Alex designed Leigh Whannel's THE INVISIBLE MAN, starring Elizabeth Moss for Blumhouse Films, Goalpost Pictures and Universal Studios, which recently premiered in the USA to widespread critical acclaim and went to number 1 at the box office in February 2020.

 

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. Alex is currently in pre-production on PUFF, to be directed by one of Australia’s most famous artist/painters Del Kathryn Barton.

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ALEX HOLMES   Production Designer

ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE 

‘The Invisible Man’: Monster-Movie Reboot As #MeToo Revenge Story

by Peter Travers

For a movie to send out a blast of bone-chilling, pulse-pounding terror peppered with psychological insights, it needs virtuosity in every department. And that’s what Whannell gets from cinematographer Stefan Duscio (Upgrade), production designer Alex Holmes (The Babadook), and composer Benjamin Wallfisch (Blade Runner 2049).

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FILMINK 

The Babadook review

By Erin Free

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 film is only occasionally dotted with plasma.

 
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FILM THREAT

The Nightingale Review

By Norman Gidley

Production design by Alex Holmes is at once beautiful and repulsive sharing the contrasts of the natural beauty of the wilderness with the fabricated textures of the colonizers.

01 PORTFOLIO

Viewing is possible directly through dropbox link below. But for optimum viewing, please download the pdf first and view through software on your device. Remember to click FULLSCREEN

 

02 FILMOGRAPHY

SELECTED CREDITS AS PRODUCTION DESIGNER

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BLAZE

Writer / Director: Del Kathryn Barton

Producer: Sam Jennings, Causeway Films.

Starring: Yael Stone, Simon Baker

 

NOT YET RELEASED. RELEASE 2022.

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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)

RELEASE DUE FEB 2020

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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)

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Writer / Director: Leigh Whannel

Producer: Kylie Du Fresne ( Goalpost Pictures),  Jason Blum ( Blumhouse Productions ) & Universal Studios

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Writer / Director: Kieran Darcy Smith

Producer: Angie Fielder (Aquarius Films)

Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival (2012)

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Writer / Director: Miro Bilborough

Producer: Karen Radzyner, Michael Wrenn 

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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.

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Director: Michael Joy

Producer: John L. Simpson

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Director: Max Mannix, John Radel

Producer: Gary Hamilton et al (Silkroad Pictures)

View all other credits by downloading my CV: 

 

03 BIO

Alex Holmes is a production designer based in Australia with representation in the USA (Artistry Agency), Australia (Cameron’s Management) and the UK (Echo Artists). Alex has built an extensive list of credits as a production designer on feature films and commercials. His film credits include the recent box office hit THE INVISIBLE MAN starring Elizabeth Moss, directed by acclaimed director Leigh Whannel, as well as world famous auteur director Jennifer Kent’s two critically and internationally acclaimed feature films THE BABADOOK and THE NIGHTINGALE. All three films have attracted wide acclaim internationally for their production design.  In 2011, he designed the Australian feature film WISH YOU WERE HERE starring Joel Edgerton, directed by Kieran Darcy-Smith, which premiered to wide acclaim at Sundance in 2012. Most recently, he collaborated with one of Australia’s most famous artists – painter Del Kathryn Barton – on her debut feature film BLAZE due out this year, as well as Jennifer Kent’s most recent film ALICE AND FREDA FOREVER. Alex also has an extensive list of TVC commercial credits, regularly working with top-tier, Australian production companies such as Revolver, Scoundrel and Photoplay, collaborating with world renowned TVC directors such as Steve Rogers and Michael Spiccia. Alex comes from a fine art background originally, studying painting at the NSW College of Fine Arts as well as the internationally acclaimed Glasgow School of Art in Scotland.  He completed a Masters in Production Design at AFTRS in 2004 where he was the winner of the Fox Award for best production design in his graduating year.

Alex currently holds a valid 0-1 visa to work in the USA until july 2023. Alex, born in London, also holds a valid UK passport.

 

04 CONTACT

Agent (USA)

Artistry 

800 South Robertson Blvd. 

Suite 6  Los Angeles  CA 90035 

Ph: 310 652 8778  fax: 310 652 8772

Contact: Julia Kole, Robin Sheldon

E: julia@artistry.net

W: www.artistry.net

Agent (Australia)

Cameron’s Management

Postal: PO Box 848, Surry Hills 

NSW 2010, Australia

Ph: (02) 9319 7199 Int’l: +61 2 9319 7199

Contact: Needeya Islam

E: needeya.islam@cameronsmanagement.com.au

W: www.cameronsmanagement.com.au

Agent (Europe)

Echo Artists - London

Unit, 3, De Beauvoir Block, 92-96 De Beauvoir Rd,

London N1 4EN, United Kingdom

T: +44 20 3567 0777

E:  georgie@echoartists.com, zoe@echoartists.com

W: www.echoartists.com

For TVC work in Australia please contact:

 

Top Techs Management

Ph: +61 2 9958 1611

E: crew@toptechsmanagement.com.au

W: www.toptechsmanagement.com.au

 

04 PRESS

FEATURE ARTICLES

VARIETY.COM: How ‘The Invisible Man’s’ Production and Costume Designer Avoided Horror Tropes

Production designer Alex Holmes and costume designer Emily Seresin sought to avoid horror tropes, turning the Elisabeth Moss-starring reboot, which bows Feb. 28, into a thriller with horror elements.

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.

FILM COMMENT

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

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

'The Invisible Man': Film Review

by Todd McCarthy

Production designer Alex Holmes and costume designer Emily Seresin are expressively attentive to the socio-economic status of their assorted characters, while Benjamin Wallfisch makes a strong contribution with his muscular score.

ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE 

‘The Invisible Man’: Monster-Movie Reboot As #MeToo Revenge Story

by Peter Travers

For a movie to send out a blast of bone-chilling, pulse-pounding terror peppered with psychological insights, it needs virtuosity in every department. And that’s what Whannell gets from cinematographer Stefan Duscio (Upgrade), production designer Alex Holmes (The Babadook), and composer Benjamin Wallfisch (Blade Runner 2049).

VARIETY MAGAZINE 

The Babadook Review- Sundance FF

by Scott Foundas Chief Film Critic @foundasonfilm

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

The Babadook review: Sundance  

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.

FILMINK

The Babadook review

By Erin Free

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,

INDIWIRE 

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.

HITFIX 

The Babadook review

By Drew McWeeny   Saturday, Jan 18, 2014

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.
 

LETTERBOXD 

The Babadook review

By V J Morton

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 GUARDIAN 

The Babadook review

By Mark Kermode

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). 

SCREENDAILY

Being Venice review

By Frank Hatherley 20 June, 2012 |

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.

FILM THREAT

The Nightingale Review

By Norman Gidley

Production design by Alex Holmes is at once beautiful and repulsive sharing the contrasts of the natural beauty of the wilderness with the fabricated textures of the colonizers.

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