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Design

Although we were working on a very low budget, we set out to create this world of the future with as much realism and accuracy as possible. The future we depicted isn't necessarily our future - the idea was to create a look derived from the situations in the story. The result isn't so much futuristic as it is alternative future. We asked ourselves questions such as "What would the world be like if the Soviets had actually won the cold war?"

We went for techno-functional, with no attempt to ingratiate or beautify the surroundings. We figured that the society depicted in the film would never spend the time or money to design aesthetics into their environment.

Realistic proportions were established and held to throughout the station construction.

 

Everything, from the costumes to the computer screens was stripped down to bare, functional basics - something akin to an Arctic research station, or 1960's Russian space hardware. Ironically, by designing completely for function, the sets and props took on a simple but creepy beauty of their own.

 

For the station itself, we assumed that it was built from some  pre-assembled structures that were attached on-location. We supposed that some type of plastic/concrete material was used to create forms and environmentally seal the building. Since it was an experimental facility, we figured that small and sparse (i.e. cheap) was the order of the day.  If the research paid off,  the facility would eventually be expanded, and the existing structure would be used as a "contractor's trailer" of sorts.

 

 The temporary nature of the structure is exemplified by the lack of a ladder to get in and out of supply ships.  Since outside visits were few and far between, a heavy rope would suffice. 

We surmised that space would be at a premium - hence a multi-purpose room for dining, medical aid, and conferences.

(Drawings by Carol Clouse, production designer of Ascension)

 

 

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