January 25, 2020
When film-makers need a detailed artefact, they go to the in-demand Welsh creator, whose work is celebrated in a new bookSee a gallery of Annie Atkins’s props Bringing Wes Anderson’s vision for The Grand Budapest Hotel to life seems to have been a labour of love for all involved. For none more so, perhaps, than props designer Annie Atkins, for whom the shoot involved conjuring up the visual infrastructure of an entire fictional nation – flags and coats of arms, banknotes and postage stamps, police reports and newspapers – from scratch. Now a book (Fake Love Letters, Forged Telegrams & Prison Escape Maps) allows Atkins to share, among other things, how she created the film’s sweetly sinister, somewhere-in-time, somewhere-in-Europe wonderland; an aesthetic remixed from the vintage passports and tattered train tickets, Stasi stationery and children’s diaries that she found during her research.
From fake maps to golden tickets: the film props of artist Annie Atkins
It’s a long way to Zubrowka from the small village of Dolwyddelan, in north Wales, where Atkins was raised by her artist mother and graphic designer father. The nearest cinema was 25 miles away; her exposure to movies came through her neighbour’s VCR. Her early career veered from Ravensbourne to a stint at a Reykjavík advertising agency, followed by a course in production design in Dublin.
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